Yesterday, I came across an article stating that taking your tablets, smart phones and laptops into the bathroom while you do your **ahem** business has become quite common. While perched on their porcelain throne, people catch up on news and email; watch YouTube, and play electronic games. (Flinging those Angry Birds has a different subtle meaning now… eh?) It’s America’s secret habit: “everybody” does it, but in shame and subterfuge.
Before I go further, I have been known to take a book to the loo. But I don’t usually spend enough time in there to really get much reading done. So that practice ended a long time ago. Is this an affliction for the chronically constipated? (I don’t judge; I just ask.)
But I do know quite a few people who regularly take their electronics into the lavatory with them… constipated or not. They spend a good 20-30 minutes on the toilet, reading while eliminating. Some don’t even try to hide their habit… they assume everybody else does it too. One family I know proudly leaves a set of magazines in the guest bathroom for visitors. At an airport once (I think it was in Phoenix), I found that newspapers were nicely placed in the stalls for travelers to peruse. Televisions (with remotes next to the “seat”) have become fixtures in posh restaurant bathrooms. Really. Must we be entertained 24 hours a day?!?!???
I must say, Americans have become a disgusting group of people. (Eastern cultures, not so much. Although Western type toilets exist in Asia now, most of the world still uses a hole in the ground to git er’done… bringing your laptop in with you while squatting will be a true balancing act, I’m sure.)
But even with my confession above, I am a true germ-o-phobe, so books in the bathroom, while a nice idea, would have never turned into a habit. My thinking is: bacteria and germs thrive on moist places in the house. And with standing water in the bathroom toilet, well, that’s where they’re going to live. Every time you flush your toilet (even if you put the lid down… which I always do), polluted water vapor rises quickly through the air… landing on your pretty towels, bath rugs… and your toothbrush. Ew. Yes, the restroom (even mine) is disgusting to me.
I particularly hate using public restrooms (where there are no toilet covers and you’re exposed to other people’s crap, literally.) Until recently, I also avoided using the bathroom in other people’s homes unless it was an emergency – because I know my cleanliness habits, and they’re extreme. My toilet gets cleaned twice a week. Toilet scrubbers are sterilized weekly. My toothbrush lives in the medicine cabinet, and only comes out when it’s time to clean the ol’ chompers. Even the toothbrush gets soaked in vinegar once a week. In fact, when I buy a new house, I hope to find one with a Hollywood Bathroom. (I.e., where the bathroom sink and toilet are in different rooms.) In the interim, I don’t expect others to clean their toilet area as much as I do… it is true OCD. I expect you to judge me because I judge myself… that girl ain’t right(!)
(Now that I’m getting older though, when the old bladder has to go… well… I have to go. I don’t have the choice anymore of where and when to use the WC. Say it with me now: “Doubel-ve-se.”)
In the end, I don’t want to spend any more time in the bathroom than I need to, so the appeal of wasting time on the toilet doesn’t make sense to me. My laptop and IPhone will be always waiting for me afterwards. But you guys do what you gotta do… many people find the bathroom a place of sanctuary and privacy, so I kinda, sorta understand why you want to take all your toys in with you. Everybody has to do it… so you might as well make it fun. If you can. And I can’t.
Addendum: I (accidentally) sneezed all over my computer screen yesterday… So I’m no better than any of you. I assure you, the antibacterial wipes came out in droves.