I am about to post something that has the potential to instantly polarize my followers, possibly to cause a goodly number of them to unsubscribe from SeptuagenarianJourney altogether. I hope that doesn’t happen. But, if it does …
So be it.
I didn’t approach the controversial nature of the subject-matter with the sense of adventure I might have shown as a younger man. You won’t find any courageous nose-thumbing from this corner! As a matter of fact, a thorough exegesis of both sides of the argument by an expert would have been welcome relief to me. But, with no such balanced analysis forthcoming, it is apparently left up to me.
I’m taking a risk that’s not easy. I’m sorry if I insult any of you. That is not my intent. On the other hand, it is impossible for me not to take sides, so I can’t even protect myself from the wrath of some of you by pleading for you to please “not shoot the messenger.”
Indeed, I am the messenger, but to some of you the stand I will be taking may be considered a shootable offence.
Again … so be it!
I’m not proud to say I sometimes leave the toilet seat up.
On the other hand, I’m not ashamed to say I leave the toilet seat up.
I’ve been married for forty-seven years and for forty-six and a half of them my wife has waged an ongoing battle with what she considers my cavalier and uncaring attitude toward what, to her, is very important. I may be alone in this but she equates love with caring. If I loved her—if I really loved her—I would feel a deep-level caring for whatever makes her happy. I’ve known for forty-six and a half years that she is not happy when she has to put down the toilet seat to do her business. Making her unhappy, to her, indicates I don’t care. And, if I’m not caring, I’m apparently not loving.
For any of you who are wondering, I don’t recall all the details of the first six months of our marriage, but it’s safe to assume that—regarding toilet seats— we didn’t come out swinging with the first ring of the bell. I’m allowing the first six months to be the kind of howdy darlin’, howdy you good lookin’ hunk of the getting-to-know-you phase.
At some point, though, I’m sure she felt for the very first time that I would want to know if I was doing something that was causing her even the teensiest kind of displeasure. And, of course I did! I did want to know—and I told her I did, with all the caring any one voice could produce. And she proceeded to instruct me in the same gentle tones a Kindergarten teacher would instruct her charge that hair is meant to look at, not to pull. Again, while I don’t recall the particulars, I’m sure I was relieved that it wasn’t my breath or body odor that was causing her concern. What? Just the toilet seat? Not only would I put it down, but I would dust it off, would polish it even … if that’s all she wanted. And it was. Nothing more.
I was the luckiest man alive. Something about the thinness of her voice, the rapidity of her breathing, as she struggled to tell me, the color rising to her cheeks at the mere implication that there was something residing in me that was just a shade off perfection; all these qualities combined to engrave on my mind the urgency to never, never leave the toilet seat up. (It’s been a while. My memory’s not perfect, but, I think it was like that. It was something like that.)
Then, I think I matriculated and it was about the same time that my wife outgrew her Kindergarten demeanor. I wasone of the big kids and she fell into a strategy of instruction that was more befitting of our years in the institution of marriage. She took off the gloves and with a glint in her eyes, she fastened the lock on the cage.
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Okay folks, enough is enough. My imagination is on a rampage again. This is not a memoir. The subject is too narrow for that. Also, I love my wife, but I’m finding that in order to wrench a smile out of you, and make this halfway entertaining, I can all too easily succumb to the lure of painting her to be a shrew, which she is not—and myself as the voice of wisdom and reason. This latter I could probably bring off, what with spell-check, Wikipedia, the Google Dictionary and all the time in the world to construct the perfect sentence! Trust me, I can make myself out to be a whole lot smarter than I really am.
And, the fact is, if she were here in front of me right now and we were arguing face-to-face about toilet seats, politics, the psychology of raising kids, hell, the best flavor of ice cream—she would win hands down.
But, she isn’t here. It’s just me and my laptop. And, I’m gonna win this argument! Here goes and subscribers be hanged!
* * *
Woman: Why can’t you men remember to put the toilet seat down after you pee?
Man: Why can’t you women remember to lift it after you finish?
Woman: Because you don’t put it down after you use it, when I need to use it and it’s pitch black I have to reach down and, if it’s not down, I feel the porcelain rim you probably peed on. Or, if I assume it’s up and reach for the seat to pull it down, I risk touching the yucky underside of the seat. In either case, I have to really scrub my hands when I finish.
Man: Which wouldn’t be a bad idea anyway. But, if you were thoughtful enough to lift it after you finish, I wouldn’t have to do the same thing as you. If I assumed you lifted it, when you didn’t, and proceeded to pee, I’d end up peeing all over the seat. Now that can be ugly. I’d have to go through a half-roll of TP just to wipe up the mess. You wouldn’t want me to use a wash cloth or towel, would you?
Woman: If you ever—just one time—went in to sit on the toilet in the dead of night and found yourself sitting in the water, well you’d never leave the seat up again!
Man: Sure I would! I’ve never had that happen because I make the assumption that it’s up. I always check to make sure the toilet seat is down before I sit. It’s just so much easier if you assume it’s up and always check. And, then, after you finish, lift it up. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask for.
The put the lid down argument is about as lame as the signs you find at all the gyms. “Make sure to wipe off equipment after use.” On the surface that seems to make sense. It helps to prevent the spread of germs. Except for the fact that many people (it always seems to be those who sweat the most) don’t wipe it down after they use it. You can’t keep an eye out for all the machines you’ll be using during your workout. Why not, instead, have a sign that reads “Make sure to wipe off equipment before you use it.” If you don’t, then you risk getting another’s germs.
But the important point, whether toilet seats or gym equipment, is this: due diligence is with the individual to take care of him/herself.
I’m neither proud nor ashamed that I leave the toilet seat up.
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