The Bathroom Fraud

July 14, 2012 | My Jottings

Right before Michael and I dropped off to sleep last night, I remarked to him, “We’ve slept in our new house 43 nights now.”

“Wow,” he said, then he turned over, and his soft, back-of-the-throat snoring began.

You know you’re getting really, truly old, when a little shiver of happiness goes through you each and every Friday night because you know you’ll get to sleep until 7:00 a.m. the next morning. This is what happens to me now, and I’m going to just go with it and enjoy it, rather than bemoan the fact that my life is rather small.

What makes a “big” life anyway? Travel? A super-powered job? Fame? A large, active family? Being crazy-busy and over-committed? I’m not sure. I do feel like our lives are slowly being pared down into something small, and there are times when that brings some melancholy thoughts. Most of the time I just take those thoughts right to the Lord. I think it’s fine and normal to have them, especially if you’re me, and I tell Him about them (as if He doesn’t already know) and begin to thank Him for all the ways I see Him in this whittled down life, and then a peaceful blanket of joy and wonder often settles over me.

But I digress. I am going to talk to you today about what a Bathroom Fraud I am.

First, I’ll start out by showing you a picture of the kind of bathroom I would probably design for myself if we were having a house built or remodeled.

I have always loved a deep claw foot tub to soak in.

I’ve never owned a claw foot tub, however. I like how old-fashioned they look. In the bathroom I design I would choose a pedestal sink, white cabinetry, and a pale, classic color on the walls. I would have white towels and fresh flowers, perhaps some wainscoting halfway up the walls.

I like the way some decorators manage to make things look old-fashioned with a modern twist. I like the bathroom pictured to the right.

If I were designing my own bathroom, the kind of decor I would never choose would be the ultra-modern, upscale hotel-type, super-chic bathroom with all the latest bathroom bells and whistles.

That is just not me. I like nice things, but I don’t have to have them. Mostly I just want things to be clean and orderly. We lived in a house for 25 years that was by no means fancy, but after Michael was done with it, it was a blessed refuge I cherished, and it had wavy floors and walls out of plumb and lots of old house issues. But I loved it.

Whenever we’ve watched HGTV and seen the bathroom makeovers that are said to have a “spa” feel, I can appreciate the craftsmanship and the design, but I’ve never been attracted to that modern look. Old and traditional has always whispered my name.

Well.

If you’ve read my blog these last months you know that we moved recently. You know that we tried to sell our previous home and it didn’t sell for months. You know that it finally sold when it was off the market. You know that the buyers weren’t keen on giving us time to find a new house, didn’t seem to appreciate that with Foster care, you don’t just set sail toward the horizon and hope that an island will eventually appear. You might remember that we asked our buyers to give us two weeks to find a suitable house, and they reluctantly gave us five days. You might even recall that when their offer on our previous house was about to die on Saturday morning, we had looked at houses all week and found nothing. We even looked at the one we eventually bought and ruled it out, because it was a little more expensive than we wanted, and every room had a very modern vibe to it, which I could admire, but didn’t want to live in. You’ll remember that we looked at that modern house again on Friday night, trying to see it through a new set of lenses, since we were down to the wire. And that we put in a low offer, it was accepted, and we had entered into a purchase agreement just in time.

As we packed up our old house and prepared to move on May 31st, I often thought about the things in this new house that I love, and eagerly anticipated each one. The lack of stairs, especially for Michael. The view of Lake Superior. The finished basement. The huge master bedroom that I knew would be a refuge for us.

But each time I thought about our new home’s master bathroom, I had to stifle a laugh. Because it is so modern and spa-like and “over the top,” I wondered how I would ever feel comfortable in it. I am a simple woman who comes from hardy Midwestern stock (Missouri and Kansas), even though I grew up in Southern California. Refined and elegant I am not.

When we moved in and I first used this room which is attached to our master bedroom, I felt like a poser. A fraud.

Yes, I am a Bathroom Fraud.

No claw foot tub here. The tub is an infinity tub (have you heard of infinity swimming pools?), so you can fill it all the way up to the edge if you want a deep, soaking bath with only your eyes sticking out like an alligator in a swamp. If the water sloshes over the edge a little, no prob. Click on the photos to enlarge them if you like, and you can see the little trough around the tub which catches any overflow and prevents it from spilling on the very modern black slate floor.

No pedestal sink here. These are stainless steel vessel sinks, set on a thick glass counter that is softly lit at night so when we stumble to the bathroom in the “wee” morning hours, we can find our way.

The ultra modern, strange looking toilet is in a separate small room; you can just see the door at the right beyond the tub. The toilet has two buttons. One is to save water and gives a half flush. The other is a full flush. I should probably have never mentioned the differences to my grands, because now when they come over, the little ones come running and say, “Grandma, which button do I press if I go pee?” and so on. They just can’t remember which is which.  :)

I like old-fashioned looking faucets. Our new faucets stick right out of the huge mirrored wall behind the vessel sinks. Can you see them?

At the far end of the room is a black towel, hanging over a towel warmer. I told Michael in a dismissive snort, “I will never use that towel warmer.” He promptly replied, “I will.”

Just above the black towel on the towel warmer is an opaque sheet of glass. Just beyond that is the biggest shower I have ever been in. I feel like I’m back at Traweek Junior High School on the first day of P.E. (in SoCal we called it Physical Education, here in the Midwest they call it Gym Class).

There are tiny turquoise, aqua, light grey and white tiles everywhere in the bathroom, including the walls and the ceiling of the shower.

Guess what Michael’s favorite feature of the bathroom is?

The shower head as big as a pizza pan, that makes you feel like you’re standing under a tropical waterfall when you’re taking a shower.

Guess what my favorite part of the bathroom is?

The multi-colored lights that you can turn on when you’re taking a nice, soaking bath!

Uh, no. I’m kidding. These lights change slowly from pink to purple to green to blue to yellow. So if you take a bubble bath, then just below the frothy surface you can see a mild psychedelic light show going on.

If you take a bath without bubbles and turn on the multi-colored lights, then you can enjoy the singular experience of seeing your cellulite in bright and cheery colors as you’ve never imagined it before. Neon, multi-colored cellulite. Who says my life is small?

Now, guess how this super deep tub with a zillion air jets is filled? If you look back at the pictures you can see there is no noticeable spigot (although there is a hand-held sprayer at the right of the tub for washing your hair.)

Imagine our slack jaws when we first turned the handle on the wall and this happened:

A stream of water the diameter of a garden hose flows from the ceiling. Without splashing all over the place. What I will say about this is that the grandkids love it. “Can we take a tubby?” is one of the first things they say when they come to visit now.

Do you see the electrical outlet and the cable hookup above the towels in the photo above? The previous owner had a flat screen television mounted there. I don’t think I’ll be following suit. That would make me even more of a Bathroom Fraud than I already am.

I have an aqua colored shirt that I wear when I go into our new aqua colored bathroom. Who could have known how fortuitously foresighted my catalog purchase was years ago?

At one end of the bathroom is the shower. On the opposite end is our closet.

Neither Michael or I are what you would call fashion conscious. I used to be someone who liked clothes a lot, but now I try not to pay attention to them too much. It’s my way of being an ostrich about my surplus poundage. If I don’t try on and buy a lot of clothes, don’t have to look at myself in a mirror that much, then I don’t need to address the issue, right? Isn’t that how it’s done? I do have some clothes, but just getting on the subject makes me start to break out in hives just a bit, so I’ll just move on to the next photos.

When we toured this house the first time and saw this closet, I laughed. “Well, I guess our eight shirts would fit in here!” I said with a touch of sarcasm. Then we bought the house and even though we’re not clothes people, I could see that we had more than eight shirts. This is Michael’s side of the closet below, but those are my shoes. We use the upper shelves (which go all the way to the ceiling) for extra blankets and doodads.

And this is part of my side of the closet, and I used the upper shelf for things I used to store in bookcases.

Michael is always telling me he needs a new jacket, a new spring windbreaker, a new hoodie, a new down-filled winter coat. Now I have photographic documentation in the photo below that proves he is set quite nicely for coats and jackets for the next century or so.

We no longer have a guest bedroom, so I used some of the shelves to store the guest linens until we figure out if we’re ever going to transform our huge attic into a guest suite.

This closet is the size of a small room. We have an inflatable queen-sized mattress we use for guests, and when the grandchildren come over, they think it’s the biggest treat ever to sleep on that mattress in Grandpa and Grandma’s closet!

Even though just being in our master bathroom still seems to me like we’re visiting someplace, I’m starting to be less startled by it. The tub I thought was a little too over the top, has now become the nicest tub I’ve ever bathed in, and it feels like a gift.

Thank you for stopping by today and taking this little tour with me.

You know how when you have something you want to share, you say things like, “Hey Christy, come on over and sit with me on our deck and have some fresh lemonade.” or “Carey, would you like to come over to sit by the fire and have some tea and scones”?

Now I’ve taken to saying to friends and family, “Why don’t you come over sometime soon and take a bath?”

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Comments

  1. Dorothy Sooter says:

    Wow. I love it. Our bathroom in Morro Bay was big. I loved my
    soaking baths. Our bathrooms now are quite small and I like the
    fact that they are so easy to clean.

  2. Just Julie says:

    Yes, I always have appreciated a small bathroom floor that can be washed in just a few minutes, Dorothy. I remember your Morro Bay house and loved it. Sending love to you today….

  3. Su lee says:

    If you set up a massage table in the closet and had Sara give backrubs you could call it “Julie’s Day Spa” and I’d be right over!:)

  4. Just Julie says:

    A massage table in the closet…hmmmm. That is a pretty great idea that I hope I’ll be able to get out of my head Su! Sara grinned when I told her what you just wrote….

  5. Larry says:

    When you get a little older, it is coming and then you to will have to try and remember which button to push on the modern flusher

  6. Just Julie says:

    Gah! Heaven forbid, Lar! :)

  7. Ganeida says:

    All the bells & whistles, eh? The problem with that is that when one is in no position to retreat one feels exposed as well as naked. I should never be able to relax in that bathroom. Bit like my Dearest who is so spooked by my mother’s germ free bathrooms [yes, she has more than one in a house built for just one person:)] that he is chronically unable to use her bathroom! Now me…well I had the bright idea of combining the bathroom & laundry ~ having visions of everyone just dropping their soiled clothing in the machine so that all I had to do was put in some powder & push a button….. You’re right; it doesn’t work like that. :( After a week like last where it rained every day just finding the shower is an adventure worthy of Indiana Jones.

  8. Just Julie says:

    You said what I should have said, Ganeida – I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to relax in a bathroom like this. I think it has helped knowing that it IS my bathroom and I am going to have to like it and use it now. So it’s feeling better to me. Lots of rain for you, eh? We’ve had hot and humid weather for days on end now. That could present an Indiana Jones scenario too. Thinking of you and praying for yours….xxoo

  9. Ember says:

    The kind of bathrooms I really dislike are the ones with cracked tiles, rotting window frames and mouldy grout. Yours looks ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. Clean and peaceful and calm, nothing jazzy or busy. That looks like a good place to relax. :0)

  10. Just Julie says:

    I dislike the rotting, cracking, mouldy bathrooms too! We had one once for a short time. Then Michael tore it apart and redid everything. Thank you for blessing me with your words about our new bathroom, dear Ember…xxoo

  11. Kay in UK says:

    Your bathroom – WOW! We’re hoping to give our bathroom a major overhaul next year, but if we put in a bath that big, there would be no room for anything else! In fact, because we need to have a walk-in shower for Alan, we can’t fit any size bath in our bathroom.
    I’m with you on the sort of bathroom I’d choose. While I’m so very impressed with your new, fabulous bathroom, my idea of an ideal room is the same as the one in your top picture.
    Just a thought – little Louisa will be able to learn to swim in your new bath!
    I saw a programme on BBC 2 last night (called Q.I.) and it seems that Britain has the smallest homes in Europe. And when we were shown a chart – well, it looks like American homes are four times the size of British homes! That seems even more believable after seeing the size of your closet – it looks like the same size as our Louisa’s bedroom.
    Still, I’m not complaining. Less house means less housework, right?!
    On a different note, thankyou for your comments about a slow, pared-down life and the melancholia that sometimes rears its ugly head. Your thoughts were such a help to me today and you made me smile. Bless you so much.
    Love to you and Michael. xxoo

  12. Just Julie says:

    The littlest grands already sort of “paddle around” in that tub, Kay, so when Louisa does I’ll remember this conversation. :) Thank you for your gracious words, dear Kay….you and Alan are such blessings to us. xxoo

  13. Helen in Switzerland says:

    Hehehehehe….you made me smile….I love the lights in the bath! Now that’s what I call decadence!!!

  14. Just Julie says:

    Decadence – I suppose there are many words to describe those lights, Helen! Decadent, weird, extraneous, frivolous, unique, memorable….the list could go on and on! Have a wonderful week…can’t wait to stop in and see your quilt progress. That Lime Fizz one is breathtaking Helen!

  15. Patty says:

    Wow…that is all.

  16. Just Julie says:

    ;)

  17. Tauni says:

    Since, next to me, my husband’s favorite thing is taking a bath, when I show him this post he will be joining me for my visit I am sure!!! We are going to be redoing our bathroom in the not too distant future (I hope anyway) and I will definitely be looking for one of those tubs ~ he fills it to the brim every night. I would enjoy it too!! Thanks so much for sharing Julie ~

  18. Just Julie says:

    Michael and I would love it if Curt would come with you Tauni! Something to think and pray about…. xxoo

  19. Curt Aikin says:

    I love Art Deco and you have captured my imagination. Infinity Take Me Away!!! Thank you so much Julie for showing me this tub because I had contemplated replacing our tub with on I used to bath in when I was a child visiting my grandparents in Iowa. And to this day I still believe it was 10 feet deep cuz I had to use a step stool to get into it! One last question, can we get the psychedelic light show as the water pours from the ceiling?

  20. Just Julie says:

    Isn’t it funny what we remember from our time with our grandparents, Curt? That’s a neat memory you have – you may need a step stool with our tub! I’ll see what I can do about ensuring the light show when the water comes out of the ceiling. :) Hug your wife for me, okay?

  21. Shari C. says:

    Wow, Julie!!! All I can say is ENJOY!!! Life is short…so take a long bath : )

  22. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Shari….I have been enjoying a long bath now and then, sans flashing lights. :) xxoo

  23. Shari C. says:

    Yeah, I’d go for candles over flashing lights, too :)

  24. Just Julie says:

    Those I have! I light candles in my house every day, Shari. Hopefully the kind I use are mild enough for this. :O God bless you Shari….

  25. Marcia says:

    Wow! That is an amaaazing bathroom! I can imagine grandkids just watching the tub fill, and fill, and …!

    I live in a ramshackle Victorian hotel building with countless faults. But one of the things I truly appreciate about it is the ridiculously deep clawfoot that about-as-tall-and-big-as-Julie ol’ me happily sinks into regularly! That said, I’d bathe in your tubby anyday, Julie!

  26. Just Julie says:

    Marcia – I love it when you stop by here. Well then we’ll have to do a tub trade. Next time I’m in SoCal…. :) God bless your weekend….

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