Shiny New Toilets

Sometimes it’s Friday…and we just need to talk toilets. So I’m posting a column which first appeared in November of last year and motivated more feedback from readers than I could have ever imagined.

Shiny New Toilets

Some of you did a lot of shopping last weekend. You proudly stood in lines and fought the crowds. Not me. A new TV for less than $100? No thanks. A cell phone for half price? I’ll pass. A computer for less than $500? Let the other guys stand in line to buy it. You see, I didn’t need to shop on Black Friday because I was still basking in the glow of our most recent purchase. Two bright and shiny new toilets.

I never dreamed a new toilet could make me so very happy. So downright giddy. Are you unhappy today, friend? Is Christmas shopping making you blue? If so, please consider this heartfelt recommendation. Go buy a new toilet. Don’t walk, run. It can be life-changing. This is our story.

We bought our house almost nine years ago. It was lovely. It is lovely. Sure, the hall bathroom still has burgundy striped wallpaper from the 80’s. But for the most part, it is incredibly wonderful. I never gave much thought to the toilets. Years passed. The hall toilet started to leak and needed to be replaced. That’s when we realized both toilets were probably original to the house which would make them more than twenty years old.

So I went toilet shopping. That’s when I knew I was a real grown-up. Only grown-ups buy new tires for the car, eat spinach salad, spend vacation money fixing the roof, or buy brand-new toilets. After I bought the toilets, I should have just driven straight to the funeral home to buy pre-arranged funeral plans. That’s how grown-up I felt.

Most of you know that I’m quite a frugal gal. But when it comes to toilets, I don’t compromise. Oh no. Go high-end or go home; that’s what I always say. I chose two fancy high-end high-rise American-made toilets in a lovely bisque color. If you haven’t bought a new toilet since Nixon was president, you’ll find that toilet technology has really turned a corner.

The friendly salesman explained that I could flush an entire bucket of golf balls down this incredibly capable toilet. Every rational person begins to ask the pivotal question. How often will I need to flush golf balls down this new toilet? Does anybody need to flush a bucket of golf balls down a toilet? No. But, surprisingly, I find a lot of comfort in knowing that I could.

I never realized how uncomfortable and low to the ground our old toilets were until the new high-rise ones were installed. I felt like singing the old theme song from the “The Jeffersons” TV show, “We’re movin’ on up…”

One of the secrets to a successful life is learning to find joy in small things. Living in the country has taught me to stop and smell the roses. I stand in awe of the deer that grace our front yard almost every morning. I relish the beautiful changing seasons. Sometimes I think my rural life can’t get any sweeter. But last week it did. I now have the ability to flush a whole bucket of golf balls down the toilet. I just hope I’m too grown-up to try it.

Refrigerator Rocket Science

I hope the refrigerator you own lasts forever or at least until you pass from this life to the next. If not, you’ll have to do what we did last week. Refrigerator shopping is not for the weak-minded.

My husband and I are practical. We have a washing machine because we want clean clothes. We have a dryer because I don’t want everyone on our country road to see my big-girl panties hanging on the line. We have a refrigerator because we don’t want our children to drink spoiled milk and get horribly sick and throw up all over the hall carpet because then we would have to replace the carpet. And I could never decide on a color.

I know I say it all the time in this column. But people have gone crazy. Stark ravin’ crazy. A friend recently got a new washing machine. I said, “Oh no! What happened to your old one?” I knew it must have leaked water all over the floor or set the house on fire or injured one of her children. I mean, that’s the only thing that would ever make me shell out the money for a new appliance.

“Nothing’s wrong with the old washing machine, Lisa. I just wanted a new red front-loading washing machine and dryer. And it’s wonderful. Really wonderful.”

I would like to share a word of wisdom with all readers everywhere. A baby is wonderful. A trip to the Grand Canyon is wonderful. A washing machine is a washing machine. If my clothes are clean, I will never replace my $295 washing machine. Ever. For the rest of my life. I mean, after I’m dead and gone, I hope it is washing the clothes of my great-grandchildren.

Shopping for a refrigerator in this current culture of stylish appliances was beyond challenging for me and my practical husband. The salesperson was enthusiastic which made things even worse. “So what kind of refrigerator are we looking for today?”

My reply was truthful, “Something to keep milk cold.”

She laughed. “Yes, but what kind of features did you want? Side-by-side? Top freezer? Shelf organizer? Life organizer? Aerodynamic lettuce crisper? Better gas mileage?”

Okay. So maybe she didn’t say the part about gas mileage. But it all became a blur. Where were the plain refrigerators that keep milk cold?

She spoke again, “Well, let’s start with color. Most people want these stainless steel models now. They’re very stylish.”

Stylish must be another word for “school cafeteria.” Stainless steel refrigerators remind me of a school cafeteria which reminds me of the year we had Chuckwagon sandwiches every Thursday. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t want to think about Chuckwagon sandwiches every morning at 6:00 when I pour orange juice.

“No, we don’t want stainless steel or white or black. We just want a soothing cream color which matches our counter tops.”

“Oh, that will be almost impossible to find now because most people want stainless steel or black.”

We learned a very important lesson the day we went refrigerator shopping. There are some things worth fighting for. A cream-colored refrigerator without an aerodynamic lettuce crisper is not one of those things.
Every morning I’m now greeted by the appliance version of Darth Vader. But I have very crisp lettuce. If only I cared.