April 2 – B – Bidet
Perhaps the concept of two toilet-looking creatures in a bathroom is so foreign that you’ll think – like my daughter when she was about 3 – that the one that spouts water must be a fountain to replenish your fluids after you’ve peed in the toilet! Alas, she has since learned otherwise, and now that we’re living in Argentina for a semester sabbatical, she is mortified (at the age of 9) that she ever drank so freely from the water-spouting creature that cleans and refreshes the buttdaski – otherwise known as the buttshower! If you know not what I speak of when I say “bidet”, there are some links at the bottom to define, explain the history, and to offer step-by-step advice on how to use it – but I think the term “buttshower” should make it clear enough.
Growing up I had a friend whose parents had designed and built their home, and the mother had a bidet installed in their gorgeous bathroom. It, along with her claw-footed tub, left me in awe, wonder, and desire to try them; since I was only able to see the two on a private tour, not indulge in either, ever, I chalked the desired experiences up onto a bucket-list for the future.
Then, when I went to Paris on a school trip as a teenager, I finally was able to sit on a bidet and experience the thrill of a truly refreshened lower end. A true thrill for us teenagers, and it made us feel so very chic and European to utilize a bidet! Each would each go into the bathroom while the rest of us waited with baited breath until the inevitable squeal would emit from behind the bathroom door, then the rest of us would giggle in fits of teenage girl hilarity!
My love affair and experience with the bidet didn’t become a realized daily luxury until I came to travel to Argentina with my husband and children – to my husband’s hometown here in Santa Fe. Immediately, on my first visit back in 2003, I came to appreciate the little buttshower – not only for my own refreshment and relief, but especially with an infant after one of those kind of diaper changes; hold reeking infant over the bidet as the spray cleans away the horror! Nothing is easier! Seriously – how do we in North America not have these contraptions? We who are obsessed with cleanliness, daily showers, wet-wipes, etc…? It is the most civilized utility to have! Living here for nearly two months now, I cannot imagine going back to life without my toilet’s handy sidekick!
My only other exciting bidet experience was when we were in a hotel in Granada, Spain. That toilet was an all-in-one deal. Attached to the regular toilet was a bidet where you controlled the temperature of the seat and the water, you could choose the direction of the spray, and the type of spray (like a shower head). press a different button and soapy water would squirt into your nether-regions, another would unleash a dryer to the derriere! When I unabashedly bragged about the experience on Facebook – I mean who wouldn’t brag about that – my friend living in Japan enlightened me that Japanese toilet/bidets had even more bells and whistles; consequently, Japan quickly got added to my bucket list when I learned about that treat!
So, when I decided to sign up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge for the month of April, I knew immediately that I would write about my beloved friend the bidet for this “B” blog! Saying goodbye in July will be traumatic for both me and my butt! It will also be traumatic for my husband as I’m sure to grieve, sulk, complain and whine about my lack of a bidet! If I ever get to renovate our bathroom, a bidet will be priority #1 – maybe a nice little Japanese model as a space-saver, of course!
Further important references regarding the Bidet:
- A Short History of the Bidet
- How to Use a Bidet – in 7 Steps
- Toilet Guru (ha ha)
- Japanese Bidet/Toilets