As a young girl, the bathroom meant a lot to me. As a thriving guidette in the 80’s and 90’s – the bathroom mirror was imperative to my social success.
I needed to be strategic in my timing, as to ensure that I could get into the bathroom in the morning and lock the door, so that my brother and father were denied access for an indefinite period of time.
There was a lot to do! The obvious bathroom activities of showering and using the toilet, but there was much more. I needed to use my Stridex pads! I needed to put my Covergirl powder on and my Kissing Koolers! And most importantly, I needed to do my hair! I crimped and curled and hairsprayed my way to popularity.
My hair was the key to success.
Lord forbid, my brother got in the bathroom before me and locked ME out. There would be hell to pay.
My father told me that when he went to sell his house, when I was 26 years old, the realtor asked him to change the bathroom door before listing the house, as there were so many dents from where I had kicked the door over and over again, wanting to get in.
In middle school and highschool the bathroom was a tawdry world where you would add hairspray to your hair, add makeup to your face and gossip and be mean to other girls…
Off I went to college, and the bathroom was just as important but a little scarier. Armed with a Caboodle filled with my shampoo and conditioner, I would flop down the hallway of my college dorm in my “shower shoes” to the communal bathroom.
It was very important to wear shoes in the shower, to avoid fungus and bacteria. It was also important to keep your toiletries in your own little “caboodle” as to avoid people stealing and using your items.
Now that I think about it – it was similar to prison in a way.
My junior and senior years of college, I lived in a dorm with ten girls. This is when you had to really watch your stuff. This is when we all shared one bathroom and shower and we chose
studying drinking beer making-out with boys pretending a hero bread was a person smoking a cigarette….
As a result, the shower was no longer pleasurable. It became a fungus and hair-ball ridden nightmare. Our Bath and Body Works loofahs turned black and our shower shoes couldn’t protect us from the walls or the water-spout.
Our parents would come to visit and refuse to even pee in the toilet because it was just so unpleasant.
Life went on, and when I got married and lived in a small apartment with just one small bathroom, things became difficult. If I went to the bathroom when Mr. Gaga was home – he would be mere inches away if I dared to relieve myself. At first, I asked him to go for a walk if I had to go to the bathroom, because knowing he was there was too stressful. In time, my bodily functions adjusted themselves to accommodate a schedule when he wasn’t home.
We bought a house, and things got easier. We had one and a half baths which was perfect for two people who worked crazy hours and were hardly ever home.
I filled the shower with luxurious products and shampoos. I enjoyed long hot showers, after being at the gym or a long day of work.
Life was great.
I got pregnant.
I had a baby.
The bathroom…and the shower…
Hot water running down my misshapen body, my bloody nipples, my ripped-apart-by-childbirth vagina, my swollen ankles….was just heaven.
If only it wasn’t sooo hard to get in there.
Mr. Gaga left for work each morning, and I found that I even had a hard time just urinating throughout my long horrifying day of motherhood. Going number 2 was out of the question!! There was no time!!!
I would wait all day for Mr. Gaga to come home, covered in baby vomit, breastmilk, poop and my tears…and the absolute highlight of my life was getting into the shower.
There I was safe. I was alone. I was warm and clean.
A hidden feature of the shower was that the noise of the water drowned out my sobs of desperation.
This shower…it was my new heaven. The bar had been lowered.
As the baby grew I became pregnant with another, and then once I had two babies, my whole life became a shit-show. An occasional friend would stop by and find me filthy surrounded by screaming babies and would try to help.
But the help was rare. With less help, and more desperation, I became daring. I would put one child down for a nap and put the other in a bouncy seat, next to the shower while I bathed.
This type of bathing could only be compared to what you see in the movies, when prisoners run to the shower filled with fear and quickly rub a bar of soap across their nether-regions. You don’t even have time for the water to get hot – you have two seconds of frantic splashing and then you turn the water off. It’s not even remotely enjoyable. You are in a living hell.
One cannot enjoy the bathing, because at any given moment,
the devil a mentally ill criminal your child will interrupt with crying and ruin your day and quite possibly your life.
Before I knew it – that horrible time of having babies and infants was over. My nipples and vagina healed. I started to catch up on my sleep. But the bathroom was slowly turning from my safe haven into something that looked and felt more like my college bathroom from ten years previous.
Potty training began and the children were prone to pissing all over everything in the house, except the toilet. Full toilet paper rolls were often found floating in the toilet and no matter how much I scrubbed and cleaned, after daily abuse, the grout held onto the smell of urine.
Bathing or even just washing my face, entailed pushing step stools, bath toys and bath magnets out of my way.
The bathroom was theirs. I was a mere disgruntled visitor that was now just in a zombie-like state, trying desperately to be clean.
They grew out of this stage. I threw out the step stool and the moldy bath toys. Hair gel and deodorant took the place of Desitin and bubble bath.
Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, I found myself sharing a bathroom with essentially 3 men. At the ages of 9 and 10, the boys started taking long leisurely showers, and when I locked the door to enjoy a 5 minute shower, they would inevitably pound on the door, asking when I would be coming out.
I was so confused how this had happened to me.
When I was young – I had dreamed of being a fancy adult that bathed luxuriously, listening to music and enjoying life.
This was not my path.
The path has been foggy for me. There have been times of happy showers and not-so-happy showers. I think I have paid my dues. I told Mr. Gaga, this summer, it was time for me, once and for all, to enjoy bathing.
So we added a master bathroom. It was a rough go, living through the construction of it all…and the fact that I am bad at home design didn’t help. The fact that apparently a bathroom costs 5 million dollars, didn’t help.
But last week…it was complete.
I cannot possibly put into words the heavenly joy that I have derived from this development.
I chose a very sleek black tile.
The darkness of the shower is wonderful, sometimes I feel like I am in a luxurious spa and sometimes I feel like I am in a maximum security prison….either way – it’s an improvement from what my real life is.
I need to just look down at my sparkly shower floor to feel a surge of luxury.
My bedroom door has a new lock.
My new bathroom door has a new lock.
That means that even if they are pounding on the first door and calling my name…
I can’t hear them.
I’m busy. I have 40 years of mirror gazing, bathing, hair-doing, make-up applying and selfie taking to catch up on….
NOBODY EVER TOLD ME TO ENJOY MY PRE-CHILDREN BATHING!!! XO, LADY GOO GOO GAGA