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 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.
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.
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.