"I need you to help pick out bathroom fixtures," said my wife, setting the trap.
    "Why?" I asked. "So you can ridicule every choice I make, thereby reinforcing your opinion that I have no taste and whatever you end up choosing couldnít be worse than leaving it up to me."
     She nodded. "Something like that. When do you want to go?"
    Never, I thought. But that wasnít going to cut it, so off we went to the biggest bath showroom she could find, Bed and Bath Beyond, in San Francicso. We opened the door to thousands of glistening bathroom fixtures, almost every single one of them looking just fine to me.
     First upósink faucets. I found a faucet that had the option of turning and facing up so you could use it as a drinking fountain as well as a downspout. Brilliant. A must-buy. Think how much easier it would be to brush your teeth. Youíd hardly have to bend over to rinse out.
     "Use a glass," she said, barely noting my selection. She had found what she wanted, some prissy two-handled set-up (I wanted one handle) with a curved faucet that dropped so low Iíd be lucky to fit my lips between the end of the faucet and the drain.
     "What do you think?" she asked.
     "I hate it."
     I donít think she heard me. She was studying the faucet, seeing things she knew I would never see.
     "Itís perfect," she said, delighted we had made the decision. "Now letís do shower heads."
     This was easier. I immediately found what I wanted, thereby eliminating at least half of the selections. I chose the European style, where the shower head is on a cord and you can take it off the wall and use it as a water gun. The kids would love it.
     The thought of rip-roaring water fights in the shower didnít go over well. "You want European-style," my wife offered, "move to France."
    By the time she finally selected a shower head, I was thinking about it. I had approved at least four of her final-final choices, which is why she ultimately chose the fifth one, which I wasn't so hot for.
    We moved on, and my interest suddenly peaked. We were in TOILET LAND.
    Now this is where I had something to say. I wasnít about to be intimidated into purchasing something I didnít really want. We were talking thrones here, and I expanded my chest a bit as I strode confidently into the sea of toilets to make my selection.
     I eyed a cute little number smack dab in the middle of the showroom that I thought might fit the bill. My wife followed as I circled the toilet, confidently checking the flusher height (nothing worse than bending over to flush) and then manfully taking off the top and peering inside at the thingamajigs that make it work.
    Then, of course, the ultimate test. I lifted the seat cover and my posterior slowly began its descent to the spot where it would spend countless hours over the next 20 or so years.
    "DONíT EVEN THINK ABOUT SITTING ON IT HERE!" cried my wife, thoroughly aghast.
    I froze, halfway down. I looked around. People were milling, but no one was paying attention to me. I could do a quick sit and get away with it. "Just for a second. Iíve got to know if itís the right size."
    It wasnít going to happen.
    She was adamant. You donít sit on toilets in the middle of showrooms. Weíll pick one and take our chances.
    So she picked one. But I wasnít about to take any chances. While she was with the salesman writing up the order, I snuck away for a moment.
    It wasnít very comfortable, but Iím sure Iíll get used to it.

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