While some deservedly wax rhapsodic about their honorable service in battle on foreign shores, my battleground was much closer to home. My master bathroom to be exact. The day I stood my ground against 2 relentless, nay-saying Rednecks, will go down as my proverbial day of infamy, “B-Day” if you will.
From the first time my eyes made contact with one, on my first trip to Europe, it was clear to me, that these simple, porcelain, wonders of personal hygiene weren’t just officious European fluff. They are an undeniably tangible sign of decency, progress, and just plain good manners. With one test drive, I was hooked. I swore that one day I would have one.
Fast forward past many homes and many moves to The Ranch. My Beloved gutted our Craftsman style home, built in the 1920s, giving us a perfectly clean slate. The word “bidet” passed my lips on more than one occasion, when the subject of our master bedroom design came up. At first, he acted as if he didn’t hear me. When it was clear that his selective hearing routine wasn’t going to work, he resorted to Ricky Ricardo-esque “Now Luuuuucy,” style withering looks.
Try as he might, My Beloved could not run from the B word for long. Just over a month ago, our contractor, his dearest friend and fellow country boy, started work on the plumbing for the upstairs. Up to that point, I had pretty much stayed out of the construction conversations. But, as I saw “M.T.” working upstairs, I had to ask, “what about the bidet?” From the look on his face, I could tell that My Beloved had kept my demands for a bidet, a dirty secret. “A what?” He then shot an incredulous look over at My Beloved. Was this heretofore impenetrable bastion of American roughneck masculinity going the way of the European pointy-shoed wimp? Rather sheepishly, My Beloved began to explain that there would need to be plumbing for both a toilet and a bidet in our water closet. M.T. shot me a look, then looked back at My Beloved. We may as well have been asking him to install an altar for human sacrifice.
The profound misunderstanding that these two men had of my continental daydreams, manifested in the single waterline coming out of the dry wall for the bidet. That single waterline was for cold water. Only cold water to a bidet? Did they need to be reminded of the intended function of this fixture? For these two devoted outdoorsmen, indoor plumbing is a luxury, but seriously? Was this pay back for my fancy-pants bidet nonsense? When I pointed out the hot water oversight, it was met with grumbles, groans, and fervent calls to abandon my pompous plumbing plan altogether. Not a chance.
With a hot waterline begrudgingly added to the mix, next stop? The Special Order desk at the home improvement store. My Beloved let me do all the talking–it was obviously painful for him to utter the word “bidet” to another masculine, grown man. The old, salty dog of a salesman took delight in my request, and promptly asked, “you aren’t from around here, are you?” He went on to confess that he had only sold one other bidet in his decades long career. He sold it to a local woman a year and a half ago who came in wanting ” one of those European foot washer things.”
Now, I can happily say that one of the ultimate symbols of European sensibilities has finally taken it’s rightful place in my home.
Should there be any doubts, rest assured that no Rednecks were harmed during it’s installation. In fact, both My Beloved and M.T. are still wearing their Dickies and Wranglers, and it appears that both completed the job with their masculinity in tact.
Bottom line? A little Paris in one’s poison oak never hurt anyone. In the Battle of the Bidet, I’d like to think that My Beloved and I both won. At the very least, it was a clean fight.