I’m starting the new year off with some exciting news. I have a new bathroom. Yes, I know that doesn’t sound exactly off the charts thrilling but to me it’s huge. This is because for more than a decade I have lived with what quite possibly could have been the world’s most hideous bathroom.
This bathroom was so awful that we nicknamed it Darth Vader. Almost every inch was covered with huge black tile that had a disturbing viscous sheen that screamed, “I was soaked in a pool of used motor oil at an abandoned Jiffy Lube.” The areas of the bathroom that escaped being encased in tile were painted what can best be described as the color of vomit that had been cured for a month under a heat lamp stolen from a Chili’s restaurant.
But neither the tile nor the paint color could trump the visual horror that was the floor. It was a manufactured mystery material. We think it might have been some kind of vinyl or maybe even old, Tupperware container lids stained from storing red pasta sauce that had been melted down, poured on the floor and given a faux wood imprint.
The cherry on the top of this monstrosity was a behemoth jetted bathtub encased in the aforementioned black tile that was large enough to serve as a habitat for a family of otters. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the wall phone (Remember those?) from 1984 with a l-o-n-g cord, that also did double duty as a toilet paper holder.
I know right about now you’re thinking why did it take 10 plus years to gut that sucker? Good question. Before we even bought the house, I told my husband there was no way I was ever going to live with a bathroom that scary.
Well, umm, live I did because I guess life happens. Once we moved into the house there were so many other things demanding our attention and the bathroom, while frightening, worked. The shower pressure was great, the sinks drained, the toilet had a robust flush, so I just embraced the hideousness and tried to cover it up with fluffy white towels and rugs.
The day the bathroom was finally gutted it felt like an exorcism. Darth Vader had finally been vanquished to the suburban version of the Death Star – a dumpster parked in my driveway. Was it a coincidence my contractor had a Luke Skywalker vibe? I don’t think so.
What I do know is that my happiness was off the charts and the only thing troubling me was all the decisions there were to make. I had already done what I thought was the hard stuff. Tile, faucets etc. But then there were things like light fixture panel designs and “mood lighting.”
When my contractor asked me if I wanted a dimmer switch over my new, gorgeous, definitely not an otter habitat, tub I blushed. My life is many things but a romance novel it is not. I had to be honest and tell him that I needed enough light in the bathroom to do minor surgery. As in I required wayward hairs and emerging toenail funguses to be spotted – STAT.
To his credit he didn’t even flinch and provided me with excellent advice along the way. Now, the extreme makeover is almost finished, and I feel like Princess Leia who’s just vanquished the evil empire of vile tile. My joy knows no bounds as I bid a blissful goodbye to the Darth Vader of bathrooms.
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