Tahlequah Daily Press

January 21, 2013

Bathroom is a man’s domain, so it has to have a TV

Managing Editor

TAHLEQUAH — A friend told me the other day her husband had bought her a wine refrigerator, which she put in her bedroom. She said that was the only place she could find a spot for it.

I suspect she wanted it just a few steps from her bed, so after she imbibed, she’d have a convenient place to pass out. Or maybe she’s stopped getting out of bed at all, and simply reaches for a bottle and enjoys it with her husband’s 50-inch plasma screen.

A wine fridge is a weird thing to have in a bedroom, but I’ve heard of things farther out on the fringe. Our house is so full of clutter I’m surprised the producers of “Hoarders” haven’t been beating our door down. They probably would if they could get to the door without navigating through all the junk my husband has dragged up into the  yard.

Our bedroom has also become sort of a storage area for things we can’t find a home for, though the wine fridge is downstairs near the bar where it’s supposed to be. We have an industrial sewing machine that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I can sew, but even if I had the time to do so, I’d stick with my antique portable Singer. A turn on that other behemoth would be kind of like using a chainsaw when a butter knife would suffice.

Several years ago, my collection of books on various religions – including Gnostic texts, apocryphal literature and pseudepigraphal Jewish books – outgrew the “study.” This is a pretentious title for a room dominated by my husband’s desk, drafting table, and trade books. My husband put up several shelves in our bedroom, which still doesn’t offer enough space to house my books – especially since several of my son’s retired toys took up residence there. These are former playthings he can’t bear to part with, but his own room is jammed to the ceiling with junk. I’ve tried going in there a few times, but always back out when suicidal thoughts begin to intrude.

We also have a TV in our bedroom. I seriously doubt any bedroom where a man dozes for any length of time is without a TV. Notice that earlier I said the TV in my friend’s bedroom belongs to her husband. I don’t know of many marriages in which the TV is considered the wife’s property – and even if the TV is hers, the remote is most assuredly his.

TVs are standard equipment in bedrooms these days, and they’re making inroads into bathrooms. Most TVs are also husband-owned and operated, since the bathroom is the man’s domain. It’s no use calling me sexist. How many women do you know who read on the toilet? And even if they do choose to enlighten themselves in that fashion, it’s typically a very brief respite. A man, on the other hand, can easily devote a half-hour or more to this combination of bodily function and leisurely pastime.

When I was at OU, I knew a guy who was a real trend-setter. He and his roommate lived in a house with two bedrooms and two full baths, and the bathrooms were enormous. My friend’s potty-room had a well-stocked bookshelf, an even better-stocked extra-large dorm fridge, and a 21-inch color TV. On one occasion when I visited, I couldn’t resist peeking in the fridge. It contained the requisite bottles of beer, a loaf of bread, cheese slices, some lunchmeat, and several boxes of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. On top of everything else, there was a wall phone – presumably so he could chat with friends while simultaneously gorging himself, amusing himself, and relieving himself.

Other items in prominent view were an oversized trash can; tons of medication, including several tubes of hemorrhoid cream; and a huge package containing a dozen rolls of toilet paper. I had never seen this much TP in one package, because there were no Sam’s in those days. There was also a set of scales, which my friend tipped at about 300 pounds.

This may not yet be the typical man’s bathroom, but one day, it will be. As for bathrooms primarily used by women? I haven’t seen one in years, but I’d be willing to bet they’re still populated with bottles of perfume, tubes of old lipstick and dried-out mascara, and a can of air freshener, which these days has probably been replaced by one of those Scentsy things.

Unless the woman is like me. Our bathroom has a dozen little baskets of various shapes, all filled to the brim with miniature shampoo, conditioner and lotion bottles, and small cakes of soap, that I’ve picked up in hotel rooms over the years. Most of these will never be used, so I can’t explain why I collect them. Or maybe I can. Refer to the previous comment about the producers of “Hoarders”...

Kim Poindexter is managing editor of the Tahlequah Daily Press.