First World Problems: 1 Bathroom, 6 People
By Judy Balan
First World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org (confidentially!) if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately,
or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.
PROBLEM: Our friends have a small beach house and invite us to it for most long weekends. But they like to stay up playing music later than us, we wake up earlier, there’s only one washroom in the house and usually there are at least six people sharing, so … we really prefer to stay in a hotel. How can I tell them this without offending them when they are being so nice?
Tell them you have a case of explosive diarrhea and then see if they’re still feeling nauseatingly hospitable. Chances are, they’ll be so shit scared (sorry), they won’t even want you to take a hotel. “Drink lots of water and rest up,” they’ll say. Oh, and, “Take care.” Forgive the digression, but really, why do we say these pointless things to each other? Does the dehydrated person really need to be told to drink lots of water? “Be safe,” “take care,” “sleep tight,” useless, empty words that we keep circulating. Kind of like that birthday present we all received at least once as children and knew immediately we wouldn’t use, so we gifted it to someone else and, months or even a year or two later, we received it again – partially scratched label and all – from someone else. Because while no one found it useful, we still thought it would be okay to give it to someone else.
Have I bored you yet? I was hoping to meander long enough for you to find a solution yourself. Because while excuses are fun, I always prefer to go with icy, cold logic: 6+ people. 1 bathroom. Why is this so difficult for some people to understand?
PROBLEM: I’m divorced, seeing someone new, and really wanting to introduce him to my kid. He feels the same, with a kid of his own. How long do you think divorced parents need to be living apart before it’s acceptable to introduce their kids to a boyfriend or girlfriend? Our kids are 6 and 8.
Shouldn’t the question be: How long before you decide you really know this mysterious new person who just might — at some point in the future — change the family structure (again)? Because, you know, he just might turn out to be one of those guys on Bridget Jones’ ‘Will Not Form Emotional Attachments To’ list (she said optimistically).
I don’t mean to rain on your beach castle, but I do hope you have a solid vetting process in place. That said, you might want to get the intros out of the way before the offspring hit their preteens and your life goes from Jerry Maguire to Rosemary’s Babies. Speaking of, I have fewer than three years before mine turns 12, so if you’ll excuse me now, I have a life to inject excitement into and a mysterious stranger to find.