As the leaves begin to change and fall descends like a mystical fog upon the lives of millions, one thing is for certain: All of the hot girls are getting divorced. With courthouses opening after a very long pandemic, divorce filings have shot up across the United States. Perhaps everyone is slowly discovering that human beings were not intended to be monogamous creatures, and that whole “go forth and multiply” thing from the Bible was an invitation to fuck lots and lots of people. Or, more realistically, the reality of some couples being stuck in a shared living space for a year with the person they chose to spend forever with is finally hitting, and the only way out is through lawyers.
But what if there was another way? What if marriage was actually something that two people could enter into and maintain until one of them died? Sounds like an urban legend. But as Lewis Carroll once wrote, “I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” As complex and horrible as marriage tends to be, there is one solution to nearly every marital problem under the sun: shitting in different rooms.
Last week, Meghan Trainor appeared on Nicole Byer’s podcast and was discussing the home she recently bought with her husband Daryl Sabara of Spy Kids fame. Trainor noted that in their shared bathroom, there was only one toilet, as is customary of all bathrooms in all American houses. “A lot of time in the middle of the night when we’re with the baby we’ve got to pee at the same time,” Trainor explained. “So I was like, ‘Can we please have two toilets next to each other?’” Two toilets. Next. To. Each. Other.
As a married person currently living through a pandemic, I cannot imagine anything I want to do less with my husband than pee in unison. Granted, we have both found ourselves in the situation wherein we both needed to pee and our apartment had only one measly toilet. But at no point did we think, shame we can’t pee together! Instead, we handled it like adults and engaged in a footrace to the bathroom with only mild shoving. First to the toilet gets to pee, and the other has to wait a minute.
But Trainor’s suggestion that two toilets in a single bathroom is a solution rather than a gateway to a larger issue is absolutely absurd. So absurd that even the voice of the American man on the internet, Mel Magazine, questioned the effect of couples sharing bathrooms four years ago and found that separate bathrooms were the better option. In 2018, Today posed the same question and reached the same conclusion. Even the Obamas had separate bathrooms!
When my husband and I started considering buying a house, every person in real estate that we spoke to said nearly the same thing: Get a place with an extra half bath. Initially, I thought this was some sort of upselling. But I had a moment of clarity when we toured a place that had two full bathrooms and discovered that I no longer want to shit in the same toilet as my husband.
It’s not that there is anything wrong with sharing a bathroom; we’re still doing it. But when I think of the arguments that can be avoided if there was just one more room with one more toilet, I weep thinking of the blessed day that I can take an extremely long shower without having to hear my husband knocking on the door because he needs to use the bathroom while I’m contemplating all of life’s mysteries with my special soaps.
Trainor and Sabara have only been married for four years, so there is plenty of time to walk back this ‘let’s pee together’ attitude. But if you are sitting somewhere Googling divorce attorneys, I would ask you to consider if perhaps you are asking the wrong question. Instead of asking, how much do I get in the settlement?, perhaps the real question is, do I love this person enough to invest money into a few extra square feet to get away from their biological waste? In other words, do you need to divorce the person, or can you simply divorce this shared toilet?
Food for thought.