Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Toilets and Footprints

Kimber speculates.

I'm not sure what it is about bathrooms that scream "decorate me with religious sentiment", but people really take that advice to heart. Both my grandmothers have a copy of the "Footprints" poem hanging in their bathroom(you know, the one where Jesus carries the guy through all the hard parts of his life), and in the last week alone I've seen the poem hanging in three other bathrooms.

The washroom deserves to be decorated as much as any other space in the house, but why do people so commonly decorate it with slightly corny poems? I do want to make it clear that I think the "Footprints" poem is a touching one, but its sentiment is undermined by the fact that nine times out of ten, when I see it I am passing bodily waste.

Perhaps hanging religious poems in one's bathroom stems from a desire to appear classy while simultaneously providing mental stimulation, should any be needed. My grandmother likely wouldn't approve of the fact that I decorate my bathroom with whatever I find funny (my toilet has a sign hanging on it which reads "I'm a media console"), and she would definitely think it's disgusting that I keep the current copy of Vanity Fair as easily reachable as the toilet paper.

What I find to be a comfortable, useful space, my grandmother views as repellent. To be fair, I see her bathroom as equally repellent, as all she has in it are a set of matching towels and the "Footsteps" poem. How we've each chosen to present the most intimate of rooms to the world is very different.

After considering it for some time, I've come to the conclusion that what we put in our bathroom reflects how we want people to think about us. Publicly, I let it all hang out, so to speak. The only thing not easily apparent to my guests are the extra roles of toilet paper and feminine hygiene supplies I keep under the sink, and even if someone were to snoop, I wouldn't be embarrassed. On the other hand, my grandmother's washroom presents a very proper face to visitors, but doesn't betray that fact that as soon as she's done using it she makes an entry into her poo diary; a notebook she keeps in her bedside table which has records on every single one of her bowel movements since the mid-sixties.

She would be horrified that I put that information on the internet, but she doesn't have a computer, so I'm not worried.

While my grandmother is confident in calling me limited for referring to "urine" as "pee", I am confident in calling her anally fixated for keeping a poo diary. We both think we're right, and we both have some evidence to back us up, but in the end I think I'm more comfortable, because I don't have any secrets lurking behind a framed copy of "Footsteps".


  1. I read the scriptures in the loo. Frequently.

  2. I spend as little time as I possibly can on the pot. I don't even understand why people would have reading material and stuff. For me it's get in then get out.