Apr 30, 2009

Country Music Ain't The Only Noise We Make.

I have a long standing love / hate relationship with toilets ("potties" if you're currently raising a 3 year old). If you've been reading The Stretch Marks blog very long then you know that we've established this.

In fact, I have a long standing feud with public toilets.
Hate them.
Hate them with a passion.
Hate them with a red hot passion.

And it's not just the toilets in crazy places like - the airport or county lock-up (though I've never actually been to county lock-up I can close my eyes and imagine what their toilets must be like.) No, it's all public toilets. I hate the toilets at Target. And I hate the toilets at Costco. I even hate the toilets at Marshall's and LifeWay, which is really saying something since I frequent them every single solitary time I go into those locals.

But Ronnie on the other hand has a fondness for public restrooms. So much so, in fact, that he has rated them. Oh, yes he has. He can tell you where the best restrooms in a 50 mile radius are. He can tell you which ones play music and which ones don't. He can tell you which ones have those automatic sprayers that go off in order to scent (or de-scent) the air. He can tell you which ones have doors that go all the way to the floor and which ones have doors that don't close properly.

I can give you the Ronnie Rating of any Restroom on Restaurant Row. Wow. That's a mouthful. So considering I find myself in one on almost every shopping trip I go on I pay close attention when he talks. His favorite - and now mine, I must admit - is the restrooms at the former Parisian - now Belk's - in our local Cool Springs mall.

Seriously? Have you tried it? Doors that go all the way down to the floor, so it's like your in you're own little dorm room. Music that plays loudly enough for you to hear it - but not so loudly you get distracted from the task at hand. And an automated timer that goes off every 5 to 7 minutes; enough to de-scent, but not enough to make it smell like really dirty flowers.

It's perfection.

So imagine how my interest must have been peaked when I saw on my MSN homepage that the rating was in for America's best bathroom! And can you believe it? It was right here in middle Tennessee:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Hermitage Hotel has afternoon tea in the grand lobby. Down-filled duvets (that's a fancy word for comforters). A presidential suite with 2,000 square feet. And a really nice toilet.

So nice, in fact, that it's been voted (drum roll please) America's best restroom.

Flush in the middle of downtown Nashville, the luxury hotel and its ground-floor men's bathroom are definitely the head (so to speak) of the class. The redoubtable restroom is art-deco style with gleaming lime-green-and-black leaded glass tiles, lime-green fixtures, terrazzo floor and a two-seat shoeshine station.

"You just can't find anything like it anywhere else," says Janet Kurtz, director of sales and marketing at the hotel.

The restroom won the honor in online voting sponsored by Cincinnati-based Cintas Corp., which supplies restroom hygiene products and services. The company says "tens of thousands" of people voted over two months last summer. Precise numbers are kept, well, private.
Criteria were hygiene, style and access to the public. The highfalutin honor has earned the restroom entry to "America's Best Restroom Hall of Fame." "People see it and fall in love with it," Kurtz said.

It has four stools, three urinals, four sinks, spotless mirrors and a Sultan telephone that connects to the front desk.

And, (how do you put this delicately?) women seem attracted to it. Lita Esquinance of Bradley County, Tenn., guides friends to the restroom for a discreet peek just about every time she visits Nashville. One of them, Sonja Luckie, jokingly summed up her visit with this discerning observation: "For men, it's very stimulating."

Huh? Stimulating? I don't exactly know what that means, nor do I want to. Besides, maybe it's just the man I'm married to but I don't think he needs any more stimulation when it comes to the restroom. He can spot a newspaper at 20 paces and feel the urge to go. Sometimes it's like being married to a cocker spaniel.

So what about you all? Am I the only one who has a love/hate relationship with public restrooms? And is Ronnie really the only one that rates them? I doubt it. Leave me your tips on where I can find the best one in the area...Lord knows I'll need it.

Oh, and while I've got you here, here's an aside from my own personal "pet peeve file." When building your next home DO NOT - I repeat, DO NOT - put a bathroom right off of your living room. That is wrong on so many levels. Talk about clearing a room. I once had a hostess thank me for getting every one out, since she was exhausted and the night had gone on too long. Don't thank me, thank the chili and rice krispie treats you served us. Sheesh.


Givinya De Elba said...

That happened? You got everyone out after a big night of hospitali-tah? Wow. I'm sorry. But wow.

Sarah said...

I was just there yesterday! I should have taken a peak! I'm new to your blog and am so enjoying it. Excited to find out you are right here in Nashville!

Sissy said...

I do know which places have good bathrooms since I have overactive bladder and have to go almost everywhere. Home Depot has nice ones that smell clean. I love the ones at Macaroni Grill, cause instead of music, you learn Italian. That's educational!

Let me say that I hate the ones that weren't designed thinking about anyone over 5 foot 7. When I sit, my knees should NOT hit the door. And since I am so tall, I often use the handicapped stall...lots of room and a tall toilet.

Enough info? LOL.

Melissa said...

Do you believe me when I tell you we are twins? I've said it before and I'll say it again....we are twins. Your brain and mine were cut from the same mold.

I was just in the WM bathroom yesterday with four kids and I emptied out almost an entire bottle of Purell. I. detest. public. bathrooms. It just doesn't get any nastier and germ-ridden than a public toilet. Chills. Shiver.

Melissa said...

By the way.....I made homemade verde chicken enchiladas for supper last night. Just thought you might like to know that. Love ya!

neeki said...

Just when I thought there was nothing else you could say that would leave me in tears laughing...you're priceless!! And, yes I too hate bathrooms off the living rooms. I always wonder are they sitting in uncomfortable silence while I'm in the facilities...

Rebekah said...

I totally feel you on that bathroom off the living room thing. My sister-in-law's house has a setup like that and it's really weird. What kind of sick architect thinks that's a good idea?

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

Public bathrooms are skeevy....icky and nasty. And my middle son is scared to death of those super-loud flushing toilets, like they have in Walmart and Target.

Janis said...

When I was in high school I went with a friend to visit her family in Florida. We were all hanging out in the living room when I got a panicky feeling and asked, "Does anyone smell something burning?" just as her brother was exiting the bathroom. Learned two lessons-matches help cover it up, and don't put a bathroom off the living room.

Tia said...

It's good to know I'm not the only one keeping tabs on the top bathrooms in the area. I recent favorite is Bass Pros' restroom at Opry Mills. They always pay close attention to detail and are pretty clean considering the throngs of people passing through. But then it could be that I am dragged out there every other week by the hubby and haven't had much of an option. =)

Me said...

Worst in Franklin: Hobby Lobby
Best in Franklin: Corporate Centre One off of Carouthers. Fresh Flowers, lid covers, nice scent, full length mirror, usually empty.


Jennifer Henry said...

My number one requirement for a good bathroom? Empty! and private! I just cannot do "it" with anyone else in the room. end of story. I refuse to! I know, I have issues.

I happen to love it when the business only has ONE restroom... that way I can lock myself in there safely if I must and not have to panic the entire time about someone coming in!! One time... (I was driving down the interstate) I had to go so bad that I drove around until I found the most po-dunk gas station that didn't have stalls... but had a single bathroom that you could lock yourself into. I never thought I would be so happy to see a nasty gas station bathroom in my life.

Carrie said...

Oh, my goodness, that is SO true about the living room/bathroom thing!!! What a good point! :) And how embarassing!!! :(

Maria said...

Melissa Lee, you crack me up! I love bathroom humor, however, detest public bathrooms. I will hold "it" (yes both of them) until I get home as much as possible. It doesn't always work out that way though! However, when I am at the mall, I too love Belk's restroom! It's the best! The worst one is Sears at the Galleria!

I am with you too about bathrooms right off the living room. Don't really care for them off the kitchen either! =)

Rhonda said...

First off, I have to tell you that just today I picked up an old (June 2008) Reader's Digest and randomly opened to a page to find that there is a website rating Canada's best bathrooms. Isn't that a weird coincidence??

Okay, now how about the "bathroom right off the kitchen"?? I think that tops the livingroom/bathroom!

Okay, and I'll tell you this, and I suppose all your readers too. It's okay though, because none of your readers read any of my crap (pardon the pun). Here goes: I will go DAYS. Days I tell you!! I will only go in my own bathroom in my own house, on my own level of the house. With the radio on. lol When we are on vacation, I suffer. (Unless I can convince my hubby and kids to head down to the pool without me, and take their time. Or perhaps take a jaunt over to the ice machine. And get ice for the entire hotel.)

Yes. I have issues. Sometimes incredibly painful psychological issues. lol

Now aren't you sorry you asked?

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