Got a bad habit (or two) that’s putting your relationship in the toilet? There are a lot of transgressions that I can (and do) commit with varying regularity; lining the entire hallway with toolboxes and soon-to-be-installed housing components, leaving the occasional beer bottle(s) on the back porch, not putting my freshly-laundered duds away (hey, it’s WAY more convenient to just grab ‘em right off the dresser!), and neglecting to put the toilet seat down. Most of these will elicit an occasional exasperated spousal response (“Would you PLEASE bring in your damn beer bottles!), but mostly she just ignores the offense, or remedies it herself (thanks, honey!).
However, when Marc suggested this topic, I immediately suspected my wife had bribed him to do it. For some unfathomable reason, the toilet seat thing ranks unnaturally high on the list of transgressions most likely to piss off the lady of the house. Most guys, myself included, don’t get what the big deal is – if we walk into the bathroom and the seat is down, no problem: we lift it up, make some bubbles, and get on with our lives. If a female enters the same bathroom, however, and the seat is up, she is likely to perceive it as a grave personal insult, and YOU are likely to be asked why you continue to be such an insensitive, inconsiderate schmuck.
This makes no sense, of course; why can’t SHE be more considerate of YOUR needs, and leave the seat up? HAHAHA—just kidding! Like many other quirks of married life, it doesn’t HAVE to make sense; it’s just a fact of life. And in my quest for marital harmony (Happy wife, happy life), I try to remember to just put the damn seat down, and I get it right about 90% of the time. (Okay, maybe more like 70%). For those who just can’t remember the ritual, or are in need of mechanized assistance, here are some helpful tools to keep YOUR relationship out of the porcelain throne. A word of caution: the last one may be offensive to some (so either skip it, or scroll right down to it). As we get underway, though, here are some words of wisdom from the show Bones supporting the “toilet seat down” crowd:
I See The Light – But Barely
First things first – before you make any life-altering decisions on toilet seat positioning, first you have to find the toilet. Some folks just leave a night-light on in the bathroom, to guide them in for their wee-hours wee-wee; others can’t stand having even a tiny glimmer of light, lest it disturb their golden slumber. And no one wants to flip on a bright light in the middle of the night. Rather than having the lady of the house stumbling around in the dark and sitting down on a cold rim, or the man of the house taking aim where he THINKS the toilet is, the battery-operated LavNav is here to save the day (and your walls and floor, and possibly your relationship).
The LavNav clings tenaciously to the underside of the toilet seat lid with the 3M tape provided, and according to the manufacturer, it turns on when you approach in the dark, and turns off about two minutes after you leave, shining gentle yet sufficient light where you need it, when you need it. Better yet, the LavNav uses RED or GREEN light to cleverly show the position of the seat—green when the seat is down, red when the evil man of the house leaves it up, and it doesn’t blind you as you stagger back to bed. The vast majority purchasers of the LavNav on Amazon rated it highly, and said it was well worth the $40 price tag.
It sees you coming—the iTouchless Touch-Free Sensor Controlled Automatic Toilet Seat
Don’t want to mess with lifting the seat OR putting it back down? The iTouchless Automatic Seat has you (or your toilet, anyway) covered. According to the description, the lid cover will be lifted touch-free when you approach; wave one more time near the sensor to lift the toilet seat for use by men. The iTouchless will put both the lid and the toilet seat down automatically 15 seconds after you walk away. It got mixed reviews on Amazon; a couple of people said it worked fine, but a couple of others said it had issues, like closing too soon, both when you’re sitting on it (annoying) or standing in front of it (REALLY annoying, and messy). It includes an AC charger for the sensor. If you want to give it a try, Amazon has it for $128.
A Slam Dunk – Putting the toilet seat down SOFTLY
So you say you DO remember to put the seat down, but you get yelled at for not doing so in a gentle-enough fashion? Or perhaps the little man of the house enjoys slamming the seat down just because hey, it’s fun! You’re in luck. Salvation is available from several toilet seat makers, including the Whisper-Close line from Bemis.
According to Bemis, the WhisperClose feature works with just a tap, closing the lid slowly to prevent pinched fingers, and quietly to eliminate the annoying bang of the lid on the bowl. (Sorry, little man). The twist hinges make it easy to clean, and a special residential fastening system keeps the seat from loosening over time. Get a more peaceful throne room with the Bemis Whisper Close for about $35.
Potty Mouth – And Proud Of It
Enjoy verbal abuse? If so, when you finish your day’s customer service duties, the Potty Mouth will make you feel like you’re still right there in the thick of it. The Potty Mouth is a large red set of lips that adhere to the back of the toilet lid; thirty seconds after the lid is lifted, it belts out one of five heart-warming phrases like ”Why don’t we just remove the seat altogether so you don’t strain those petite little arms of yours” or “The only way you’ll ever be able to please a woman is to put the toilet seat down!” It might be worth the six bucks just to listen to the cutesy phrases a couple of times each, and then take it off and smash the crap out of it. Satisfy YOUR masochistic tendencies with the Potty Mouth at under $4 on Amazon.
A Friendly Tip…
If you prefer your verbal reminders to be somewhat less antagonistic, the TipAlert toilet seat alarm might be just the gentle jolt you need. Another product that has peel-and-stick adhesive to stick it to the back of the toilet lid, it has a light that flashes every 15 seconds, to alert your better half in case you callously ignore the warnings and leave the seat up anyway. The TipAlert keeps it simple by playing one of two messages—a wolf whistle with a sultry voice saying “down boy” and a southern belle cooing “So put the seat down, will ya!” If and when you comply, you’ll hear a tiny crowd cheering you from inside the device. The TipAlert comes with a non-replaceable battery that has a life expectancy of 450 play cycles (or until it “accidentally” gets knocked into the toilet). Around $10.
The Vinyl Solution to your “Number One” Problem
On a budget? Don’t wanna piddle around with batteries? The “Put Me Down” vinyl decal from Stickerciti is a great way to get your message across, while avoiding sticker shock. (Get it—Decal? Sticker? Sorry, never mind…). According to the product description, this is a die-cut decal, made of the “Highest Quality Engineering Grade 7 Years Outdoor Avery Vinyl,” which is good, because I refuse to splash on anything but the best. Out of 110 reviews on Amazon, 100 gave it 4 or 5 stars, saying it’s amusing, well-made, and mostly effective. Not bad, for $2.69 including shipping. And IF YOU ACT NOW, they even throw in a glow-in-the-dark switchplate decal! Get yours here.
Friendly Toilet Seat Reminder: The Ultimate Put-Down
To reiterate—the accompanying photo may cause you to get your mouth washed out with soap if you read it out loud. However, when polite requests, gentle persuasion, and novelty technology fail to achieve the desired results, it’s time to abandon subtlety and make a bold statement. The “Friendly Reminder” decal minces no words, and if the image it conjures up isn’t enough to convince the man of the house to put the seat the heck down (to paraphrase), nothing will. (Maybe you could supplement it with some chocolate sprinkles on his toothbrush…). It’s low-tech, easy to install, requires no batteries, and best of all, it’s only three bucks—a microscopic price to pay for household harmony. Get yours (along with an amusing description) from DudeIWantThat.com.
Hopefully one of the options above will enable you to take a stand, or a seat, and end the battle over putting the toilet seat down on the porcelain throne in YOUR kingdom.