Friday, June 21, 2013


From the moment he sat on what Consumers Reports rates as the best toilet on the planet, Alan hated it.  It was too high, there was no room for him to sit (even though he doesn't have much of a backside), and the curved connection between the bowl and the tank felt like sitting in an electric chair.

To top it all off, the damn toilet rocked.  If he'd wanted a rocking chair, he said, he would have purchased one.

When Alan is not a happy camper, he pouts, throws hissy fits, and, in this situation, accuses me of not consulting him about the damn toilet, and causing the whole mess by deciding to renovate the bathroom in the first place. All of his frustration gets dumped on me -- you should pardon the expression -- and the normal stress of of upgrading a home is increased ten fold.

If you were so concerned about the toilet, I said, why didn't you come with me when I chose it?

I liked the old toilet.  There was no reason to get rid of it.

It made loud noises.  It gurgled.  And no cleansing detergent on the market could clean it completely.

That didn't matter.  Alan hated the new toilet and would not be satisfied until another one took its place.

The extra height -- what most toilet manufacturers sell as the antidote to Baby Boomers and older folks whose knees are getting a bit creaky -- seemed silly.

My knees are in great shape, he said.  Besides, talk to the experts and they'll tell you that the best way to eliminate is to be close to the floor, not a million miles above it.

There was no getting around it: Either the toilet or Alan had to go.  At that point, I was hoping for the latter.

After a week of hysteria, Alan marched off to Home Depot with my blessings.  Get whatever toilet you want.  I don't care.

Hours and multiple phone calls later, he came home with a new toilet seat.  Maybe this will make it better, he said.

A good try, but no bananas.  

Nope, he still hated the thing and wanted it gone.

I paid good money for that toilet, and I wasn't adverse to returning it, buying something less expensive, and using the credit to help defray some of the unexpected additional costs of redoing two bathrooms.

But the toilet sat.  And it sat.  Alan even sat on it as well. 

Finally, he announced with great flair that he was off to buy a new toilet, no matter what.  He roamed between Home Depot, Manards, and Lows.  He spent hours.  He was exhausted and confused.  He must have called me a half dozen times.  I can't sit on most of them, he complained.  Or I've had to climb to top display shelves about a mile high.  I'm sure I'm going to get kicked out any minute now.

At long last, Alan came home with a new toilet.  It was white with a round bowl and, according to him, about as comfortable as any toilet could be.  We'd have to pay an extra $50 to have the old/new toilet removed, and the new toilet installed.  At that point, I didn't care.  Anything to get this toilet business behind us.

Funny thing.  The toilet he brought home is exactly the toilet we have in our downstairs powder room.  As far as I can tell, the one I ordered was a heck of a lot more comfortable and would have lasted years.  But, no, we now have this little guy that will probably split in half the minute Alan gets angry at something and bangs the seat closed. 

Let's hope he doesn't develop any knees problems or difficulty sitting and standing because this standard size toilet isn't made for aging Baby Boomers subject to all kinds of eventual body breakdowns. 

I wish us both luck!

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