Behavioral therapy may help when managing toilet seat debate

Q: I have to admit that while we were watching what seemed to be a crisis the stores were having stocking their shelves with toilet paper, my mind was wandering off to what is the greatest in my collection of pet peeves — the toilet seat.

If it was not for toilet seats my husband and I would have a stress-free relationship, but we don’t.

He insists on leaving the toilet seat in the upright position, while I am doggedly determined to have that same seat lowered to its natural place in the washroom.

He is up, I am down, and the whole thing goes back and forth, day after day, week after week. To make matters worse our freshly sprung adolescent boy seems to be following in his father’s footsteps.

I now have two men to inure with my evening round of sarcasm, not just one, but to be honest the effect is largely the same with both men, which is hardly at all.

I would like the guys to be a little more considerate of my daughters and me but I don’t know how to get them on side. What do you think? Is there any chance at all that I can win this one?

A: I have no doubt that you and your family have some interesting chats around the supper table as you girls try to get the guys to be a little more considerate.

For entertainment, might I suggest that you search the issue on the internet and read through some of the rationale guys have for leaving toilet seats in compromising positions for their female companions.

Apparently, an engineer once presented a very complicated paper in which he argued, tongue-in-cheek, that leaving the toilet seat up was an energy saving device. That is certainly taking it to the absurd.

Others have suggested that toilet seats caught in the 90 degree closure are more sanitary than are those seats flattened to their natural positions. Isn’t that interesting? Some people argue that toilet seats are more attractive in the upright position and others that leaving the seat up is a major matter for convenience. The arguments are amazing.

I don’t think that either your husband, your son, or the rest of the guys scattered throughout the universe have a real argument for keeping toilet seats up.

Certainly they can’t argue against the accident-prone seat that is not horizontal and is therefore not there to break the fall of someone, unsuspectingly, suddenly finding themselves falling into a toilet bowl filled with water.

The issue is just a matter of consideration. That same guy who holds the door open for you when you go out for a date-night or who whispers sweet words of love while watching late night television can surely take his sensitivity into the washroom and return the toilet seat to its natural position. It is not asking too much.

Your best bet is to make it known clearly to both your husband and your son that you would prefer that they put the toilet seat down.

Don’t argue it. Just state it. And then leave it alone. Except that when you one day find the toilet seat down when you want to use it you need to celebrate and let the guys know how very much you appreciated it.

That could encourage them to do it again. The psychologists call it behavioral therapy. The rest of us call it common sense.

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