Let me set the scene
2001. I was a stockbroker with Ameritrade before they combined with TD Waterhouse. I had just broken my hip…it had split down the spike of my artificial hip, so this would be my second of three operations on the same hip.
Our bathroom had this lovely mosaic tile on the wall next to the tub. There was a shower curtain rod that encircled the tub, but no separation between the sink and the shower. It also had a standard toilet (not Russian.) Because I still had 3 kids at home, the shower was used extensively. We all took showers because we were time bound getting to school and work every day. Yup, just the one bathroom for two adults and five kids when we first moved in. The upshot of this constant usage was that the drywall under the mosaic was not designed for this constant hot water/steam exposure and started to bow out. Then the little tiles started popping off and those little buggers hurt when you step on them. If you had the lights on in the bathroom when you were showering, water from the shower that escaped the curtain landed on the light bulbs over the sink and they would explode in spectacular fashion! Getting out of the tub, you’d have to make sure you didn’t have tile stuck to your foot and didn’t step on glass. It was tough on feet. The floor covering was carpet and didn’t dry very well with all this use, so the floor by the tub and the toilet started to go.
We needed a bathroom remodel! The room next to the bathroom was a bedroom that we converted to an office. The closet for that room was in the wall that adjoined the bathroom. Since we didn’t need that closet, we moved the bathroom wall and added a divider wall between the sink and the bathtub. Our contractor was a very nice guy and when he was done, it was wonderful! Nice marble counter top for the sink, big cabinet for all the bathroom stuff, linoleum floor, bathtub surround with grab bars, a sliding door to keep the water in the shower, a nice raised toilet to accommodate my hip situation, and now a closet for towels and bathroom supplies like mops and toilet paper and such. It was soooo cool!
Well, we assumed our contractor was done because he quit coming around. He had died of cancer. There were a few things he hadn’t completed. The linoleum under the sink was not finished. It was not sealed to the base of the cabinet and it started to curl. Likewise, the joint of the linoleum and the bathtub wasn’t sealed, so it started to curl. When the sliding door on the tub started to wear out, you couldn’t get the replacement rollers, so we had to take it out. It was replaced by a curtain. The curtain didn’t keep the water at the shower head end from escaping so it got under the linoleum and hastened its curling and water damage to the floor underneath.
In an effort to conserve our water, we got a low-flow toilet. It was the early years so they weren’t as efficient and so now we had to flush everything twice. It clogged easily. When it overflowed, as it did about one to two times a month, this water also got under the linoleum.
2018: We have a situation. The floor next to the toilet is soft. If you’ve read my previous articles, you’ll know that I went from a svelt 190 pounds after my second operation to nearly 220 and am fighting heroically to lose those pounds. My husband likewise has ballooned up to over 320.
Last week, when I deposited my bulk on the toilet, it seemed to tip. This is not good. Thus the title of this lovely tome: Russian Toilet. Now if you pronounce it like toilette in French, you may have a glimmer as to the conclusion I came to this morning. Which one of us will find ourselves sitting on a toilet on top of our washing machine in the laundry room? Click…whew, not today! Going to gym, then to dinner, and then the movies…they have toilets!