Monday, June 11, 2012

"A Welcome Arrival"

Okay.  This is admittedly, indisputably and indefensibly ridiculous.   Forgiveness may have to be asked.  It would be understandable if it were not granted.  But...


Dr. M and I are not profligate people.  (I looked it up, and it fits…that we’re not that.)  Aside from my twelve belts, I am in no way obsessively self-indulgent.  (Thinking it over, since one of my belts is reversible and serves double duty, I could be considered to have thirteen belts.)  In fact, I am demonstrably the opposite.

My car is twenty years old.  My clothes closet includes outfits purchased during the Reagan Administration.  I retain the suit I bought for Rachel’s Bat Mitzvah. 

And she’s thirty-eight!

So much for my credentials for non-spendthriftyness.  And my wife is the same.  If you don’t count shoes.  And purses.  And…I really need to be moving on.

I had mentioned in passing that, during our recent holiday in Hawaii, we encountered, to our pleasure, comfort and satisfaction – how do I handle this tastefully – I am sure Noel Coward could pull it off, but it is beyond my literary capacity – what happened was that our hotel room’s bathroom came equipped with this truly magnificent toilet seat.

All right.  I said it.  It’s out.  No cutesy euphemisms.  No beating around the bush. 

The appurtenance was sensational.

So we bought one for our house.

It was installed in the Master Bathroom.  It’s interesting.  Dr. M had originally wanted it in the Ground Floor bathroom.  But I nixed the idea, embarrassed to expose our extravagance to our friends.  And yet, here I am now, beaming our ostentation to the universe. 



Specifics – whether you want them or not.

When you step up to it, the toilet lid automatically rises.  In salute.  Saying,


(It doesn’t actually say “Welcome”, but its crispness and efficiency indicates it is indeed happy to see us.

Sometimes, however, it jumps the gun.  Getting to our shower requires walking past the toilet, and whenever I do that, the lid pops up, with the eagerness of a well-trained puppy.  Though I hate to dampen its enthusiasm, I am forced gently to reply,

“Sorry.  Not you.”

After which, after a period of time, and with detectable disappointment, the toilet lid descends to it previous position.  

(I am not certain how long that “period of time” is, as, though my days are not exactly brimming with activity, I have not stooped to standing over my toilet with a stop watch, timing the interval between when the lid automatically rises, and it, later, automatically goes back down.  Besides, if I did that, the lid would never go down, as the “electric eye” would detect my continued presence in the vicinity.)  

Sometimes, heading for the shower, I have to deliberately sneak by, so as not to hurt the toilet’s feelings.  Other times, I give in and “go”, when I don’t actually have to.

The seat is comfortably heated, at precisely the “right” temperature.  I imagine engineers conducting rigorous tests, in an effort to determine what that precisely “right” temperature is, offering apologies and medical care to those who experienced “Too hot.” 

I will race through the other features, as the specificity makes me uncomfortable.  

The toilet offers water-generated “cleansing” functions, providing “soft” and regular alternatives.  The water dispensing options include, “Oscillating”, “Pulsating” and “Wand Cleansing” – I have not experienced that last one, as I am afraid of it.  But I imagine its action’s similar to a windshield wiper’s.  

A warm air “Dryer” function completes the unique and pampering experience.

(At the moment, the toilet is not “self flushing”, but we are looking into adding this feature to its formidable repertoire.)

The plain truth is, we bought this device, because we wanted it.  But we needed a “cover”, a redeeming rationalization for purchasing something nobody even close to actually needs. 

It turns out we had a credible explanation for our unnecessary expenditure.  Which was this:

It was our thirtieth anniversary.  And after about our twentieth, it had become our habit to, instead of giving each other presents (as we abundantly do on Chanukah and our respective birthdays – I mean how many sports shirts or decorative pins does one actually need? – I will leave you to determine which of us receives which), we would instead mark each marital milestone by purchasing some decorative or enhancing upgrade for the house – towels, sheets, an eye-catching doormat.  

We were a month past our anniversary, and we still coming up empty.  The best idea we could think of was a “stick-to-the-floor” mat that you spread in front of your kitchen sink, so you don’t slip around while you’re doing the dishes.  Something about that said, “Keep looking.” 

So we did.

There is a traditional list of commemorative anniversary gifts.  The First Anniversary is "Paper."  The Fifteenth Anniversary is "Crystal."  The Twenty-fifth Anniversary is "Silver."

The Thirtieth Anniversary, for us, at least, 

Would be "Toilet Seats."


JED said...

That sounds like the scene in No Time for Sergeants when Andy Griffith's character rigs all the toilet seats in the latrine to salute the inspecting officer. I'd have a hard time keeping a straight face but, then, I don't think I'll be invited to use your bathroom anyway.

Zaraya said...

Dear Mr. Pomerantz; one toilet seat does not an ostentatious life make.


nobody said...

i have the same toilet. mine self flushes. i've had it for a few years, and now i think people who have to flush the toilet with their hands are barbarians.

it might be the greatest thing in the world.

pumpkinhead said...

But when it opens up automatically, how does it know which... you know...?

PG said...

These days, our city is in the midst of a great upscaling. Bathrooms in the malls have all got self-flushing toilets. When I encounter one that doesn't have this function (usually at a Chinese restaurant), I find that I'm indignant at having to reach over to flush. Water taps go on when I wave my hands under them. Paper towels spew out at the flick of a wrist. Everywhere I go I am greeted by automatic doors that slide apart as I approach, welcoming me in.
Honest to god, today I walked up to an Eddie Bauer store in the outdoor mall and it had these two long wooden handles on its doors and I stood there waiting, like an idiot. Then I got mad that I had to tug them open myself!
Enjoy your toilet. I think it's just as well you put it in your own bathroom. Your guests might not appreciate the services. Besides, for what it costs (which I imagine is a pretty penny since you protest too much about your profligacy, or lack thereof) it will get much more mileage in the ensuite, thereby justifying your extravagance.
You only 'go' this way but once!