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Dear Husband, Why the Hell Are You Still In the Bathroom?!

Photograph by Twenty20

Living with a man has many advantages, but sharing a bathroom is definitely not one of them.

Ask any sitcom wife—if you see your husband carrying a newspaper (or more likely these days, a smartphone) into the can, you won’t see him again for at least 20 minutes, and you’re definitely not going to want to use the bathroom right afterwards unless you have a gas mask. It’s a stereotype because it’s true!

Now that I’m a mom who rarely uses the restroom unaccompanied by minors, forcing me to do my business faster than a golden retriever, I have real questions about men and their bathroom-hogging behavior.

Men, why does it take you so damn long to use the bathroom? Is biology to blame? Is the male intestinal track more of a marathon than a sprint? Are you constipated? Have you ever tried just eating a salad? That’s all women are allowed to eat these days, but mixed greens have their advantages, digestion-wise.

And why is this urgent need to poop always conveniently timed to when the women in your life most desperately need you, like the morning hustle or during the bedtime routine? “I’m in the bathroom!” men say, like this explains everything. Harried moms everywhere respond: If you're not performing open heart surgery, drop that deuce and get the hell out of there.

My friend Diana thinks her husband’s 45-minute bathroom breaks actually involve taking two separate shits. In between, he waits it out on the toilet, reading and relaxing like he’s at the spa. Meanwhile, she makes the breakfast, packs the lunches, fills the backpacks, applies the sunscreen, negotiates sibling rivalry and gets the kids out the door just in time for him to emerge smiling and kiss everyone goodbye.

Thanks for nothing, dude.

Whatever it is you're doing in there, just come out of the damn bathroom, already!

I don't get it. Can anyone, even a meat/potato/beer-loving man, really need that much time to cleanse his colon? Perhaps there is more going on in there than just dumping out. Is porn involved? Please tell me the porn and the pooping are not simultaneous because I don’t think I can handle that.

Maybe you’re watching Hulu? Or catching up on last night’s "Game of Thrones" to avoid spoilers at work?

Are you reliving the magical fourth quarter of the big game? Instant replays imply that you will be done watching in an instant, but clearly you are not.

Are you napping? Be careful how you answer, because this could be grounds for divorce.

Are you trimming your pubes so it looks bigger? You can’t fool your wife with this nonsense, honey.

Whatever it is you're doing in there, just come out of the damn bathroom, already!

Do you know what a woman would do with 45 uninterrupted minutes in the bathroom? Personally, I would shower, shave, pluck, exfoliate, dry brush, lotion, detangle, deep condition, blow-dry and apply flawless no-makeup makeup, all while mentally meal planning, working out the carpool and writing a blog post about the best day of my whole life when I had 45 minutes alone in the bathroom.

Since we all know the average mom will never find herself in such an enviable position, how about a compromise? Maybe—I don't know—we could take turns in the bathroom! You promise to keep the kids out while we're in there (bar the door if necessary) and we promise not to mock you mercilessly when you stink up the joint.

As long as you let us go first.

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