What Your Kitchen Doesn’t Say About You, Your Bathroom Just Might

I think the year was 1998 when my friend Indigo emerged from my bathroom smiling. She was impressed that I had Aveda shampoo in my shower. I guess it stuck in my mind because it was the moment I realized that women notice the little things. She went on to explain that she was impressed that I was a "shopper" — I was a man who actually had products. I guess this should have been the moment I also realized that women snoop.

There are lots of theories about what objects say about their owners. I've dated girls who swear that checking out a guy's music collection is a barometer of who he is. And, of course, you can peruse bookshelves for further insight. BTW, if you see anything by Dr. Phil or spot the book The Secret, then you should probably run. Heck, I once dated a girl for a bit until I saw she had a whole shelf of books devoted to witchcraft. God knows I don't want to wake up with a marmot for a penis.

The fridge is hardly safe from stereotypes. A single woman has take-out boxes, yogurt, and Diet Coke. Single guys have nothing but condiments, leftover pizza, and beer. Yes, there are little things that everyone notices around the house.

Isn't there a saying that the bathroom is the window to the soul? Well, maybe there isn't an actual saying, but, damn, if it isn't pretty close to true. Most people I know consider it taboo to open someone else's medicine cabinet — kind of along the same lines as opening someone's diary. I tend to disagree. If it's in the bathroom, then it's fair game! Yes, I'm suggesting that guests and dates are opening your medicine cabinet and snooping around. Hell, it saves you time and it's a lot easier to just open up the door and read the pill bottles to discover what's wrong with someone.

I know this is a column about dating and food, but I'm telling you: If you want to end up in the bedroom with your date, then your bathroom should get just as much attention as your kitchen. I think guys expect a woman to have a clean bathroom, and women expect a guy's bathroom to be a cesspool. If you really want to impress your date, then get the bathroom so clean that you could light some candles and eat in there. Keep in mind, ladies, that your man probably has eaten while on the can, just like he's probably pissed in every sink in the house. Men, get the john so clean that your date wouldn't mind a quickie next to the throne. (If you haven't made it in the can then you aren't worth dating.)

The importance of the bathroom comes to mind because of an awkward experience I had a few years ago. This is a true story: My German friends invited my girlfriend and me over for an authentic, homemade German meal. We started with a traditional scrumptious dumpling soup and moved to a simple yet fresh and satisfying salad. Everything was fantastic, but after many hefeweizens, I had to excuse myself from the table to use the bathroom before the main course arrived.

Down the hall, first door on the right. I knocked lightly, stepped in, and turned on the light. I hate to admit this, but I spied some porn, so I sat down and grabbed a magazine (those Europeans sure love penetration). It was then that I noticed the toilet paper all over the floor. I couldn't believe the mess. Then a wave of nausea came over me as I realized that the dog had gotten hold of a sanitary device wrapped in toilet paper. I'm sorry, dear reader, but this shook me as well.

I'm sure everyone is familiar with the toilet nest you make when forced to frequent a truck-stop bathroom (like a bird's nest, but with toilet paper lining the bowl so you don't touch anything), but I took this a step further. I put down the porn and grabbed the TP roll, then wrapped each hand from wrist to fingers until I had two white mittens (you also need to use your mouth for this creation). I then proceeded to pick up the, uh, "biological material" from the floor and put it back in the wastebasket out of which the dog had fished it.

I washed thoroughly and rushed back to the dinner table just in time for the main course. Needless to say I wasn't that hungry anymore, but I managed to muscle down the schnitzel and plenty more beers. Damn, the memory still makes me cringe. In fact, when we arrived back at my place, I wasn't in the mood, if you know what I mean. It just goes to show you how important it is to have a clean bathroom.

If you really want to impress your date, then give your bathroom a makeover. Buy some expensive designer shampoo and make sure it's visible. Believe me, women will notice all of your toiletries. I suggest having some fragrance sticks; it's a hell of a lot more masculine than a smelly candle. I would also splurge on pump hand soap and lotion from Crate & Barrel. If you are more into the bar soap, then purchase a nice soap dish and get the $6 bar of oversize imported French stuff. Men and women alike will love that you are clean, and it shows that you want to take care of your body.

As for the medicine cabinet, hide your secrets — just like you would your diary. Any prescription meds should be hidden. If you are a guy, I suggest you put some KY in there to keep 'em guessing. If you are a woman and don't want them to linger behind the mirror, then just stuff the thing full of tampons (they're like Kryptonite to men). Oh, yeah, almost forgot: Hide the porn.

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C.M. Redding
Contact: C.M. Redding