Double Sinks in the Master Bath – Must We Have Them? Really? Part I
Two Sinks: Now standard in new construction for Master Baths. It’s another “must have” shown on the real estate shows. Having previously written about the “Open Floor Plan” a commenter suggested I discuss other popular real estate “must have” amenities. There are many, from walk-in closets, stainless steel appliances, and granite counter tops. But here I’ll address Two Sinks in the Master Bath. People just have to have these, according to many of the House Hunters couples on HGTV. Some of these HGTV couples are so disappointed when the master bath doesn’t have two sinks, it’s a deal-breaker. By the way, HGTV does a good job of showing same-sex couples on their shows, but the two sink thing seems to be proffered has a heterosexual couple “must have.” I’ll address it in kind.
From what I understand, these are the reasons why this is so popular:
1. We can get ready together in the morning!
2. I don’t have to deal with his/her mess in the sink, I’ll have my very own sink!
3. His and her sinks in the Master Bath means “I’ve Arrived!”
Yeah, okay. I get it. I really do, but I’m not sure that requiring two sinks in the master bath is the best use of construction dollars or should be a deal-breaker.
1. We can get ready together in the morning!
Oh, that’s cute, but think about it. In this world when everybody has personal devices for everything, when people don’t share cars or phones or computers or even closets, why are high-end houses still designed so that a couple can share a bathroom in the morning? The whole point, from what I understand, is that couples can both be brushing their teeth or whatever at the same time. Really? In a large home, especially a home that is new construction, or one that carries a price tag that starting at over a half a million dollars, or one where each child, nanny, and guest has his/her own bathroom, why are the husband and wife supposed to brush, rinse, spit, and floss together? Not to mention pluck, shave, or otherwise groom. I don’t care what you say, HGTV, but most husbands and wives are not going to openly share their nasal maintenance. And though I’m not completely sure what men do in the bathroom, I’m reasonably sure I don’t need to see it.
Let’s face it: regardless of the existence of two sinks, some things will be done behind the closed bathroom door while the spouse is elsewhere — anywhere — but standing at the adjacent sink.
And for those couples who are completely comfortable sharing bathroom activities with each other? They don’t need two sinks.
2. I don’t have to deal with his/her mess in the sink. I’ll have my very own sink!
Even when couples won’t use the bathroom as the same time, they want their own space. As I’ve heard repeatedly on HGTV, this breaks down to two concerns:
a. Women want/need space for all their skin, hair, make-up products.
b. Men leave shaving stubble in the sink, and women don’t like to see it, clean it or use a sink with said shaving stubble.
Alrighty then. Having two sinks will create two separate areas for two different kinds of messes, right next to each other. His and her sinks? His and her mess.
Ew. (Doesn’t anybody clean?)
I think we can safely say that both a man and a woman have the potential for leaving a mess in the bathroom. Given blow drying and flat-ironing of long hair, the skin and make-up products, it seems like the women would be more likely to be the slobs in the bathroom sink area, though on HGTV they are usually the ones to complain. The complaint about the man’s mess seems to be mostly about shaving stubble. It appears HGTV women are very put out about seeing shaving stubble in the sink. Does having two sinks make it better? Not really. I doubt that the woman who is really bothered by the sight of beard stubble will be able to enjoy her adjacent sink within view of said beard stubble. Again, isn’t somebody going to clean the bathroom?
Having two sinks will only ensure that one is always surrounded by woman’s mess/stuff and the other will be surrounded by a man’s mess/stuff.
Still, somebody will have to see and wash up next to the other person’s mess — and now there are two sinks to clean — or not. It’s kind of like the Hoarder who, instead of throwing stuff out, simply rents a storage unit.
But I get it. It’s a perk.
3. His and her sinks in the Master Bath means “I’ve Arrived!” (I really think this is the true reason why couples crave the two sinks.)
But . . .
a. Not everyone is in a couple.
Yes, you’ve arrived, but uh — not all adults are coupled up. Sometimes you arrive all by yourself (pun not intended — well, maybe a little). It’s not always a his/her, his/his or her/her situation. Sometimes it’s Just Me . . . heh heh heh. I remember a scene from the movie “It’s Complicated” where the main character, a divorced woman, was redoing her bathroom and wanted to get rid of the second sink. It was just a daily reminder that she had no partner, which she was okay with, but the sinks apparently were not. My single sister has a two sink master bathroom that came with her newer construction home. She uses one sink, and the other holds her curling iron. Seems a waste.
Two sinks in the Master Bath are just kind of stupid for single people, and a bit insulting. I can almost see the existence of two sinks being a deal-breaker for a single person. And if person becomes single after having insisted on the double sinks? Might as well tile “Failed Relationship” on the back splash.
b. Not everyone aspires to be in a couple.
Having a second sink when single might invite a relationship where one is not welcome. Remember vintage Barney in “How I Met Your Mother”? When giving Lily the tour of his Fortress of Barnitude, he explained, “I make it crystal clear to every girl who walks in here that this is not the place to leave a toothbrush, this is not the place to leave a contact lens case, this is a place — to leave.” I mean, the guy has a king size bed with only a full size blanket and just one pillow. As to the bathroom, Barney added, “What? Only one towel? What? No hair dryer? You know where I keep that stuff? Your place. Beat it.” Clearly, the Master (or Lady) of the house does not always have or welcome a guest planning to stay long enough to warrant a second sink. Nope. As Barney said, sometimes a person wants his or her home to say, “Our work here is done.”
I know I can be a rebel, but I think that what I think people really want is — wait for it —— their very own bathroom!
Why stop at the sinks? I mean, if you’re loading down a house with all the must have stuff let’s go all the way — I’m talking his and her separate, private bathrooms! In the old days, many of the very wealthy couples had his and her bathrooms. Let’s extend the royal treatment to suburban McMansions.
You hear that, new construction designers? You wouldn’t necessarily need that much more room, depending on the design and a bit of creativity. Some of these high end master bedrooms have a separate seating area and his or her walk-in closets. If there is space for all that, they could design his and her bathrooms, especially in those palatial homes and possibly even in more moderate homes. It’s funny in these houses with every amenity imaginable and the cars get their own room and guests have their own suites, can’t the Lady and Lord of the house brush their teeth alone? And I’d bet it would be a huge selling point. Huge.
Even for singles, we can keep that second bathroom on lock down and not within view, and only a privileged few could earn a key to this “executive washroom.” It would be a “special guest” bath. As an added bonus, it would serve a dual function of keeping our guests the heck out of our stuff. “No, I’m sorry, honey, you use that bathroom.” heh heh heh
But I get it. For most of us regular folk there might not be space for two completely separate baths connected to the master bedroom.
I’ll offer another, less radical, suggestion. When remodeling or buying new construction or house shopping, consider having only one sink in the Master Bath, make the assumption that a couple will not actually be in the bathroom together, or if they are, they are not both using the sink at the same time. Instead, use the money saved to install a larger, easy to clean counter space, creating an area that can accommodate all the products with great lighting and plenty of mirrors. Or, better yet, design personalized storage for all of those products and hair appliances so they can be used and put away (or left out) while still hot. And that one sink? Make it and the counter easy to wipe clean of the shaving stubble, you could or even install a sprayer. (Or get a maid.)
Let’s put a second (or third) sink where it belongs — in the hall (children’s) bath. It always amazes me when this is missing in a space that would allow it, especially in homes that are meant to accommodate more than one child. It’s kids that brush their teeth together while another small child is sitting on the toilet. Kids aren’t concerned about modesty, have less products and consequently less need for counter space. But trust me, you want them washing those grubby hands. Any preschool teacher or parent will tell you kids tend to wash better and brush teeth longer with a buddy. So let the kids live dorm style. Just teach them to clean the sinks, all of them!
Just Me With . . . no master bath at all, so I’m talking, excuse my expression, — out of my ass. We are a family of six sharing one bathroom. I would love to have another sink — anywhere!
Many thanks to the commenter David Travers, who inspired this post, and to HGTV, a channel that I watch, enjoy, and criticize frequently.
Maybe I’m just jealous.
Double Sinks in the Master Bath, Part II
An Argument Against the Open Floor Plan
A Craigslist Fantasy — How I Met the Love of My Life
Okay, so I’ve seen The Craigslist Killer movie, based on the true story of a serial killer who picked his victims on Craigslist. But I’ve allowed myself to indulge in a Craigslist Fantasy while I’m home sick with a cold and a hurt back.
Hell, it could happen, right?
This much is true: I’m selling a keyboard on Craigslist now. I got a response from a guy. Via text we’ve been making plans to meet so he can check it out. I had to reschedule once because I was too sick to deal with it, he responded by text that he hopes I feel better. Aw, that was nice.
And it got me to thinking . . .
What if . . .
Here’s the fantasy part (meaning none of this actually happened) . . .
Chris was scheduled to come on Sunday afternoon at 3:00. The kids were with my ex-husband. I started looking for him right before, because I don’t have a doorbell and my dogs were out back.
And there he was, a man at my door.
Chris was medium everything in my fantasy, medium-to-tall height, build, complexion, the kind of guy who could commit a crime and would not be remembered, except for his smile. A great smile. All and all, an impossibly nice mix of nerd and athlete. After all, this isn’t online dating, I don’t have to check all the boxes in my harmless fantasy. He was conveniently without race or ethnicity or age in my fantasy. He wasn’t big enough to scare me — since we are alone in my house, but he was big enough to be my manly fantasy — since we were alone in my house.
But I digress . . . from my own fantasy . . . so sad. Okay, back to it.
Out of habit I checked his hands. Clean and no ring. Good.
“Hey, how are you, I’m Chris.” He smiled, a Hollywood smile.
He seemed pleased to meet me. Which means my painstakingly effortless casual look had succeeded — tight tee-shirt and jeans, sneakers, but earrings,necklace, lipstick and blush. However, in an unconventional move — I left my glasses on and hair up in a clip. Hell, this wasn’t a date. Plus, if my glasses are on, I can get away with the lack of eye makeup, which means I don’t have to worry about taking off eye makeup later. (Always thinking, always planning, often lazy.) All in all, I presented a nice mix of nerdy femininity, thank you very much.
“Good, I’m Roxanne.””
“Nice to meet you.” He held out his hand.
I shook his hand, shouldn’t have, since I’ve been blowing my nose all day, but there was a man in my house and I was going to touch him, some way, some how . . .
“Anyway, the keyboard is downstairs.” Could you wait just a minute?
I pulled out my cell and called my mom, pretending that she was a boyfriend.
“Hey, sweetie, just wanted to let you know the man is here to look at the keyboard and I’ll call you later. No, take your time — he looks okay.” I smiled at him. “But you can come if you want.”
“Well, you can never be too careful.” Safety first, safety last, safety always. (I wonder if he carries condoms?)
He laughed again. So did I. I may have giggled. Damn.
The dogs were going crazy outside. He said, “You can let them in, I love dogs.” (Ding Ding, we have a winner.)
“No, they’re harmless, but they’ll be all over you.” (Insert obvious double entendre)
I showed him to the small door to my semi-finished basement and motioned him down.
He joked, “Now should I be scared?”
“Perhaps, a little.” (Bwah ha ha, you have no idea . . . )
I uncovered the keyboard and said, “Let me get it turned on.” (I thought, “I wanna turn him on.” Why? because he’s a man in my house. That’s all it takes. )
“Okay, looks good. Cool. Wow. ” Chris immediately starting playing, pushing the buttons, the joystick, changing sounds.
He was lost in the keyboard. Just like I like them, said the spider to the fly.
I watched him play with it for a bit. Keyboard technique only fair, but chording nice. Knows his way around electronics. For the first time in a long time I was not in a hurry for a person to leave my house. I offered him water. You should always offer a guest in your home something to drink.
“No, thanks, I’m good.” (Are you? I wonder.)
My back was aching and I needed to sit, so I sat at my son’s drums (which,by the way, are really mine). Before I knew it I was playing (at) drums along with him. Fun. To quote the great scholar — The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,
“A girlie who can play the drums can write her own ticket.“
Do ya think I’m sexy now, man in my house?
Chris wanted the keyboard. Yay! (I wanted him. Yes, I like musicians, even part-time basement musicians.) I explained to him that I threw my back out and couldn’t help him carry it. “Oh, I can probably do it.” He got up to lift the keyboard to test the weight. I watched.
Biceps, good. Oh my gosh, what is wrong with me?
His pants were too baggy for butt evaluation, which is good, because if he’d had on skinny jeans? Well, that would have been bad.
All in all. I like this guy, I thought.
He likes music and the same music gear I own. Good.
He’s got manners. Good.
He has a job of some sort because we had to schedule around it. Good.
So far he hasn’t tried to kill me. Very good.
A fleeting thought — I keep duct tape in my gig bag in the basement; he’s in my basement. Hmmm. I briefly considered getting out the duct tape to ensure a longer visit, but I decided against that. Sigh.
“Oh, I forgot about the case. It’s upstairs. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get everything down because of my back. Can you help bring it down?”
This meant he had to walk through my house to the upstairs attic storage.
I saw him glance in my bedroom. My bedroom is nice. Kind of hotel chic. Not too feminine. In other words, man ready. Yeah, baby.
My kids’ bedrooms? Not so nice. Messy. The kids weren’t home, and I have been too sick and hurt to clean their rooms. I apologized for the messes. He shrugged and said, “You should have seen my room when I was a kid.” (I’d like to see his room now.)
“Do you have kids?” I ask.
“No, I’m not married.” (I love that answer). “I’m still a big kid myself.” (I don’t know about that answer, but he was a man in my house.)
“My kids are with their dad today.” Awkward silence. Why did I say that? This is horrible, I’m awkward even in my own fantasy.
Why? why? did I say “their dad” ? Then I remembered my fake boyfriend call I’d made to my mother when he arrived. Oh no! So now he thinks I have multiple kids and at least one baby daddy plus a boyfriend. Damn. Not well-played. Now the awesome task in front of me was to slip in “Ex-Husband” and “single” in the conversation in the next 45 seconds.
I can be skilled in the art of conversation when I have to be (i.e. when I’ve already messed things up), so when he commented on a painting of me, I casually mentioned that it was the only thing my ex-husband gave me that I kept, other than the kids — ha ha — and that it was painted in Europe and I fantasize about moving to France when my kids get out of school — and I added, slipped in, really,
“I’m single and free, right?”
“Right.” He smiled.
Well-played, Roxanne, well-played.
Then Chris asked, the dreaded, inevitable question. He asked me how many kids I have. I mean, he saw the boy’s drums, now he was walking through my girls’ rooms and there are baby pictures on the walls upstairs.
Well, this is tricky. I have five children. Five. Sometimes I’m afraid to tell guys that. But I have to say, they don’t seem to care that much. Still, it’s a substantial number.
“Five. I have five kids.”
“Wow.” And he did what many do, glance at my waist. I pretended to ignore that.
“Yeah, you got that right. Wow. But I had them two at a time . . . so.”
We had the twin conversation and he adds the obligatory, “You’ve got your hands full,” thing. Blah Blah Blah. My stock may have plummeted. Damn kids. Whatever. There’s a man in my house!!!! Perhaps I should reconsider the duct tape to keep him here, I thought, now that he knows I have five kids. Hmmm.
So, long story short, in my fantasy I stood there and watched him load the keyboard and I didn’t drip snot on my chest. Lots of biceps and sweating were involved, his, which I enjoyed. He paid what I quoted, didn’t try to talk me down, and said, in parting, “I hope you feel better.” Aw, that was nice. (Which is how this whole thing got started.)
In my fantasy conclusion, my Craigslist guy doesn’t kill me. He calls me. And he comes to my next gig.
I don’t allow myself to fantasize any further than that . . .
Just Me With . . . a Craigslist fantasy. The G-Rated one, anyway.
Postscript from real life: Just got a text from him checking in, saying, “Before I made other plans later I wanted to ask how you are doing.” Aw. He wanted to know if today was going to work for me. He ended with, “FYI, I’m in no rush, in any case. Take care, Chris.” I replied that I’d reschedule and hold the keyboard for him.
I think I’m in love.
So the fantasy continues . . . for another day. Because today I feel like crap, look a hot mess, and walk funny.
Final Postscript from real life: He came to my house to see the keyboard — with his girlfriend. Sigh. At least he bought it. I used the money to pay off a credit card. Next fantasy? Becoming debt-free.