Monday, June 11, 2007

I Want to be Alone

When I decided to become a wife and mother, I knew I’d have to make sacrifices. I’ve accepted those willingly, except for one that I didn’t expect. I have not gone to the bathroom alone in 17 years. Now, I’m not a modest person. In fact, I’m a little on the exhibitionist side, but some things deserve a little privacy, and potty time is one of them. The most intimate moment in a marriage is not the first time you see your mate naked. It’s the first time you see each other on the pot. It’s a little unsettling at first, but over the years, you grow to accept it. After all, somebody has to bring you toilet paper when the roll goes empty unexpectedly. However, that doesn’t mean you want to completely give up the privacy that certain acts demand. When Teen Angel was little, I always took her into the stall with me in public restrooms as a safety precaution. She’s fourteen years old now. I’m ready for her to leave me alone in the bathroom. Hubby, too. At any given time, they are prone to flinging open the door to ask me a question, share some good news or dig for something under the sink. Even the dog is in on the act. Last week he pushed open the door with his nose, toddled in and put his paws on my knees. Apparently, he wanted a pat on the head and knew where to find a captive audience.

In the words of Marlena Detriech, “I vant to pee alone”, so I’ve created some rules for potty privacy in my home.

1. Entering the door must require an emergency. Asking for $20 to go to the movie, showing me a new listing in the real estate magazine or sharing a dirty joke is not an emergency. Neither is digging for moisturizer, showing me a new t-shirt or asking if those pants make your butt look big.
2. I do not want to take any phone calls, no matter how important they may seem. Please do not ask, even if it’s my mother. If the pest control man wants to know if he can come on Tuesday, tell him I will call him back. Do NOT. I repeat, do NOT tell him I can’t come to the phone because I’m going to the bathroom. That requires canceling my contract and hiring another company because I can no longer look him in the eye when he shows up to spray for crickets.
3. If the door is locked, do not get a butter knife and pick the cheap lock. It is locked for a reason. Really. I mean it this time.
4. I do not want to carry on a conversation through the door while I’m..umm..indisposed. I cannot talk to you and read “Humor in Uniform” at the same time.
5. Sliding a note under the door is not acceptable either, for the same reason mentioned in rule #4.
6. Inquiries about what I had for lunch or jokes about courtesy deodorizer sprays are NOT funny. Stop it. I’m not laughing. I swear. Not this time. Really. They’re not. Well, maybe a little.
7. And finally, mom is not the only person capable of changing the roll of toilet paper. Leaving one or two squares of paper on the roll so technically it’s not “empty” is bad sportsmanship. ‘Cause I get left holding the scraps and have to holler for someone to bring me a new roll. That requires letting someone in……

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