The Unfortunate Master Bath
3 years ago, in the late afternoon
The Unfortunate Master Bath is actually not the worst bathroom I, personally, have ever lived with. Far from it. My entire adult life, I’ve lived in dormitories and apartments – a good number of which might reasonably rate someplace high on the “shitty” scale, so in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not all that bad.
Therefore, to begin on a positive note: The UMB is a rather large bathroom (relative to my experience); it is open and clean, with Jack-and-Jill sinks; everything is in good working order, with no mold, mildew, or rust to be seen; it is adequately lit and ventilated, and conveniently connects to the master bedroom.
But compared to the rest of the house, it is inexcusably ugly.
To the best of our knowledge, the UMB was last updated in the late eighties – and all the fixtures, bulbous Flashdance vanity lighting, and color scheme strongly support that sad speculation.* And as it turns out, the 1980s clash painfully with the 19-teens.
Behold, my real estate agent Andy Bond** – gazing with abject horror into the prison-tiled abyss. It was pretty much the last room we saw – and well played, sellers … well played.
But here. Let me give you a guided tour, starting with the bathroom entrance.
What happened is this – sometime in the early 1930s, the back porch was closed in and the bathroom + another bedroom were added. That sick putty-colored wall that looks like it’s covered in exterior siding … is in fact covered with exterior siding.
By the way: LOOK UPON OUR FESTIVE DISCO PARQUET. There’s only a few square feet of it; the rest of the place has proper oak flooring. It really IS as if the fug in this bathroom managed to contaminate everything for a couple of yards in any direction.
(You’ll also see our alarm system in that photo. I’m trying to teach it not to freak out like a giant digital cricket when it spies motion in the den area at 3:00 a.m. We have a cat. She makes motion. We would prefer to sleep through it. When I log off in a few minutes, I’m going to sit down and study that system’s manual like I have a test on it. And I do. Every night around 3:00 a.m.)
Upon opening the door you’ll see the following – tricked out with all our own belongings, and not those of the sellers. All subsequent trashiness is ours and ours alone.
I’ll start with the small things.
How small? This small: scads of empty holes. In everything. At some point, I assume these holes held toothbrush holders or drawer pulls or cabinet hardware … but they’ve been empty as long as anybody knows, and it drives me crazy.
I suppose I could find hardware to fill the miniature voids, but since I want to rip the whole room out and set it on fire, that seems like a waste of perfectly good energy.
Come in a little closer.
How close? FLOOR CLOSE. Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket, you guys. I know it’s supposed to look like “marble,” but all I can think is “prosciutto.”
Are we all done trembling?
Because immediately beside the patch of floor where I captured the HAM FLOOR picture … you’ll find an unassuming white closet with double doors. “Linen closet,” one might think. “Broom closet,” one might guess. Mais non.
FUSE BOXES, BITCHES!
Okay, switch boxes – which I mostly don’t show in that shot. Because honestly, the boxes are not the ugliest thing hiding in that-there closet. See that old siding? Peeling, graying, and undoubtedly chock full of tasty, tasty lead-based paint? Yeah. That used to be the outer wall of the house.
I suppose if the power goes out while I’m peeing at night, I’ll know just what to do. Hm. On second thought, maybe I should stick a flashlight by the toilet.
I know, I know. Someone has crappy handwriting, and it’s probably short for “water heater.” But I kind of like the idea that there’s a MYSTERY SWITCH that if I flip it then NO ONE KNOWS what the hell will happen. CTHULHU MAY RISE.
I bet the Old Ones could really heat up water like nobody’s business. If those who sleep beneath R’lyeh can save us money on our energy bill, maybe we could strike some kind of deal. Or maybe I’ve had enough of these tasty hard ciders for one night, and should not open yet another one before I continue.
Hang on. Gotta get … uh … something. From the kitchen.
Okay, I’m back.
Next to the Cabinet of Electrical Mystery we have the actual linen closet. It is mirrored. I like mirrors. There is no other point to the image below.
Now in this next shot, you can see the poor attempt at linoleum camouflage I call a rug, plus a handful of Aubrey Beardsley prints I thought might class up the joint … and the aforementioned sinks.
Jack and Jill. Hard molded plastic. Shaped like shells. With wee little ledges upon which to rest one’s soap.
Or, wee little ledges upon which to whack one’s forehead while trying to wash one’s face, if one is as catastrophically nearsighted as yours truly. Cough cough.
Perhaps right about now you’re thinking to yourself, “Self, that’s not so weird and/or bad. That Cherie sure has a talent for exaggeration.”
THEN HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY?
Oops, I mean: THEN HOW CRAZYPANTS WOULD YOU FIND THIS BATHROOM?
I, for one, am trying to look on the bright side. Or perhaps the somewhat drunk side. Which is to say, in lieu of a bathroom flashlight for making ridiculous spooooooky faces, one can simply TURN ON THE SINKS.
[:: waves cheerfully ::]
[:: and spooookily ::]
[:: goes looking for the alarm manual ::]
[:: GIANT DIGITAL CRICKETS ENSUE ::]
* Our home is place of Batman memorabilia, monster action figures, and a mantle tableau of a zombie apocalypse. Our down-home tackiness takes a different form, that’s all I’m saying.
* Who I totally recommend, by the way. If you’re looking to move in – or to – the Chattanooga area, ping me for details. I’ll be happy to put you in touch with him.