"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
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
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.