The other day my wife and I entered into a discussion prompted by me leaving the pantry door wide-open for the umpteenth time. Shortly after my obvious neglect, she walked by the gaping portal, stopped dead in her tracks, then turned toward me.
“May I ask you something? Is there any particular reason why you seem unable to close the door when you’re finished in the pantry?”
I briefly turned away from the NFL game of the week, smiled and replied, “Must be the same as not lowering the toilet seat, honey.”
The glare on her face told me that I’d probably stepped beyond the boundaries of acceptable husband-like behavior. Although my wife is not a difficult person, there are some simple tasks that, when routinely ignored, tend to upset her apple cart.
Attempting to add some levity to the situation I said, “It must be a genetic thing.” Then I pushed the envelope. “And what’s the big deal anyway?”
With that inquiry, my wife’s nose crinkled. Her brows arched above narrowed eyelids, as if lightning bolts might leap out and strike me on the head.
I quickly realized that my last remark had blasted the conversation toward a Pandora’s Box that folks––me in particular––just shouldn’t explore. But what the heck, my favorite team was losing. I was in a feisty mood.
My wife’s chastising expanded to include all males. “Why is it so difficult for men to lower the toilet seat after urinating? Are guys that feeble or are they just plain inconsiderate?”
I considered a witty comeback, but thought better of it. Instead, I sat back and analyzed the toilet seat dilemma. Perhaps that’s why men’s public restrooms always have urinals instead of only sit-down toilets––no seats. What if it’s the use of urinals that inspired males to initiate the nasty seat-up habit in the first place? Wouldn’t it be ironic if a woman had designed urinals?
And what about women? If a woman left the seat up in the ladies’ restroom, would the next occupant turn her in? Was there a code of toilet seat ethics among women that carried a penalty for that neglect? Then again, why would she raise the seat?
While my wife waited for a response, I reflected on my seats-up or seats-down ponderings. I had to admit that when women required a toilet, they always needed the seat down to fulfill either of their missions. In that respect, perhaps the request for men to lower the seat was reasonable.
On the other hand, why should men be the sacrificial lamb? Why should the male gender be the only ones who had to mess with the seat to pee? How was that fair?
I also considered that––except for public restrooms––most toilet seats have lids. Why would a person buy a toilet seat with a lid if the lid was never going to be used as intended? Why should women think it’s okay for them to leave the seat down but the lid up? Who wants to look at a puddle of water, in a porcelain throne every time they enter the bathroom––especially if the previous occupant left evidence of their visit? How is that being courteous?
With my thoughts collected on the toilet seat debate, I presented my case.
Based upon my wife’s wide-eyed and speechless reaction, I considered her response as a good sign. Apparently, she’d not only she heard what I said, but also found validity in my statements.
I concluded with a shot toward diplomacy by also offering a solution. “Why not have men and women lower the seat and the lid when they complete their bodily functions? That way we both have to raise something to get started and lower something when we’re finished. That way we consistently approach toilet seats with equality, which is what most women want anyway, right?”
My wife offered a subtle nod, then left the room.
By the time we’d resolved one of America’s––perhaps the world’s––greatest issues, my favorite football team had lost their game. Guess it just wasn’t their year for greatness. Regardless, I felt as though I’d gained a small victory.
I’m still not certain why I related toilet seats to the open pantry, but since that conversation––except when in use––both the pantry door and the toilet seat and lid remain in their desired positions. But I also have to wonder whether both the pantry door and the toilet seat combo aren’t possessed, because there are times when they seem to open or raise on their own. That has to be the case, because neither my wife nor I would ever commit either of those sins again.