The Throne

Let’s talk about the state of the house. The ranch house, that is. The one we’ve owned for 19 month and haven’t slept in, for one, single night. It’s ridiculous, I know but there’s a reason we haven’t slept in it. It has no interior walls, no heat and most importantly, NO TOILET. Of course the toilet issue was rather recent. For the first 18 months, the house had a disgustingly moldy but functioning toilet. Then a couple of weeks ago, we decided to move the hall bathroom to a new location, between the kids rooms and turn the area that was the hall bathroom into a closet. I think we’ve already touched upon the reason why- the issue with the bathtub not fitting in the master bathroom. Moving the hall bathroom is just fallout from the rearranging that was done to accommodate the bathtub in its new location. You know how these chain of event things go: a butterfly flaps it’s wings in New York…

You see? There it is. The new hall bathroom. I know, it looks less than impressive right now but just you wait until we have walls (and a functioning toilet.) We had to buy new toilets and they are sitting in their boxes in their respective bathrooms, waiting for us to find time to install them.

Can we pause for a moment to discuss how nerve-wracking it is to buy a new toilet? First off, they are not especially cheap. Well, I suppose you can get one that’s cheap-ish but it’s also one of those items that you really, really want to work, each and every time you use it. No one wants to suffer that awful moment when you realize the toilet isn’t flushing all the way and now the water is approaching the edge of the toilet, so all you can do is grab your nice towels (the new ones you bought at Costco that are so fluffy and soft) and put them on the floor to soak up your poo water. Since there’s no way you’re leaving this seeping mess to its own devices, you have to bellow for your husband to bring the plunger but when he tries to come in, you slam the door on him and demand that he hand you the plunger through the crack in the door because some things are still sacred, even after five years together. You struggle with the plunger for 10 minutes, splashing more murky brown water around the bathroom, but still, no flush. The bathroom is considered bio-hazard, at this point and finally, you have to admit to yourself that there is no way you’re spindly little arms are going to be able to plunge through this mess. Finally you relent and call in your husband who is clearly horrified but you remind him that it would be best not to say anything about this, lest you have to blog about the time, long before you were dating, that you saw him covered in sewage, while attempting to fix a broken septic pipe. It takes him all of 45 seconds to undo the clogged toilet and he leaves, presumably to rinse himself with bleach. You of course will spend the next two hours trying to figure out how best to clean the towels, until finally, you throw them away and depart for Costco, to buy more, all the time wishing you have spent the extra $75 on the toilet that your dad recommended.

Because of this, I got on Consumer Reports to research toilets. Previously, when Dave and I were at one of those big box stores, we took a  moment to sit upon the thrones and test them out. The first thing I noticed is that the taller toilets were more comfortable. I decided right then and there that we too, would have a tall toilet. As it turns out, tall toilets are actually ADA compliant toilets, so extra bonus! This may be an important factor in my comfort  later in life, when I’m gored by a goat and become wheelchair bound. Other than that, I didn’t have much of an opinion on toilets. Apparently, there are other features. There are toilets that conserve water by flushing a little for “liquid waste” and a lot for “solid waste.” I didn’t see an option for nuclear waste. Those of you with small children who have entered that stage in their young lives, in which they enjoy flushing toys, should take note of toilets with a powerful flush assist, feature. Some of those are so powerful, they cause a change of air pressure, like the lavatory toilets on airplanes. Then there is the ever popular debate on which seat shape is best, rounded or elongated. rounded saves space, according to those in the know (and who an I to disagree) but elongated is usually more comfortable. Of course, seat shape is very much a personal choice and a matter of taste.

After all of that, we chose the Consumer Reports best buy, a Gerber Avalanche, which was fourth on the list but still ranking in the “excellent” category. It was also considerably cheaper than the Kohlers that were ranked above it. Then we discovered the next problem. You’ve heard of Kohler but have you heard of Gerber? No, we hadn’t either. Nor had most of the internet and all of the box stores. There is one single distributor in the whole area, Slakey Brothers in Salinas. Slakey Bros didn’t have the toilets but they ordered them for us. All in all, a very nice experience, which made me feel slightly less nervous about ordering what might be the SINGLE most important appliance in our entire house.

On a side note, I would like to extend a big thanks to Detective Paranoid for continuing to pay for his online, Consumer Report account. He gave me his password years ago and I have been using his account ever since. I don’t know what I would do if he canceled his account, since I use it for every major and most minor purchases. I you think I’m nuts about getting the right toilet, you should have seen me when we wanted to get a camera for Sarah. Talk about pressure!

Stick around. There are some more tomato ratings coming up this week. Now is the time to start thinking about what you want to plant so you can order your rare seeds in time for February!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Moo on November 7, 2011 at 18:07

    We got a new location for the bathroom in the hallway: Good news.
    My bedroom got smaller: Bad news
    Linen closet: Good news
    Love you!


  2. You craaack me up!!! I have the visual of the whole toilet over flowage…been there, done that. Congrats on your fancy new potties. 🙂


  3. Posted by Amethyst on November 10, 2011 at 10:51

    You know, you get over that shyness so fast when you buy a house that basically doesn’t have a master bathroom door when you’re only 2.5 years into the marriage. Just sayin’


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