>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
December 4, 2005

Junior year was a glorious year. It was the first year I actually had my own bathroom. Of course by “mine” I mean “my three roommates and I.” But for the first time in two years the number of persons using the same facility as me had gone from hundreds of randoms to four (plus the occasional over night visitor), so as far as I was concerned, I had reached the holy grail of porcelain.

Perhaps the greatest part of the bathroom is the counter top. To students from he city, that counter top is a prime piece of property. What's sadder than that is that your dorm room bathroom is actually bigger than the one you have at home, because everyone who grew up in a big city knows that a traditional Brownstone bathroom is so small it can only hold six permanent fixtures in it: a tub, a sink, a toilet, a towel rack, a radiator, and a door (if privacy is what you desire) that can only be shut if you're standing in the tub. So when you first see that counter top you get kind of choked up. Now there's finally a secure place to put your hair dryer—no more constant fretting that it's going to fall in the toilet while you're using your curling iron, electrocuting you before you get to formal.

“The only thing I thought about as my dry feet squished into the wet towel was, ‘Please, please, please, let this be a washcloth soaked in water and not vomit like last time.'”

My DePaul friends who have their apartments in what I believe is the greatest location in the entire United States of America, Lincoln Park, have no counters in their bathrooms. That's where Target comes into play. They have shelving for over the toilet, under the sink, on the wall, over the shower nozzle, and that one piece of metal shelving crap that attaches itself between the tub and the ceiling. And it's only in a woman's bathroom that you will see all of their soap containers on display like that. In a guy's bathroom you'll see a toothbrush spooning with a disposable razor next to the sink, and a towel hanging on the doorknob. Shelving? Nah, maybe a cup colder, but shelving really isn't necessary.

That shelving hanging over your shower nozzles is just top quality isn't it? Ever turn on the shower and get all lathered up only to you hear the suction holding it to the wall desuck and then BAM! It nails you right in the back of the head? You turn around feeling violated and embarrassed that a piece of bathroom shelving sucker punched you. Then you shove it back against the wall but it won't stick, and it just keeps coming at you for more, until you've reached the point where you just let it rest against thewall on the floor and swear to throw it away. You're swearing and cursing at it when your roommate comes in and asks you what the problem is. There you are naked, with shampoo suds dripping into your eyes, attempting to pull teach the “save space shower organizer” a lesson by smashing it with your barefoot. So you look ridiculous, your roommate thinks you're crazy, and all you can say is, “That piece of shit started it first!” Once you've cooled off and come back later that day and see it, you replace it back where it belongs, thinking it's learned its lesson, until the morning when it nails you again.

I know this has been said before, millions of times (some poor comedian probably observed it some day back in the fifties when the historic massive plastic production boom took place), but why do women have so many shower products hanging out on the bathroom floor? Shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, body scrub, face scrub, daily face wash, loofah, shaving gel, razor holder with the sticky-sucky things on the back that you slap on the wall and five seconds later pffft, it's on the floor. Now multiply that by four girls and your shower looks like a Bath and Body Works Outlet—plenty of fragrant products and exactly two feet of free space to and maneuver yourself under the showerhead without knocking the entire product line over.

Guys don't have that problem at all. Their shower looks like a hotel bathroom the day after a big party. All that's left to salvage is a little sliver of soap and a half empty shampoo bottle. Why do guys not hang dry their towels anyway? Junior year Michele and I were blindly stepping in for a morning shower and constantly stepping on an assortment of dark colored soaking wet washcloths scattered randomly on the shower floor. The only thing I thought about as my dry feet squished into the towel was, “Please, please, please, let this be a washcloth soaked in water and not vomit like last time.”

It's ironic that once you finally get yourself cleaned up you instantly step onto the most disgusting, germ-infested entity in your entire room. That bacteria wonderland, my friend, is your bathmat. It accumulates a unique and unforgettable stench, because nobody hangs it up to dry after it’s used. After first semester everyone, including your brave self, is too scared the crusty green stuff around the edges has gone unsupervised for so long that it has begun to coordinate efficiently and eventually threaten you with a skin disease of the ringworm/athlete foot's variety. No one wants to wash it, and even biology and chemistry majors who work with deadly chemicals and study bacteria on a daily basis say, “F-that! I'm not throwing that shit in with my denim, it'll wash off and eventually leak into the world's fresh water supply. And I'm not going out like that.” So it doesn’t matter who bought it, at the end of the year it's agreed by all who live in the room to dispose of that shit in the incinerator.

On the other hand, most guys don't even bother with the bathmat. They just drip out of the shower, play slip-n-slide on the ice-cold tile floor for ten minutes while they shave, and finish up with a quick game of drip-n-dry all over the bedroom carpeting. Which wouldn't be a big deal if your roommate would learn not to flail into the bathroom with only socks moments after you left.

The toilet is the most versatile contraption ever created. It takes care of waste that's not dumpable in a regular trash container. Every time you find a spider, you scream like a small child, wap it furiously with your flip flop seventy times to make sure it's dead, wrap it up in a tissue and flush it down the toilet. Every time you find your stomach, cannot, as originally anticipated, contain an entire can of Spaghetti-O's or ramen noodle soup, you dump it down the toilet. One flush and it's gone forever. Just like magic it can handle anything: vomit, hair dye chemicals, coffee grinds, day-old margarita concoctions left in the blender. I've seen it suck down that long cylinder thing that makes the toilet paper roll round and round. It may be loud and obnoxious, but trust me when I tell you, you're going to miss it when you get your first apartment and the toilet is so amateur it can't even handle a routine morning hangover of a little belched up liquid courage that didn't make it through your stomach the night before, and starts overflowing. If you weren’t so disgusted you'd kick it and say, “That was nothing you little bitch! Your grandfather’s toilet sucked down panties and a tube sock that fell in and no one wanted to fish out. He did it without complaint too. You better not pull this shit when I throw my first party, or no one in this building will survive.”

Every try and play tricks on your roommate while they're showering? Like whipping open the shower curtain to spray them with beer while they’re standing there naked and completely vulnerable? Complete waste of a beer. You could go an alternative route and just pour ice-cold water on her head, but having to do so requires you to stand on the toilet, and if you're not careful you could loose your footing, causing the left sneaker to be soaked in toilet water. I've been stupid enough to do this not once, but twice. Twice.

Drying yourself off has turned into a game of “Nose Don't Fail Me Now.” There's never paper towels around when you need them, so when there's a spill, the first thing that's reached for is a towel. It doesn't matter whose towel it is at the time, as long as it soaks up the mess, it goes back on the rack. After all it's served its purpose. You never really know if the one you use to clean up spilled beer is the same one you use to dry yourself off, so you’re forced to resort to using your sheet and comforter. And while you promise yourself that you'll never have to resort this again, you will, the very next day. I promise. We've all been there.

Freshman year when you had communal bathrooms, you would never get into the shower without checking if you had your towel first. Why don't we do that now when we have our own bathroom? And why does your roommate act as if you're asking her for her kidney when you pitifully yell out to for her to get you a towel? And why does she hand it to you while you're in the shower while the water is on? Thanks buddy! It's going to be real useful to me now that it's soaking up running water. Maybe you could hand me my clothes too and I can just dry on my way to class. Assbag.

Ever have a girlfriend who likes to put the Titanic handprint on the mirror while the room is so steamy? Probably not the same type of girlfriend who'd break your shower. There's always that one couple that breaks the shower. You're not sure how they did it, how they could possible maneuver themselves in the position that would cause the shower nozzle to break off to have to let your RHD know he might want to call a 24-hour plumber unless he wants to see the entire floor flooded. Then when the couple is called into question after the situation has been contained, and the environment controlled, the story is clearly a lie. “I'm telling you, it was the metal shelving. It's been giving me problems for weeks now, it just got too heavy with our surplus of shampoo bottles and took the nozzle down with it.” Lame story true, but both you and the RHD knows he's never going to call you out on hooking up in the shower.

My school gave out free toilet paper to upperclassmen in the new dorm. But you could only get it while the front desk was open for 3 hours in the morning, and again for 3 hours at night. So if you had early morning classes, or weren't back from the bars by midnight you were screwed. It was amazing how quickly toilet paper turned into currency. “Hey I've got three laundry tokens, two beers, a never been used George Foreman grill my mom gave me for Christmas, and a small unopened bag of Fritos. If that can get me just one roll or even half a roll, I think that will get us through the day and I'll be happy.” Late in the school year when the front desk implemented the “two TP limit per person” rule, a lot of the seniors got pissed off at the toilet paper embargo and organized themselves, bringing their entire suite down and friends from other dorms to get their TP rations. By the end of the day we had fourteen rolls of TP in our bathroom, and after that the front desk just started giving ushowever many we demanded. It was a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

Ever start unwrapping the last roll of toilet paper, lose your mighty grip on it, and watch it sail helplessly into to toilet? You're so torn. The first instinct is to try and salvage what's left, but in the back of your mind you know it's hopeless. And it's not even flushable, eventually it's going to need to be fished out. And by the time you're through debating the pulling out process and the TP is now in the garbage can, you're dry and don’t require it's expertise anymore, but you also fear the wrath of your roommates when they find out how the last roll died. This happened to my friends once, and she went to the freshman dorm, ripped the industrial roll out of the bathroom and took it back to her place. She never needed to trade up for the rest of the semester.

I'm going to end this article on this note: We all poop. It's nature. As much as we hate it, it's going to happen once daily, twice if you’re really unlucky, and it's going to smell. But no matter what you spray—hairspray, bug spray, Febreze, Lysol, Raid, match smoke—it's still going to smell like poo and cover-up mist.


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