I’ve begun this year obsessed with clearing out the clutter in my home. I have a 4 story townhouse which I purchased thinking I would rent out the loft – a large bedroom with it’s own bathroom, spectacular light and a pretty view. When I first moved in I let my 16 year old move into that space, because, well essentially, I’m an idiot. He took over the top floor and the basement – a walk out basement with a patio space and several storage spaces. Do I need to spell out what happened?
Within 2 months both spaces were cluttered and beginning to show the signs of teenage wear. Should I describe teenage boy wear? How do I explain what happens to the walls around his bed, which I can’t really, because ewwww – what is that? & how does it get there??? It sort of looks like boogies smeared all over the wall, the quilt, the sheets, but it might be normal teenage boys fluids, which would be fine, if it wasn’t smeared all over the walls. &, lest you think he is the only one, he is not. He’s my 3rd and trust me-if you put a boys bed near a wall……well just don”t. You will regret it.
& the bathroom? Have you ever watched teenage boys pee? I’ve raised 3, so I’ve witnessed, in real life, how this works. They stand at the toilet, sort of pointing their weenie in the direction of the toilet while staring out the window, or flexing their muscles in the mirror, or texting and checking snap chat. God forbid they get distracted. One time I watched one of my sons turn his whole body when he heard me coming up the stairs. And what’s attached to his whole body?? His weenie. He didn’t stop peeing when he turned, he just turned so that he was peeing all over the bathroom floor. “Sorry mom” he said, as he swung back towards the toilet, over correcting and spraying the back wall, before finally getting back to the actual toilet. By this time though he was pretty much done peeing. The entire bathroom was soaked in urine and, seeing the wrath taking over my body he quickly got to cleaning. Well, sort of. As soon as I walked away, so did he. A week later I had to take a chisel to the dried urine on the wall board. And yes, I know, I should have made him clean it, he would have learned his lesson, blah, blah blah. Here’s the truth: I did make my boys clean the bathrooms. In fact, at the same time they were potty training they were learning to clean the toilet, the walls around the toilet and the bathroom floor – because I knew what was coming. Sure enough at least 3 times a week I’d walk into a bathroom and, after nearly passing out from the all-consuming smell of urine, I’d look around to see that the walls and the floor were yellow (interesting that the toilet rarely was) and I’d start jumping and down screaming God Damn It – Get Your Lazy Asses Up Here and Clean This Shit Up. They would run into the bathroom full of apologies and remorse, and get to cleaning and, as soon as I turned my back, they’d be back on their phones or, worse, starting to pee all over the walls again. The point being – if you want it cleaned up right, you are on your own.
Speaking of which, at my yoga studio, the men’s room often smells terrible. Through out the past year, each employee has at one time or another complained that opening the door to the men’s room is so noxious it is only a matter of time before someone passes out; well, some female passes out – men can’t smell urine (true fact – not really, but only valid excuse I can come up with). Worried that we all might get sick because of backed up plumbing, I did what a good facility manager does – I hit up google. My kids laugh at how I google, but I’m very successful in my searches, because I type in a whole sentence, which gives me, if not what I’m looking for, keywords to continue searching. In this instance I typed in “why does the men’s room smell like urine”. Damn people. Try the search when you get a chance. The result is gross. Apparently, men don’t really flush urinals. Here is what most men will tell you –
the aren’t aware that they have to flush it, which is hard to believe because they stand there staring at the flushing handle while peeing. In their defense, having watched my sons pee, I know that they aren’t really looking straight ahead in a responsible, mature manner like shown on TV or the movies. They are actually looking all round the room, checking their cell phone, swiveling their hips, practicing the floss dance……..everything except looking at the flush handle Right In Front Of Them.
I know the men who make this excuse, because I’ve raised them. To be 100% clear, they absolutely know they are supposed to flush. When they don’t do so, and when you ask them why, they will look you in the eye and innocently say “oh, I’m supposed to flush that? No one ever told me that” which is probably true because who teaches a boy to use a urinal? A bigger boy, possibly an older brother, maybe their father, but the point being – a boy who also doesn’t flush the urinal.
Apparently, someone got to the truth of the matter – (I wish I could meet this person cause major props for getting a boy to talk honestly about his bathroom habits, right?) The real reason they don’t flush is because they are afraid the urine will splatter back onto them. Which is really confusing because when they look around and end up peeing all over the wall, well, isn’t there a good chance that this pee will splatter back on them? Like, bounce off the wall and fly back at them? I think that’s what happens when you do something like, say, power wash something. Part of that water sprays back at you and you end up sort of, well, actually really, really wet. So when you think about the whole thing the only excuse you can honestly give to why boys don’t flush urinals is that boys don’t clean urinals. And boys are gross.
Speaking of which, if you ever raise or enter a home with boys and have to use the toilet, please Look before you sit down. At any point in time there are 3 possibilities when faced with a bathroom in a house filled with boys:
1 – Most likely, the seat is up. I know, minor annoyance, right? True, until you are 8 months pregnant and have to pee at 3 in the morning and actually fall into the toilet. Try getting out of that situation, because you kind of get sucked down, or I guess sink down because you’re pretty fat and, if you haven’t been working out your arms aren’t quite up to the job of pushing hard enough to break the suction and push your excessive mass upwards to get out of the toilet. Not that I would know about that….. And as aside, I was once told by my now-ex “I think women should have to put the seat back up for us”, which is a whole other blog, and perhaps explains both my divorce and the problems I’ve had with boys in my bathrooms.
2 – Also highly likely, the toilet seat is down but covered in urine. Why Guys??? Just, why? It’s like – why do you just walk away after a massive dump, knowing full well the toilet probably needs at least 2, possibly 3 flushes? How long does it really take to wait and check to make sure the toilet is empty? It can’t take longer than the time you spend washing your hands, right? Wait……..You Are washing your hands, aren’t you??? The point being – check before you sit down, unless you enjoy pulling your pants up onto a wet butt because you just sat on a ring of pee.
3 – Not likely, but possible – every thing is okay. This usually happens when a woman has been in the bathroom before you. Of course, you have no way of knowing if a woman has been in there unless you ask, which might be kind of weird. Do you say to your host “hey, have you been in your bathroom recently or am I likely to fall in or sit on a ring of pee if I don’t check”. Ask if you want, and if you ask me, I will answer honestly – “I have no idea what’s happening in there. Good Luck”. Other hostesses might not be as honest. They might have pride so….
All of which brings me back to my plan for January, which was to clear out the clutter. As I started to do this I thought “gee, let me check the loft to see how much clutter is up there”. I won’t go into detail except to say my son has been moved out of the loft and I’ve hired a hazard crew to clean it. In addition, every time I think about rearranging the room he is in now so that his bed is against the wall i throw up in my mouth a little bit.
As of now, I’m writing this blog while basking in the clutter in my bedroom because at least it isn’t a bio-hazard.
Happy New Year!