Why I’m Studying Defense Against the Decorative Arts

My family has decided to renovate the house, seeing as it’s last face lift was 20 years ago.  It’s going to be hell.

I liken houses in need of renovation to bad celebrity face lifts, and  there are four distinct categories:

1) The house desperately in need of a face lift (The Nick Nolte Mug Shot House);

Nick Nolte, Before and After

2) The house that doesn’t really need work done but the owner wants it anyway and the house ends up looking weird (The Mickey Rourke House);

Mickey Rourke, Before and After

3) The house that keeps getting renovated even though it no longer needs it (the Joan Rivers House);

Joan Rivers. Stop the Madness!

and the house that’s had a lot of additions but still makes it work anyway (the Kathy Griffin House).

At least her hair is better.

Our house is a bizarre combination of the Nick Nolte and Mickey Rourke houses.  Hundreds of boxes decorate our living room floor, piles of junk are scattered throughout the living room, and packing tape dispensers lie willy-nilly on the ground, serrated edge up.  If I lived in such disarray when I was younger, I’d be placed in foster care.

Basically it’s a hot, biohazardy mess.

My parents have all sorts of plans: remove this beam, install this staircase, paint this wall, etc.  But what I’ve noticed in all of the remodels I’ve seen and heard about, and ours as well, is that people love to spend the most time revamping their bathrooms.

At first, this confused me.  What is it about bathrooms that so enrapture the human mind?  Why is it that people love to renovate the place where the most foul and basest human function takes place?

And then I knew the answer:  Time.  Uninterrupted time.

When people use the restroom, that is the one moment they have to study their surroundings and draw conclusions without distractions.  Bathrooms make an impression.  Ever notice how all nice hotels and restaurants have incredibly luxurious bathrooms?  How they have attendants and soaps and perfumes and sprays and lotions and ornate, filigreed mirrors and plants no one would intentionally purchase?  If you want to convince someone you live a lavish life, you need incense and monogrammed decorative towels next to your toilet.  Preferably your toilet paper would be made out of money, but let’s not be wasteful.

For example, many famous people have died in bathrooms, hence the name “the room where legends die.”  Elvis died in the bathroom of his Graceland mansion, Lenny Bruce croaked next to his Beverly Hills home toilet, Orville Redenbacher kicked the bucket  in his whirlpool bathtub, Whitney descended to heaven in her hotel bathtub, and Jim Morrison laid to rest in the bathtub of his Paris hotel.  It is a place of prestige.  What better was to go than in an opulent bathroom?  If the room were you do your least dignified business is fancy, you should just see the rest of the house…right, potential admirers?

Decorative pillows serve the same purpose as decorative towels.  No one ACTUALLY cares about them, they just want to make sure they can impress other people with how many decorative towels or pillows they can afford.

If it were up to me, I would update my bathroom to serve an appropriate function.  For example, first I would replace our weak-ass toilets with terrible water pressure and install functioning toilets that don’t require me to Macguyver their intestines every time I have to grace the toilette with my delicate derriere.

Secondly, I would replace our bathtubs.  Seriously people.  What good is a  bathtub if can’t extend your legs or submerge more than a fourth of your body?  It’s useless.  I do all my thinking and decision-making in the tub and shower, and I’m not going to make wise life choices if I’m constantly thinking about submerging another half of my body so I don’t contract pneumonia and die.

Think about that next time, guys.  Oh wait, you can’t…your tub’s too small.

For the record:

Bad Bathroom. This is the one that would be in the Bates Motel.

Good Bathroom. Tony Stark status.

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