Walsh’s Wonderings — Peeing in the shower

Robert F. Walsh

Sometimes, even our closest friends can do heinous things. A few years ago, an old school pal came to stay with us for a few days. In casual conversation he let slip that he urinates in the shower. I can assure you our dinner talk does not normally revolve around the scatological, and I was suitably thrown by this turn. After a few uncomfortable moments, I asked him whether this particular habit traveled with him. He admitted that it often did.

That he urinated. In our shower. Where I go to get clean. Where I sing “Yellow Submarine” and scrub myself red.

Alarmingly, he is not alone. In the intervening years of therapy, I’ve asked trusted friends and family whether they indulged in this barbaric act. These were not gutter rats I was asking; they were people with respectable jobs. They were den mothers, members of the church choir, Belgians. In my informal poll, more than half admitted to committing this crime against humanity, many on a regular basis!

These people are in your showers, folks. Where you go to get clean. Your toes are likely swimming in urine whether you’re part of this excretory cabal or not.

How has this become a thing? It’s been my experience that most toilets are in walking distance of the shower. Evidently, the first rule of Urine Club is “Don’t Talk About Urine Club.” However, when asked why they’d indulged in this heresy, the overwhelming reason was convenience. As if walking to the john was some kind of marathon.

Others claimed it was actually more sanitary, that one could better sanitize oneself in the warm embrace of the shower. There are even people designing their bathrooms with toilets installed inside the shower stall — some come with a small sink where the lid of the tank would be.

To each their own; I’m not looking to design my bathroom as if I lived in an RV. However, this is really a question of guest etiquette. Do what you like in the privacy of your own home, but the social contract for guests is a delicate thing. Without ever saying it out loud, we all agree to a certain set of rules. We don’t rifle through our host’s underwear drawer; we don’t look at the browsing history of a borrowed computer; we don’t take the last brownie without putting on an act that we feel guilty. It’s what separates us from the animals.

This needs to be the hill we’ll fight for, folks. What’s next if we allow this blurring of the lines of acceptable behavior? Clothing-optional barbeques? Gluten-free pizza? The Mets winning the World Series?

No, we must do better. Protect your bathrooms, people! Ask around, because it’s best to know if beforehand if your guests plan on leaving landmines behind. Perhaps a subtle note on the pillow, or a letter from the Department of Health. This might not necessarily be a health hazard, but we’re only as sick as our secrets. Don’t defile my shower tile.

You can read more at RobertFWalsh.com, contact him at RobertFWalshMail@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @RobertFWalsh.

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