It's not about the house.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

We're All Mad Here

We have a window in our shower. See?

Old houses do this, and I've never understood the reasoning. Best I can figure is it probably has something to do with ventilation, before there was any such thing as exhaust fans. But even so, you can't open it while you're bollocky-bare and soaking wet, except for maybe two months of the year. Plus, if you don't hang a plastic shower-curtain over it, the whole window frame rots out (I know, because it happened in the apartment we rented before we bought the AssVac; we didn't own that damn apartment, so we didn't care). And it's not like there were any such thing as plastic shower curtains in 1914.

Or 1913.

See, the deed -- and the assessor, and every other official person and paper I've ever seen -- says that this house was built in 1914, but Johnny insists "somebody at the pub" told him otherwise. I don't know how anybody at the pub could possibly remember (the oldest fella there is in his '70s, after all), but Johnny always believes pub-knowledge over, oh, say, actual fact. I've gotten to the point where I don't argue. '13, '14, what the christly difference does it make?

Either way, the AssVac is definitely older than the wee green house next door. So although the original owners did have to deal with a mildewed ceiling and rotted window in the bathroom, at least they didn't have to worry about neighbors peeping at them when they were in their nude.

Like we do.

Howdy, neighbor!

But I'm kidding. Really. Alice (that's the lady in the wee green house next door) would never peep. She's in her '70s herself (but no, she's not the pub-regular I mentioned), and she lives there all alone. I don't think I've ever seen that -- or any -- window in her house when the blinds weren't closed up tight.

But you never know what might be accidentally visible. Alice's blind is always drawn, and 75% of the time we've got the window-curtain pulled (I open it sometimes in the summer, to get some fresh air in the bathroom for a change), but when it's dark outside and the lights are on in the bathroom, you never know what sort of image might get through.

It's not that I'm over-shy. Someday I'll write a post entitled Public Places I Have Peed. But I wouldn't want poor Alice to be going to bed (or something; I've no idea what room that window opens to) and be subjected to even the slotted, gauzy outline of my fat, white, naked ass. Even the hazy knowledge that a vaguely humanoid shape walked in, dropped trou, and subsequently sank to sub-windowsill levels, well, even that is more than poor old Alice needs to know.

So when I go in at night to sink beneath the window, I make double-sure that all curtains are closed:

There might still be hazy shapes involved, I've no idea. But, absent boarding up the window (which couldn't possibly be good for mildewed ceilings), three curtains are the best that I can do.

And yet...

We have two bathrooms, the other one of which in en suite in my bedroom, so the only times I use this one after dark are the times Johnny and I hang out together. Watching "Big Bang" in the living room. Drinking beer at the kitchen table. Watching "Dearg Doom" (again) on Youtube at my desk.

Oh, heck. Here:

And on the evenings we pursue this frivolity, I'm always surprised to walk in the bog and have to pull the curtain closed. I do it every time. I just did it, didn't I? I'm drinking beer, for crying out loud! I swear to you, I just did it, seven and a half minutes ago. And yet there the goddamn curtain is, wide open.

Now, I can understand Johnny -- or anyone -- not being as obsessive as I am about protecting Alice. I can see not remembering, or bothering, to pull the curtain closed. But to pull it open? What the hell reason could there possibly be for that?

Generally speaking, though, when you're drinking beer and watching "Dearg Doom," you're in the middle of a sentence when you realize that you have to pee. By the time you're zipped and dried and ready to return, the question on your lips is not usually "What have you been doing with the shower curtains?" but "What was it I was saying when I left?"

Finally, though, recently, I remembered. We were in the kitchen at the time. I'd only had a couple beers, and I was reading Bill Bryson out loud to Johnny while he--

Oh, hey, not for nothing, but have you heard they're making a movie of A Walk in the Woods? Yeah. It's supposed to star ... wait for it ... Robert Redford. Now, when Bryson took that fabled walk he would have been 45. Robert Redford just turned 73 (and the film's still in development). I love Bob -- and Bill -- but by the time the one can play the other in a movie, the one will have been pushing daisies for a while.

(That's okay, though, because Bob's also producing, and it's apparently been in development since 2005. When he signed on back then, he said he hoped he could convince Paul Newman to play Katz. And if you don't understand how that could have been the long-awaited, up-till-then impossible sequel to Butch & Sundance, well, then you're just going to have to read the book.)

Anyway, what was it I was saying when I left? Oh.

I was only a little drunk that evening when I bookmarked Bryson to go pee, so when I came back I remembered to ask.

"Johnny?" I said. "When I go in to use the bathroom, I make sure to pull the shower curtain closed. But every time that I've gone back in, I've had to pull the damn thing closed again. What's up with that?"

He hemmed and hawed a little, sheepishly.

"Yeah," he said. "I pull it open."

"Why, though? I mean, do you want Alice to see your junk?"

"Jaysus, no! What's wrong with you, woman?"

"Well, what, then? I close it for privacy. What could possibly drive you to throw it open?"


"I'm sorry. What?"

"I have to make sure nobody's in there!"

That's right. Apparently my husband has a Psycho complex with the shower, even when he's just having a wee.


As to the question of how anybody could get in without our knowing, in the seven minutes since I pulled the curtain closed...

Go ask Alice.


Ladyscot said...

I'm with Johnny. If I enter a bathroom and the curtain is pulled shut, I have to at least take a peek! Don't know why, as I would probably die of fright if somebody actually jumped out at me as I peeked. Of course, I'm not as bad as Johnny as I don't do it in my own bathroom (then again, I don't close the curtain all the way!). Uh oh...

12ontheinside said...

I'm with both of you. I'd have to check the curtains, then also close them all. Then probably check them again after I finish. Also, I am pleased I am not the only fool with a window in the shower. Only mine actually opens right onto the street. Yeah, convenient.

Robert said...

That last sentence sort of snuck up on me. You're rather clever, ya know?

HPH said...

But you don't Float

su said...

I too liked "Just ask Alice."
And "at Maine", I don't even have a bathroom curtain on the window. I just have a valence. No neighbors live between me and the brook and then still a bit on the other with plenty of woods in between. Guests are sometimes sqeemish though so I do have a temporary fix for the occasional queezy guest.

Charlie said...

I'm with Johnny - sorta. I refuse to open the mirrored medicine cabinet at night when I am home alone; because if you open the mirrored door, when you close it the serial killer will be right behind you!

ege said...

Lady -- Hi! Boo! I never heard of this before, but obviously he's not the only one...

12 -- Sheesh, dude, if you've got both of our obsessions, then you are fucked. Right onto the street, though? What floor do you live on?

Robert -- Hi! Thanks! That is her actual name, though, so I can't really take credit for it. It just suggested itself. If I'd pretended her name was Alice just to make the joke, well, then I'd be nine kinds of clever. Now, I'm eight.

HPH -- I love you. You know I do. But I don't get it. Float?

Su -- Yeah, but that "no neighbors" thing is a pretty crucial point. Also your window's not actually in the shower. I win!

Charlie -- Seriously, don't tell him this. Or else he may never wear deodorant again.

DonnaStaf said...

That is hilarious! My sons John and Tony do the SAME thing in the downstairs bathroom. I hear the curtain get whipped open whenever they go in there. Thanks for the lol!

HPH said...

Oops, my error. I read the title to be "We're All Mad Down Here". And you are referring to the possibility of things lurking behind the shower curtain. Creepy things. Like that Clown. The one that says "We All Float Down Here".

Damn that Down.
Damn that Clown.

Jenni said...

Robert Redford? Really? Weird. I could see it maybe 20 years ago.

jen said...

Oh my gosh. That is freeking hilarious. I actually laught out loud when I got to the Little Script. My gramma said "what??" I have now got to go figure out how to condense this story.

ege said...

Donna -- What is it with all these boys and their boogiemen? Bogeymen? Monsters.

HPH -- Oh, I get It now. Get it? It? Oh, I am eight kinds of clever, amn't I?

Jenni -- Yeah, that's what we thought. Plus also, not for nothing, but Bill Bryson tends to be entertaining, whereas Robert Redford's last few movies whispered this horse right to sleep.

jen -- Hey! Everybody! Jen's back! Everybody! Say hi to Jen's gramma! Hi, Jen's Gramma!