Excuse Me, Is this Seat Taken?

Facebook is filled with recommendation requests. Contractors, dentists, lobster bisques, Fingerlings. I’m a repeat offender when it comes to crowdsourcing such recommendations.

But you can’t crowdsource a toilet. As much as I need to talk toilets these days — a purchase that’s in our near future — it’s hardly the kind of conversation your mother will allow at the table, let alone approve of on social media. #iraisedyoubetterthanthat

It’s not the sort of thing that comes up in conversation.

It’s not the sort of thing you can do a widespread poll on.

It’s not the sort of thing you can wait for someone else to ask and then simply “follow” the thread.

But these are big decisions. And I’m not talking toilet color — though, that decision alone is inappropriately extensive.

photo credit: plumbingsupply.com
Lavatory hue aside, let’s get down to brass tacks (a painful addition to anyone’s lav).

Comfort height vs. standard height. Elongated vs. round. Exposed vs. concealed vs. skirted trapway.

Now, even if recommendations were for the asking, these aren’t exactly the types of decisions someone else can make for you. Yes, perhaps someone could weigh in on the trapway issue. (I’ve been dreaming of an easy-to-clean toilet exterior for years. But the price tag begs for attention.) But when it comes to height and seat shape, such are not factors to leave to a friend.

I will say, Lowes has a nice display at floor level, so one *could* even give the height and shape a try. But if even one could push past the awkwardness of such a trial (and hope to not be recognized as the girl in search of elbow grease), it still doesn’t do real-life justice to the issues at hand.

Am I left to covertly visit friends’ homes in search of adequate toilet trials? Is this the limit to my crowdsourcing ways? Are toilet purchases left to a shot in the dark? I doubt stores have 30-day return policies on toilets that didn’t make the cut.

I’ve got some time before the big toilet purchase. If you see me headed to the loo with a measuring tape in hand, kindly look the other way. I need to know what I like and why I like it.

Some decisions are worth the awkward, risky, difficult and vulnerable conversations, actions, and time. Some decisions deserve as much deliberation as you’re willing to give them. Some situations are worth whatever it takes.

Conflict is far from my favorite thing. I want to say it sucks, but I don’t know if that’s proper dinner-table-language either. #imtwofortwo But avoiding conflict only makes it all worse. It strips relationships of boundaries, depth, growth, and connectedness. It leaves someone giving in and being inauthentic and someone else wielding unearned power. It enables. It serves no one.

Facing conflict means putting yourself — your real self — out where it’s uncomfortable, awkward, and risky. It means saying things you’d rather keep hidden. It means asking questions you might rather not know the answers to. It means hearing another perspective you haven’t yet taken. It takes patience. It takes humility. And it takes commitment.

I’m toilet shopping these days. Not because I love toilets. But because toilets are a necessary part of life. And sometimes you just need to say what’s unsaid, ask what’s unasked, and discovered what’s unknown. For the good of what matters. Be it a relationship that’s worth keeping and strengthening. Be it a situation that’s worth resolving. Or be it a toilet that’s worth using.

When conflict looms and you want nothing more than to run away, keep in mind that some short-term awkwardness can provide for long-term comfort.

So, tell me, comfort/chair or standard height? Round or elongated? I’m not about to flush money down the drain.

13 thoughts on “Excuse Me, Is this Seat Taken?

  1. Definitely elongated comfort level. This from the woman whose sweet husband redid two toilets and I can’t reach the floor when I sit. Just saying.

  2. Love, LOVE this post!
    Elongated. Height depends on user’s height. But I will say, after a long hard run or bike ride, the less I need to use my legs muscles to stand back up, the better 😂.

  3. I laughed all the way through this and loved the application you drew from it. 😃

  4. I laughed all the way through this and love the application you drew from it! :))))

    1. Sorry you got the message so many times! I was having trouble posting it and I guess they actually all went through! 😯

      1. No problem!! I don’t think you are the only one who has trouble with wordpress (the site my blog is hosted on) comments! thanks for persevering and commenting!

  5. I love this, Amy! We’ve been through this a few times and you’re right–it’s a shot in the dark! Love the meaning behind this, though, that avoiding conflict rarely solves anything. Thanks for the great post! 🙂

    1. Ashley, thanks for commenting! It’s totally a shot in the dark! Wish it didn’t feel like such a leap of faith! Ahhhh! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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