Toilet-seat trials and tribulations…

Such a world we live in, a world of almost unlimited choice of ‘things’. Such a ‘free’ world where choosing which pair of socks to wear today, right now, takes on momentous proportions. In hindsight and memory, I can’t remember Anyu agonizing about which socks went with which of our shoes when she was readying us for the day. Maybe she was too much preoccupied with mental exercises involving what she might cook for our family for the rest of the week depending on what might be in stock at the various grocery stores. Perhaps choice of white, pink or striped socks for us didn’t register on her housewifely radar of ‘important things to be concerned about’.

I know. I sound like the stereotypical little old lady bemoaning the passing of the ‘good old days’. This is my version of “when I was young things were thus and such…”. Of course, all my life, I have been a prematurely old woman, whether at twenty, thirty, forty or fifty years of age, given my tendency to question the manner in which life in Canada has unfolded in my experience. This Canada, this ‘Xanadu’ to which foreingners from all over the world seek admission. This Canada of almost unlimited consumer choices – kiwi fruit the whole year round, strawberries out of season, exotic cheeses from all over the world, case-goods from everywhere – a sort of consumable material cornucopeia. Little did my parents think that this selection of available choices not only were of food, consumables, education, health care, transportation and housing but also of toilet seats.

 I have recently run afoul of the availability of choices and the weighty weighing of pros and cons before being able to purchace a replacement toilet seat for the only bathroom in our house. Naively, I assumed that replacing this worn out toilet seat was a simple matter of visiting the neighbourhood building supply store from whence came out toilet and its simple seat a mere five years ago. The old one died. It broke into four pieces as the plumber was pulling it up when we were replacing the bathroom floor lino. The replacement toilet was an American brand, made in Texas, fairly inexpensive and low-flushing. It was a ‘moped’ toilet, not a ‘Rolls Royce’ toilet and entirely appropriate for our downwardly mobile life. I mean we were not ever contemplating having royalty using our facilities. It functioned, and therefore we were rather pleased.

Th old toilet seat is in process of giving into the forces of entropy. So, Rumpole and I decided to zip down to the local RONA and buy a replacement. Easy, what? Nope, we were not so lucky. In the plumbing section and bathroom aisle we came upon a marvellous array of toilet designs. If Marcel Duchamps were alive today he would have a field day coming up with variations on a theme of his famous urinal – a veritable galery exhibition of things toilet. Wow! The choice was staggering. But, alas, in no dusty corner could we find our home toilet, nor any toilet seats that would fit it. If had become extinct, like the Dodo. The toilet seat varietals were amazing in their differences. But whatever happened to just a one-for-all type of seat. No such a thing.

Disgusted, we next drove to Home Depot. Before entering the football-stadium sized store we decided to give our quest exactly ten minutes. No luck here either. Only even more elaborate toilet sets to be had here. We left, defeated, and returned home.

On the way across the bridge, I expressed to Rumpole, “If I were Queen, or whatever leader, there would be standardization in toilets, cars, etc.,etc. There’s too damn much choice, or illusion of choice about unimportant things. And this obsolescence business makes us all sitting ducks to the guns and whims of fashion. Aaaargh!”

“Calm down, my commie-pinko love,” reassured Rumpole as he blended into a lane entering the bridge. “Once we’re home  you can grab a nice glass of wine and we’ll connect into E-bay. Maybe we’ll find the ‘seat of our dreams’. ”

Sure enough. Here we sat in front of the computer, me with my wine, Rumpole with his pen and paper. And, yes, we did find a limited number of our toilet seat on E-bay. We made the order and now await the package. It’s coming from a plumbing supply place in Utah.

One small consolation is that it’s not made of plastic or coming from China. I think when the new seat arrives, I’ll set Rumpole to making a home-made wooden seat with all the tools he has amassed in his workshop. It’ll keep him from being bored and off the streets.

15 Responses to “Toilet-seat trials and tribulations…”

  1. citrus Says:

    We have a nice new toilet seat in our new home. I’m not sure why,


  2. mariacristina Says:

    A wild romp through the vagaries of toilets! It’s ironic that in your quest to simplify you resort to the high-tech option of the internet. I love it when technology actually succeeds in making our lives easier.

    I dislike going to Home Depot. The trek from my car to some obscure aisle wears me out!

  3. tugster Says:

    i’ve a friend in new hampshire who carved his own, sitting on it periodically to check how it felt. i’m serious! and he lived alone, so presumably he would be the major consumer.

  4. Trish Scott Says:

    As a resident of Utah, I can truthfully say if it is outdated, you will find it here :).

  5. suburbanlife Says:

    Christine – damn that irony, anyway. Whenever we go to Home Depot i am completely fascinated, despite my attitudes toward the needless complexity in life, also exhausted. G

    Will – having had the benefit of experience of the variety of toilets, from the rudimentary to the sophisticated, there is something wonderfully homespun and comforting,about the idea of using a home-made toilet seat. My German half brother had something when he said to me, “You North Americans are so anal.” Witness our bathroom fetish. G

  6. suburbanlife Says:

    Trish – thanks for coming by! How funny, about Utah. But are you kidding me? G

  7. suburbanlife Says:

    Roger – It seems to be standard accepted practice to put all new mechanics into new houses. Although reusing clean workable items might seem to make more economic sense. It will take a paradigm shift to rework our societal attitudes to used things.
    I hope you and Jo Ann are both feeling better, and comfortable sinking new roots in your new home. G

  8. Trish Scott Says:

    Not kidding. Here in Kanab we still do cowboys and Indians and polygamists. Furthermore, there are 7 restaurants, 4 of which are Mexican. The nearest Home Depot, Wall Mart and Mall are 60 miles away. For those tired of a glut of consumer choices, Kanab is a good place to be. We only have a glut of natural riches like the Grand Canyon and several National Parks and Monuments :).

  9. Gloria, Writer Reading Says:

    I can’t imagine anything sadder than having to live without a proper toilet seat. It is the throne of civilization.

  10. Deborah Barlow Says:

    I enjoyed the thread your post created. I know Kanab well, and everything Trish has to say is true. Thanks for this, I was smiling through most of your account.

  11. suburbanlife Says:

    Trish – obviously you Utah foks do more than cowboys, Indians, polygamous mormons but also …outdated plumbing. Completely Quaint! I love Utah… it is so very beautiful if not weird. And Kanab is in a lovely spot, lucky you. G

    Deborah – glad to have invited these commenters along to make you smile today. I am hanging in anticipation of the UPS guy, who is supposed to arrive with our ‘seat of dreams’ this Friday. Of course, not thrilled about having to pay duty for the thing. Ah well….G

  12. ybonesy Says:

    I do find it amazing that toilet seats are not standardized. I also find it to be a universal sort of thing that we don’t ever replace toilet seats until they completely fail — crack, threaten your butt with a pinch every time you sit down, etc. We replace sofas, appliances, even knobs on bathroom cabinets. Why not toilet seats?? I guess because they are too darned hard to replace, is why.

    I think it’s wise, perhaps a bit unrealistic, but a good goal, to give yourself only ten minutes in Home Depot. It takes me 10 minutes to find an aisle in the vicinity of where I want to go, another 10 minutes to find a Home Depot worker to guide me to the right spot in the aisle. I have never done a 10-minute visit to Home Depot, although I’ve only been there a few times in my life. I leave that chore to Jim 8) .

  13. suburbanlife Says:

    ybonesy – it arrived yesterday morning and is a perfect fit!!!! Ya! So now Rumpole can get the clamps, saws, glues, chisels, rasps and wood organized and get going on our home-made seat. By the time he finishes it, the old one should be worn out. Hee! I think of this project as his ‘Sistine Chapel’ only in 3-D, with me as the female equivalent of the Pope harrassing him about when he will finally finish it. G

  14. tysdaddy Says:

    The frustration of it all is part of growing old. I know that when I buy something, I expect it to work for a while, and that should the time come to replace it, then I don’t want to have to travel all over God’s green earth to find it.

    Recently, my wife and I bought a new set of living room furniture. It was easy the first time around, almost fifteen years ago! This time, it took the better part of a day. I was wore out and just wanted to get it over with.

    Yep, I’m getting old too.


  15. Vanni B Says:

    I replaced the toilet seat at our cottage when we bought it a few years ago… come to think of it, I replaced the ones in our house when we bought it in 1991. Hmmm… interesting.

    BTW, I’ve been dropping by but haven’t left comments. Thanks for all your insights and kind thoughts on my blog. Hugs.

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