Monday, September 03, 2007

Hey Joel! Put it in the garage.

A very pretty urinal from Csiga Cafe, Budapest, Hungary. Photo credit: atmannI wanted to post a picture of my neighbor’s urinal—it’s in his garage and he added it when he built his custom-designed home. But I couldn’t quite bring myself to ask. “Hi, Pat. Happy Labor Day. How’s it going?”

“Yeah, I was wondering if I could take a picture of your urinal? . . . No, you don’t need to be in the picture . . . No, no, I don’t want an action shot . . . ” So, instead I show you a lovely urinal culled from the internet here.

But getting back to the point of the post. Recently the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed piece by Joel Stein who laments that perhaps his home value will diminish if he installs a urinal in his bathroom. He gives reasons why installing one is great
Toilet seat is always down
Decreased water use
Time-saving device
With opposing views from women he consulted that included
Urinals are found in large, impersonal institutions (think prisons)
Lidlessness is unsanitary
Urinals diminish the real estate value of the home
Here is a reason for putting one in. I recently attended a college graduation party that included both college-age kids (sorry, they’re kids to me) and members of the “parental generation” (relative to the college-age kids). A mean game of beer pong took place in the back yard with much beer consumed. While there were some young ladies, the ladies did not consume as much beer as the young men. As happens at cross-generational parties, the youngsters congregated outside to play beer pong, while we parental units huddled inside (watching an exciting Padres game on TV, as I recall).

And as the beer goes in, it must also come out. Many of the young men could not be bothered to enter to house (and walk nonchalantly past the leering adults) to use the bathroom. They found discreet (and as the night wore on, less and less discreet) corners of the garden to water the plants. Had they had access to a convenient urinal in the garage, I am sure they would have used it.

The garage is the perfect place for the urinal because the garage is the domain of the man. I don’t know if I really believe that. I do try to stay away from gender stereotypes, but as Joel pointed out, one of the complaints that women had with putting a urinal in the home bathroom was that a urinal is just too “aggressively male.” Unfair, he says. The house is already way too slanted towards the dominion of the woman. I agree. It is unfair. But, the garage has been the man’s domain: his tools, his car, his precious stuff from his previous life, and all his stuff that doesn’t go with the décor of the home.

My neighbor and his wife think that having the urinal in the garage is a great compromise. It’s great for beer pong. And so, Joel: put it in the garage!


Anonymous said...

Lots of appliances don't appear in American homes: bidets, and those amazing Japanese seats that wash and dry. Something to ponder, very briefly.

P.S., Beautiful beach photos a couple of weeks back.

Oswegan said...

I think you should ask him if you could photograph it.

Tell him you wrote a pee-ce on your blog about urinals.


Bob said...

Its time to end the sexism and put plumbing for men in our homes where it belongs. We live here too. Making men go out behind the barn or out to the garage is exceedingly misandrist. The indoor plumbing is not "hers." Men live here too. Deal with it.

Gail said...

I agree with you on that Bob. However, having a urinal in the garage (also perhaps) solves the original problem whereas having a urinal in the house does not. (The original problem being that the young men were too shy? self-conscious? drunk? to bother trotting inside to use the available plumbing.) Besides, if urinals in the house truly bring down a home's value (and I don't know if they do or not), then all the gender-neutral pontificating ain't gonna help when you go to sell the house. Thanks for your comments!