Jerry Zezima: Rub-a-dub-dub, no men in the tub

Jerry Zezima, Tribune News Service on

Published in Lifestyles

I haven’t taken a bath since the Johnson administration (Lyndon, not Andrew) and it looks like the drought will continue because boys aren’t allowed in our newly renovated bathroom.

That is the edict handed down by our three granddaughters, ages 11, 7 and 4. Even before the renovation began, they taped a sign to the door reading:


No boys allowed!

Yes, I know the word “girls” should be plural, not possessive, but you must understand that these girls are: (a) young and (b) very possessive of the bathroom they use when they visit our house.

They have an ally in their grandmother, my wife, Sue, a girl who doubled down on the order when she told me, the only boy on the premises, that the bathroom was hers.


Sue doesn’t mind sharing it with our granddaughters, who love to splash in the tub, but the rest of the time she wants the place to herself.

I don’t blame her. For the first 11 years of our marriage, we lived in an apartment with only one bathroom. Sue and our two then-young daughters, now the mothers of our granddaughters, complained that I took too much time doing important manly things like trimming my nose hairs and cutting myself to ribbons while shaving.

When we moved into a condo, the situation was somewhat better, but we were still in each other’s way when it came to personal hygiene and answering the call of nature.

For the past quarter of a century, Sue and I have lived in a house with two and a half bathrooms. We have shared the main bathroom, which has a shower but no bathtub. The other full bathroom, which is larger than ours, has a shower and tub and was recently renovated. It was seldom used — except when our granddaughters came over to put on makeup, frost cupcakes, play outside and wash everything off in the bath.


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