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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)

TITLE: Restroom
By janet rubin


I used to make fun of him, my new husband and his strange ways. Newly married, having been raised in a household of only females, I knew nothing of the oddities of male behavior. In this case, the issue was using the bathroom. To me, it had always been one of life’s necessities, something to do and be done with. Not so with my Dave. Strangely, this act of going to the bathroom seemed less a needful thing, more like some sort of recreation! It was a daily pilgrimage. Coming home, my beloved would kiss me hello, grab the newspaper, race upstairs and disappear what seemed forever.

I would pester him with questions: “What on earth do you do in there? How do you have time to read the paper? What takes so long?” Shrugging, Dave would explain that he liked to “take his time.” Still it remained a mystery to me why anyone would want to linger in the bathroom of all places? Not me! Ironically, I was spending more time in that particular room, not intentionally, but rather because I was no longer a daughter in my mother’s house, but rather the Lady of the House, meaning the one responsible for cleaning the bathroom. So, to me, the bathroom was a place of mildew growth, empty toilet paper rolls, and fresh whisker trimmings around the sink each morning- not my idea of a good place to “hang out”.

I interviewed my more experienced married girlfriends, who assured me this habit of Dave’s was perfectly normal, a “guy thing”. Still I found it highly amusing and teased him whenever I could. If someone would call for him I’d roll my eyes saying, “Oh. He’s in the bathroom. Try back next week.”

My thinking suddenly changed in a moment in 1999. I was a new mother. My precious baby girl, Cassidy Grace, was only a few weeks old. Cassidy nursing and Dave not being a diaper-changing man, I was in demand ALL the time. Cassidy insisted on being held constantly. I cooked, cleaned and ate all with one hand, Cassidy in the other. Of course not everything can be done with one hand.

One day I walked over to Dave and handed over our bundle of joy. “Hold her a minute?” I asked. “I have to use the bathroom.” No sooner were the words out of my mouth than I had a wonderful revelation: going to the bathroom is a legitimate excuse for taking a break. Suddenly it all came clear. “THAT is why they call it the Restroom! I can go there and rest!” Moments later, I sat on a fuzzy, blue bathmat giggling at Garfield and Cathy for the first time in a month. I had never felt so free.

From that time forward, my trips to the bathrooms got increasingly longer. I was deliriously happy with my new discovery. “I’m running to the bathroom honey. Listen for the baby,” I’d call, skipping upstairs, snickers bar in one hand, Christian magazine tucked discreetly under my arm. Soon a little shelf hung beside the toilet, stocked with devotionals and Reader’s Digest. One day as I sat on the sink, alternately painting toenails and taking sips of tea, I heard a knock on the door. It was Dave, the baby propped on his shoulder. “Is everything o.k. in there honey?” he inquired.

“Yes, fine, I’ll be right out,” I called, extinguishing my “Ocean Breeze” scented candle. “Just how long have I been in here?” I wondered. Perhaps I was going overboard, maybe even taking advantage. I decided I had better be careful, lest my bathroom moments of respite be discovered.

My tenth anniversary is coming up soon and our family has grown. Through the years the bathroom has remained a “rest” room for me. No longer do I need to go hide away to get a break from nursing. More often, I simply slip through the door, kneel amidst the bath toys, and utter a prayer. Jesus said to go pray in your closet, but I don’t think He’d mind my substitution of rooms. I don’t know how many prayers have floated up through the fan in the ceiling, but I am thankful for my special place of rest.

From my sanctuary I hear the muffled voices of little girls- “Daddy, do you know where Mommy is?” Smiling, I reach up to lock the door. I will never make fun of my husband again.

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This article has been read 1474 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 08/08/05
Too funny! It definitely is "a guy thing." But retreating to the bathroom is sometimes the only thing we moms can do to get some peace and quiet. LOL
Great job - clever presentation.
Blessings, Lynda
Anthony Tophoney08/08/05
Now I get it! We just had a baby 6 weeks ago and my wife's bathroom visits are getting longer all the time. Thank you for opening my eyes with this entertaining article!
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/08/05
This was great!!! :-D Wonderful job!
Crista Darr08/08/05
Ah, the great escape! Too funny! I hope to see this piece in the winner's circle.
Shirley Thomas08/08/05
Everything about your article is delightful..from the title to the last word. I love it!
Dixie Phillips08/08/05
Looks like a contender to me! Thank God for locks on bathroom doors!
Tesiri Moweta08/09/05
Ah! now you've revealed to the guys what the mums do in the bathroom...great work!I'm still laughing!Thanks for sharing.
Beth Muehlhausen08/09/05
A great story with a smooth, clever presentation! Every line seemed to fit! Good job. :-)
Debra Brand08/10/05
Enjoyable read. Great job.
Maxx .08/13/05
This was very funny and well presented .... I say as I type on my laptop in the restroom! (KIDDING ... I'm not in the restroom!) rofl! Thanks for putting this out there. I loved it.
Shari Armstrong 08/14/05
LOL - I just read this one after a much need "retreat" (which meant putting my lap-napping son on the floor and woke him up :(

Very fun and I could relate to it a lot!
Suzanne R08/15/05
Fun! And obviously many of us, your readers, can identify! CONGRATULATIONS on your win!
What a fun story. I smiled through the entire read.
Shannon Redmon08/15/05
I loved this! We are remodeling right now and only have a curtain for a door to our bathroom-I have got to get my husband to hang that door!
Brandi Roberts08/15/05
DEFINITELY worth first place. I LAUGHED so hard...unfortunately in this house, there is not one bathroom on which I can lock a door...in fact, the master bedroom toilet sits on the edge of the carpet... Ugh....glad I'm moving...looking forward to the "restroom" in my new home. THANKS FOR SHARING! Again CONGRATS ON FIRST!!!!
Jessica Boling08/15/05
This is a great read -- congrats on your win! I'd actually never thought of using the bathroom as a literal restroom, but I'll keep it mind for future use. :-D
Jan Thackston08/15/05
Down-to-earth, relevant and worthy. Congratulations!
Debbie OConnor08/15/05
This was my favorite entry of the week by far! Congratulations on a well deserved win. I started laughing at the first line and only stopped when it ended. I have known some men who made a retreat out of their restroom--and if you count bath time, it is my favorite retreat as well! Great work.
Karen Ward08/15/05
A well deserved win, easy to relate to, and great use of humor. I have often used the restroom for a break since becoming a Mum!
Marilyn Schnepp 12/04/05
Is there room for one more comment? Johnny come lately, ME: Great story! Precious! and a subject SO delicate has been handled so humorously and efficiently, not to mention WINNINGLY! Kudos! Accolades! And Congratulations!