Not in the Greta Garbo way. I don’t want to live alone, cut off from society, holed up in my apartment with an inappropriate number of cats until a neighbor reports a “funny smell” emitting from my under my door. I just want to go to the bathroom, alone. Don’t worry, you can keep reading; this will not a) turn into gross bathroom humor or b) take an ugly turn into “too much information” territory.
I know mothers have complained about this for years. The second the bathroom door closes there’s a little one on the other side asking “what are you doing in there?” I don’t have children, but I do have a husband and a couple of dogs, and I always seem to have company when I try to “get away”.
I’m sure many of you have read about dogs’ belief in a secret door in the bathroom; you know the one that you might escape out of if they don’t follow you in and keep an eye on you while you’re doing your business? My dogs fully subscribe to this belief, as they do to the notion of multitasking. If the door is closed, they’ll scratch at it to get in to ensure that I don’t escape.
If the door is open (yeah, like you’ve never done that!), they’ll come in and visit and paw at me to be petted. I mean, after all, I’m just sitting there! I could be scratching them behind the ears. Total wasted opportunity to multitask.
The biggest problem lately has been my husband. I’m pretty sure he knows there’s no secret door in the bathroom, but he seems to have some sort of sixth sense about my being in there and sets about trying to find me in the house. Rarely do I not hear my name called out, followed by “where are you?” You’d think that an “I’m in the bathroom” would elicit the desired response of leaving me alone until I emerge. You’d be wrong.
You see, my husband often complains that I don’t pay attention when he talks to me. That’s not entirely true; I mostly pay attention, but he likes to talk (me less so), and sometimes his stories are long, and I find myself taking little mental trips, or multitasking in other ways like watching television, scanning a magazine, answering an email, etc. An hour later I’ll ask him a question and he’ll look at me with amazement and say “I just told you that an hour ago! You never listen to me!” Oops.
So my husband has cottoned on to the fact that when I’m in the bathroom, he has my full and undivided attention. No email, no TV (OK, sometimes there’s reading, but he can’t tell because the door’s closed), and he makes the most of it by engaging in some of our most important conversations where he really needs me “with him”, and not on a little mind vacation.
I have to be honest with you, this is not exactly how I pictured my marriage working; budget and family discussions through a bathroom door, but he seems to be happy with the results, so who am I to question? Our biggest problem now is the dogs cut the line in front of my husband, he’s thinking of installing a little ticket machine outside the bathroom door, with numbers like at the deli counter. First come, first served.