I have a unique relationship with the most essential yet inanimate object in my life. It has sustained me through thick and thin. To date, it has never deceived me.
I can depend on this object in times of stress, discomfort and complete joy.
It’s my toilet.
To me, it isn’t just ceramic, plastic, buttons and plumbing. It’s significantly more than mechanics glued together. It’s a friend. It’s a tropical escape. It’s the safety of a warm embrace. It’s the place where I can be me without judgment or ridicule.
My familiar toilet is my saviour for every souring moment of my life. Through death, career uncertainty and romantic hardship, the toilet remained. It is easily one of the most secure relationships I have, and I’m proud to admit it.
I will forever feel indebted to my toilet.
I didn’t know the relationship existed
For years, I lived in the same four walls of my childhood home. I knew every nook and cranny, every hiding spot, the loudest point on the tin roof when the rain fell. But I took part of that home for granted; the toilet.
I spent more time on that toilet in the first twenty years of my life than I did anywhere else. Aside from the bed, which changed many times throughout the years, the toilet and I endured lengthy bonding.
Like many marriages, the toilet and I also endured many hardships. It was with me during my first hangover. It nursed me through many bouts of stomach flu. I perched on the cold rim and cried when I reached female maturity, realising my monthly ‘friend’ was here to stay.
But it wasn’t until I moved house, spent life on other toilets, that I discovered I was missing the one thing I could rely on. The cool embrace as my bottom touched the seat.
I didn’t know how important it was in my life until it was no longer there.
I began to miss the toilet
I remember moving into a sharehouse. The toilet was shorter, closer to the ground, and the seat wobbled a little. It was as if it wasn’t secured to the bowl. It took me weeks before I could relax, bond with the toilet, and find my rhythm.
I repeated the process from house to house. It wasn’t until I moved in with my husband that I found a toilet that brought me the same comfort as my childhood toilet. You could say I was getting used to finding new yet familiar toilets. I was becoming more in tune with adapting to the toilet changes. I was finding familiarity in the foreign.
The next time we moved house, I learned to enjoy the toilet quicker than previous. We spent only a few hours getting to know each other before our bond was inseparable. It had its own quirks, much like all the other familiar toilets of the past. But I overlooked them. I began to enjoy how the new was soon comfortable.
I realised that the toilet, the time spent in my own little space in the world, was my safe place. And the safest was with a toilet I knew best. Whose seat I frequented every day and whose reach was always at my fingertips.
On the familiar toilet, I know who I am
I dream a lot during my time on the toilet. Sometimes I can imagine myself as a completely different person. I conjure up ideas and realities that I crave in my life. I can explore time, examine who I am, cement what has defined me.
It is when I’m at my most vulnerable I can be completely me. The toilet doesn’t judge me when I’m not wearing make-up. It doesn’t comment about my messy hair or the stupid thing I said the day before. I don’t need to put on a show for the toilet. It loves me for me.
The toilet paper doesn’t judge me. The porcelain forever takes my weight. The plumbing provides me aid. I return its dedication with high strength disinfectant and bleach, so it remains the beautiful white it prides itself to be.
Our relationship is harmonious and balanced. I know, whilst the toilet is there, that I will have something forever reliable and dependable during the chaos of life.
We all have a familiar toilet
There are two parts to this idea of the familiar toilet. Firstly, we all have a literal, physical toilet we sit on more than any other toilet. Perhaps it’s one at home or the favourite cubicle at work. But despite our oblivion, we’re all blessed with a throne that knows us well.
Yet, everyone has a place or item that makes them feel safe. Mine happens to be a toilet.
But I’m aware that the concept of the ‘familiar toilet’ in my life is a comfort blanket. I don’t carry around childhood fabric, nor do I seek comfort in a large glass of wine at the end of the day.
The toilet is my safe place. It’s when I run to when life gets hard. It’s what I know to be reliable, comforting, and judgment-free.
I owe everything to my toilet.
I’m Ellen McRae, writer by trade and passionate storyteller by nature. I write about figuring about love and relationships by analysing my experiences. Some of the stories are altered to protect the people in my life. But my feelings are never compromised. /https://ellenjellymcrae.com/
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