Part 4 in the Bathroom Chronicles
Choosing bathroom fittings is like starting an online dating relationship with someone who seems smart and stylish at first but turns out to be needy and demanding.
One day you are flicking through sinks and vanities and the next you are being trolled by a combination you rejected.
Seriously. You find your perfect sink and vanity combination and realise that, due to your innate impeccable good taste, the installation that you will mostly use for shaving and brushing your teeth costs about 25 percent of your bathroom budget.
So you trim your sails, sigh and move on to a less expensive option, but the dream basin and vanity aren’t done with you. You check the football scores, up pops an ad for the dream sink.
You are doing an online crossword. Ditto. Reading about the latest outrage from Washington? That cute little round basin and the timber vanity top are making eyes at you like the models on a bogus mail-order bride website.
The difference is that the models on the sex-trafficking site have no intentions of ever meeting you.
But the sink and timber top, really do want you to take them home, and be there for you in your most intimate moments. Someone should write a book about sinks and their power of seduction.
All I know is that deep in my heart of hearts, if I continue with the current plan, every time I go to the bathroom and I look at my compromise sink, a little part of me will die.
Just to digress for a moment, can we talk about the word “vanity”? Isn’t that one of the seven deadly sins?
It’s like bathroom designers and architects want to rub your nose in the fact that you are paying way over the odds to make the most functional room in the home slightly more attractive.
So the little table with the sink in front of the mirror is called the “vanity”. Fair enough. This is, after all, where we preen.
But following that logic, shouldn’t we call the shower the “stinky-dirt-removal spray”?
And as for the WC? It’s impossible to provide a name based on its functions without offending most if not all of our readers.
Where I come from, two of the nicknames for the toilet are Cludgie and Shunkie – lovely onomatopoeic (it took me four goes to spell that correctly) words.
But their roots are quite prosaic: Clugston and Shanks were two of the predominant toilet makers in Glasgow in the early part of last century. Those brand names were as familiar to Scots as Tunnocks Caramel Wafers.
So you can understand how the names stuck. Somehow, saying “I’m desperate for the Villeroy and Bosch” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
We are less than two weeks away from the day our bathrooms become war zones. Meanwhile, I have succumbed to the siren call of the sink of my dreams.
There’s no avoiding it. I could lie and click on the Google ad, telling it I already have this product.
But dishonesty is not the basis for any relationship and, more to the point, then it might then show me a vanity and sink I like even more.
And all I want is to avoid that gut-wrench every time I go into the bathroom, only to be confronted by a compromise installation.
That must be why it’s called a sinking feeling.