Today’s rant is brought to you courtesy of whoever designed the British electrical code.
In America, where I lived for my first thirty years, I had reasonably cute hair. However, as it is neither perfectly curly nor perfectly straight, to tame it into submission normally requires one or more of the following implements: a hairdryer, ceramic straightening tongs, a curling iron, hot rollers, and if push comes to shove, a pony-tail binder. Now I have lived in England for nearly a year, my hair is simply not as cute as it ever was in the states. I chopped off about six inches of length when I first got here, and have tried several different variations on a short-to-medium bob. The truth, however, is plain. Without simultaneous access to a bathroom mirror and an electrical outlet, I am sunk.
It doesn’t seem to be so strange or out of the realm of common sense to allow for one’s full set of primping and grooming activities to take place in a single location within the home. And for me, in the past, that one spot was always the bathroom. Access to a countertop for staging the process and to drawers/cabinets for storage of preening tools. Access to water and a sink for face-washing and dental care, access to a mirror for cosmetic applications (and a sink can be quite handy for this as well), and access to a mirror and an electrical outlet for hair styling. This does not seem so complicated to me.
However, my bathroom in Britain is missing three key things. (1) there is no electrical outlet in the bathroom. (2) there is no countertop, just a basin sink (with the dastardly separate hot and cold taps) and the top surface of the toilet tank. (3) There is no cabinet for storage of beauty items except a thin slidey-door medicine cabinet above the toilet.
These deficiencies have the following consequences:
- I hesitate to admit the number of items that have had to be fished out of the toilet after having fallen in. EEEwwwww. I know, gross.
- My hair is not ever cute unless I employ the $2000 solution of plugging in my hair items near my laptop and using my webcam. This is NOT a day-to-day solution.
I note that due to the conspicuous absence of closets or cabinets in my bedroom, there is not space for (nor electrical outlets to support) the apparent typical British solution of a stand alone vanity table with a mirror. (And such an item would be conspicuously lacking in running water.)
I further note that my trip home to the US is now in 2 weeks and counting, and you can just bet that I will spend a happy week luxuriating in American bathrooms. I will enjoy the electrical outlets, single tap sinks, and normal shower/bath combinations in which either option is an actual option. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.