Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Leave the Toilet Seat Down

My most lasting memory of my first Hebrew class 25 years ago with Rabbi Amy Perlin had nothing to do with Hebrew, but rather reflected a story about her family, in which all children were daughters. The cardinal rule in their family was “leave the seat down”. I had never much thought about it, but this seemed like a courteous policy in any household where there were females of any age.

Twenty-five years later I find myself thinking about Amy Perlin every time I stumble into the bathroom in the middle of the night and occasionally find the seat up. There have been times when I was half asleep and was jarred into full alert by contact with the cold rim of the toilet bowl.

I must say that my husband is pretty good at this in general, especially upstairs. But did I teach my son this rule? I’m not sure if we ever talked about it.

The other reason to not only put the seat down, but to also close the toilet lid, is that the dogs have been known to take a drink from the open toilet. GROSS you say, but they obviously don’t care.

In deference to dogs and girls, if you are of the seat-lifting stand-up persuasion, please think of us the next time you flush. It really isn’t hard to put the seat down.


Blogger Kristin said...

I always put the lid down (at home). It's virtually the same act, takes little time and... Honestly, I don't know why I do it, but I appreciate a closed toilet.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I will gladly settle for just the part you sit on down and not the lid, although this doesn't fix the dog problem...

9:11 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I remember being really alarmed about that with the dog when I was a little kid - "Lady, No!" I think I thought she'd die of germs or something. She did eventually die of something (typical...) but happily not from our toilet.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Bengal said...

Having tried it both ways, I've come to question the judgment of my fellow males who lift the seat to urinate. I can sit down and take care of business. Or, I can lift the seat, aim carefully, miss anyway (especially if it's dark), clean up the mess I just made, then put the seat back down. Tell me, guys, which really is easier and faster?

10:34 AM  
Anonymous ImaginaryGirl said...

Happily, John is excellent about making sure the seat is down. That's why it is always a shock to me if I'm home when he has a particular group of malefriends over to play video games, drink beer, and generally be guys -- inevitably, the toilet seat is up every time I run to the bathroom those nights. It is a strong reminder that every one of those other guys is not married.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

Oh yes, the manual bidet in the middle of the night. I have experienced this many times!

4:33 PM  
Blogger soubriquet said...

An interesting idea... I wonder, if the Rabbi's children were, instead, all boys, whether you ladies would think it only courteous to leave the seat up?
As a man, I'm not concerned whether the seat is up or down, it takes a moment, almost no effort whatsoever to lift or lower it. Husbands, however learn at their peril that there is a preferred alignment.
Because my ex came up with the line that an open toilet was a horrible abomination and that dogs might drink from it, I started to put seat and lid down, only to be awoken by an outraged squeal in the middle of the night as, in the dark, she who must be obeyed, lowered her pink posterior onto the cold shiny lid...
"So...." I said "...It's not really about the dog, then?" She thumped me, lightly, in that middle of the night, I'm really cross with you, so don't try be a smart-arse, way.
"We don't have a dog!"

5:59 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I love all of your comments and I especially welcome the new "faces".

Paul -- It is funny that dogs are so unconcerned about these things that we worry about.

Bengal -- Having found both the upstairs seat and the downstairs seat up in the past 24 hours, I realized that the offender didn't really take me seriously. I proposed your idea, which I thought was quite sensible as you usually are, as a solution.

ImaginaryGirl -- Bravo to John and boo to his buddies. I guess you can't expect outsiders to abide by your wishes!

OL -- You obviously get this!

Soubriquet -- Interesting question. And yes, the idea when she told the story was that the majority should rule. That's a little tough in our house, which is 50-50 if you don't count the dogs. And therein lies the dilemma (without an 'n').

8:49 PM  

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