Monday, 24 March 2008

Dignity: a thing of the past

I really do need to remember that there is simply no privacy at all in our house any more. It's bad enough that my bedroom is no longer truly my own (seeing as the children use it as a sort of bouncy playground prior to getting into the bath, and leave the bed full of discarded clothes, plastic toys and toddlers slobber) but you would think the bathroom might be held sacred. As the lone male in a family full of oestrogen fuelled monsters, you'd think they give a little peace and quiet, a little bit of 'man time' to attend to my personal grooming, wouldn't you? Not so. And it's not just the children...
Scenario: I am in the bathroom, about to step into the shower. I have picked up a cotton bud to clean my ears (note to my friends in the US: cotton bud = Q-tip) when I spot the bathroom scales on the floor. Seeing as I am already naked, this seems like a good time to weigh myself, so I hop onto the scales (Not literally, of course. If I actually hopped onto the scales they would (a) break and (b) probably smash through the ceiling below and land in the kitchen sink). My eyesight is not what it once was, and I can't read my weight without squatting down a little and squinting. As I'm doing that, I notice some fluff in my belly button, and so absent-mindedly start to swab it out with the cotton bud. I read off my weight and mutter out loud to myself: "Hmm, not bad, that's looking better than I thought..."
At this precise moment, without knocking, my wife crashes in through the bathroom door.
There is a frozen moment of pure horror: Nini runs her eyes over the scene in the manner of a pathologist catching sight of a particularly gruesome corpse, i.e professionalism overcomes any natural revulsion.
"What...", she asks, in carefully measured tones, "...the bloody hell are you doing, exactly?"
I straighten up, and try vainly to regain as much dignity as I can from the situation - which, as you might imagine for a naked man with a cotton bud hanging out of his navel, is pretty much nil.
"I am preparing for my shower" I say loftily
She thinks about this. "Why were you squinting at your crotch?" she asks.
"I wasn't. I was reading the scales. I can't see. I have to lean forward and squint."
"Hmmmm..." she says, which for those of you who can't speak 'Nini' translates almost directly as 'bullshit'.
"Did you actually want something? Or is this just a social visit?" I ask, trying to add an icy undercurrent to my voice (though, again, the whole being naked/cotton bud/squinting is taking a lot away from the image I'm trying to project)
"I wanted some cotton wool."
"What for?"
"For Amelie. It's a craft project. She needs some wet cotton wool to grow cress on."
"To grow cress on? To grow cress on?" I ask, in rising tones of incredulity.
"Um, yes...?"
"And you don't think that could have waited until I was done in here, before you came in? I take it the exact timing of when the cress seeds are placed on the cotton wool is critical, and you only have a limited time to act before the harvest is ruined, so you absolutely must have it now? Which is why you came in without knocking?"
"I thought you would be in the shower. You know, behind the curtain."
"Well, I wasn't."
"No. I wish you had been..."
"Take your cotton wool and go."
She grabs the packet and leaves. The door shuts.
Well, that really couldn't have been any more embarrassing
, I think.
There is a knock at the door. "Yes?" I sigh
The door opens a crack and she peers in again. She looks concerned.
"What now?" I ask
"Just then, when I came in, you were muttering something..."
"Yes..?"
"I just need to know - were you talking to your willy?"
"What? NO!"
"You can tell me if you were, it's OK..."
"I was not! Get out!"
She smiles impishly. "You were, weren't you? I know you were. Having a little chat with your willy..."
"GET. OUT. NOW!"

Anyway, this weekend I think a new lock on the bathroom door might be in order...

3 comments:

misterimpatient said...

We have three people and one bathroom in our home. We have 3 bathroom habits.

I always close the door and, if my goal is evacuation, I lock the door behind me. If showering I don't lock the door as someone, having failed to plan, might need emergency access. My eyesight at the distance required to read the scale is fine (just over 12 stone thank you very much).

The adult female in the home, if evacuating, leaves the door slightly open. Not just unlocked: open. Usually the dog pushes it wide open. Ticket sales are lackluster.

Apparently many people aren't bothered by the sight of someone sitting on the toilet. I confess I prefer not to see this. Have you ever noticed bathrooms where there is a mirror right in front of the toilet? I prefer not to talk about it.

The remaining minor female has combination behavior, sometimes locking the door, sometimes leaving it open. Like most things relating to this 15 year old, I can't figure out why.

dougalfish said...

Locking bathroom doors, with small children? heaven. However if I lock the door the toddler is usually trying to get it open using items from his toy tool kit or the cat is trying to bury through the carpet (for some reason she hates closed doors ... or it could just be that she likes digigng up the carpet so I get trapped when I try to open the door again).

Pat said...

I've taken to locking the door when dropping the Cosby kids off at the pool, but now I just get:

*sounds of small child climbing stairs and approaching bathroom door*
"Daddy, are you doing a poo?"
"Yes."
*muffled giggles*
"Daddy's doing a poo! Daddy's doing a poo!"