i imagine i've announced this before but an odd life claim i can make is i've never, in almost five decades of life, lived in a house with more than one bathroom, even today. growing up, being an only child, only three people had to juggle bathroom time. now we have five people who have to dance in and out of the space. with three of those people being young children, or women who have given birth three times, or a man whose bladder is the size of a dixie cup, you can imagine how frenetic the dance is. but as with all things family, we have adapted to our life sharing one water closet *.
i won't get into the intracacies of what this life looks like aside from saying there is a lot of sharing. this has always worked well for our family (i could even argue is something that has made us stronger and closer). but marty just learned of a possible external side-effect of our close-knit ways. two summers ago, marty's family had a mass get together to celebrate her mothers 80th birthday. when i say mass-scale i mean to say we had to rent a house to accommodate 35 humans. one of those 35 humans was a nephew's newly minted fiance. babies aside, she was the newest member of this assortment and was still adjusting to the culture shock of joining a family that could field both sides of a football game, with backups.
to combat this she did what a lot of us did when we first found ourselves in the chaotic social swirl that is a waiter-fest--she spent a lot of time in the bathroom. it is the only true escape. this girl who is now married to our nephew and just had their first baby told marty of something that happened on this group vacation. she was in the bathroom, this time actually using the facilities, when there was a knock on the door, as she called out that the room was occupied, the door swung open. it was one of our boys (she can't recall which as she had just been introduced to 33 people).
as the child entered the room, she quickly stood and pulled her pants up and announced that she was almost done. to this proclamation the child said, "that's ok, i don't mind". fully flustered she turned to wash her hands and as she was doing so the child turned to the toilet to start using the restroom himself. she washed faster. but not fast enough. she tried to avert her eyes as the boy got his aim right and started jet-washing the porcelein. she managed to wash, dry and exit the room before the boy's stream was fully done. thirty seconds longer and she may have gotten to share faucet water with the foreign child.
after she told the story to marty someone else listening said, "oh, they did the push-knock" which we're told is the technique people who openly share bathrooms routinely employ. in this method you're not really asking if you can come it as much as you are announcing that you are coming in.
and to complicate matters, our bathroom door doesn't even latch. well, that's only kinda true. it can latch but if it does you will be locked in there and someone in the family is going to have to go down to the basement to get some tools to get you out. there have been times we've had company where i've heard them fighting with the door to get it to latch. just hearing this struggle makes me get up from my chair and get my tools because i know i'm about to be called to get our guest out of the bathroom.
* it is worth noting that our toilet is our home's original, and our home is almost 100 years old which means this wall-mounted behemoth has handled a whole lot of business over the last 10 decades.