Saturday, May 13, 2023

Can We Live with Only One Bathroom?

My wife and I are thinking about moving to the eastern part of the state. We’ve been scouring the real estate websites, and during the last month or so we’ve visited and toured a number of potential new homes. By the way, have you ever noticed that when someone uses the phrase “...a number of…”, it pretty much has no meaning? For example, if a person says, “I was accepted by a number of Ivy League colleges,” it means they were accepted by anywhere from zero to eight Ivy League colleges. (Because if I remember correctly when I attended a non-Ivy League college, they taught us that zero is a number.)
So, when I say my wife and I visited a number of potential new homes, it could mean we visited zero, or it could mean we visited and toured, say, 14,000 places. The actual number is much closer to zero (but not actually zero). However, the whole process is so exhausting, it feels like it is much closer to 14,000. 

We visited one place in a rural town that was very intriguing. It’s a brand new complex and the units are gorgeous. The last time I moved into a brand new home, I was three years old, and I really wasn’t paying close attention at the time. Every other place I’ve lived, and every other house my wife and I have purchased during the past four decades, was definitely not new. Each place had previous occupants, sometimes many, and each place had a number of maintenance issues that needed to be dealt with. (In this case, when I say “...a number of maintenance issues…”, I do not mean zero. With the very first house we ever bought, back in 1984, the number of maintenance issues was much closer to 14,000.)  

The brand new place we toured has one significant drawback: it only has one bathroom. Now, I know for a fact that I can live in a place with only one bathroom. After all, I did it the whole time I was growing up. That brand new house I moved into when I was three was a tiny three-bedroom ranch with no basement or attic, and it had only one bathroom. By the time my two younger brothers came along, there were a total of seven of us living in that small house with that one bathroom. And we got along just fine. Of course, there were times when my brothers and I had to visit the wooded area right behind our house. Let’s just say that after a while, the bark on some of those trees had an odd yellowish hue. 
However, despite the impressive adaptability I displayed as a youth, the fact is, for the last 30-plus years, we have lived in homes with multiple bathrooms. And I kind of suspect that one of the keys to a long and happy marriage is having separate bathrooms. I’m not sure if we’re ready to go back to the arrangement we had in numerous apartments when we first got married. (By the way, the word “numerous” never means zero.)

My wife says it could work if I agree to make one significant change: I can no longer bring my smartphone into the bathroom with me. After all, it’s a bathroom, not an internet cafe where you spend 30 minutes catching up on all the latest news.

I’m not sure this arrangement will work out, because I suspect there might be a number of times when I forget all about the “no smartphone” rule. In this case, the phrase “...a number of…” is much closer to 14,000. 

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