Luv Doc: Not Mellow at All
There is an unwritten social contract to indoor plumbing
Dear Luv Doc,
My boyfriend moved in with me in January, and now I wish I had spent more time at his place before that because I might know better what I am dealing with. WHICH IS ... he never flushes the toilet. Well, he does sometimes ... thankfully when he goes #2, but if he pees he just lets it sit there – for days on end – and this is the worst part. I am in sales and I am often out of town for several days. There are times when I come home and the toilet seat is up and I can tell he hasn't flushed the toilet in DAYS. I have confronted him about this before and he always says, "If it's yellow, let it mellow." News flash: Urine does not mellow over several days. It gets worse – way worse. He says he's saving the environment by not using as much water, but I think he really doesn't flush because he is lazy and disgusting. How did I end up living with this guy and how do I get him to stop? I mean start ... flushing?
– Not Mellow at All
There is an unwritten social contract to indoor plumbing that seems painfully obvious to anyone not ravaged by debilitating psychopathy: You take care of business and then you put the toilet seat down and flush. By not flushing you are insulting the hard work and craftsmanship of the noble plumber – some hardworking person who probably falls asleep each night beaming with pride at the thought that they kept you from crapping outside. Most importantly, you're sparing the next user an unpleasant olfactory and visual reminder of their own tenuous mortality. Such a small amount of effort, such a huge karmic payoff.
Now, I realize there are certain tree-huggin', otter-scrubbin', Earth-lovin' environmental warrior types who like to prey on your guilt by carping about the amount of water you waste practicing baseline first-world hygiene. Your boyfriend might well be one of them. That's cool. Social conscience takes many forms, and it's probably good to be reminded that all of our actions have consequences. For instance: You can't pee in a toilet several days in a row without flushing and not expect your girlfriend to change the locks. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that if we have to endure the constant stench of fetid urine in our homes in order to save the Earth or its inhabitants, we might as well just burn it down. Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes on a composting toilet on a hot day in August in Texas understands what I'm saying. It's a no-brainer.
A flush is such a small favor to ask it should never need to be requested. Most flush levers can be operated with a minimal amount of effort. A pinkie will suffice, so if someone is unwilling to make such a small effort, there is something much, much larger going on. It's not social conscience. If it was, people like your boyfriend would pee outside – ideally off the side of their high horses. No, this is something more pernicious – perhaps an oddly manifested control issue, some perverted form of alpha male dick swinging. Regardless, it shouldn't be tolerated – not just the moral gaslighting aspect, but the fundamental hygienic issue as well. This is a very clear instance where you need to lay down la ley. If your relationship can't survive the tiny annoyance of flushing, it was down the toilet anyway.