Every morning, as I wriggle out from under my soft comforter and fumble my way to the dimly lit staircase, I’m faced with one of the most trying decisions of my day. I could make the grueling and strenuous climb up the stairs, to the cleaner, fresher, unmistakably better bathroom, or I can stumble down into the shadowy basins where mold lines the walls and cockroaches are occasional company. Butdid you know that you burn over three times as many calories climbing up a flight of stairs than you do walking down?The decision that I make between the upstairs and basement bathroomsshould be clear to anyone.
As I stand inside the colorfullymold-stained shower and let a blast of gloriouslyfrigid water explode in my face, I wonder to myself why anybody would ever speak ill of these underground wonders of the world. Having had little experience with anything other than these dank slivers of paradise, I can only speak hypothetically and give four reasons why basement bathrooms trump their upper-level counterparts.
Reason 1: Basement bathrooms are used less. I have witnessed sights down below that I wouldn't wish upon my greatest enemies, ranging from large omelettes of excrement in the showers to enough hair in the sink to provide an ecosystem for small habitats of woodland creatures. I can only imagine the sights people encounter in places the light touches, where woodland creatures might actually dare to frequent. I envision something along the lines of tribal systems ruled by despotic squirrels that force students to fight each other to earn their right to poop in a urinal.
Moving on ...
Reason 2: There is less light. On top of the health benefits that come with avoiding sunlight altogether — such as reduced chances of developing skin cancer and cataracts — after staying up all night fearing the sunrise and your morning precept, is the sun really the thing you’re going to want to look at when you open that bathroom door?
Reason 3: Basement bathrooms welcome antisocial behavior. If you ever come running back to your room with the frantic need to use the bathroom, you will obviously go downstairs, foreseeing the level of occupancy upstairs. There is nothing worse than doing the pee-dance while your neighbor from down the hall chats you up outside the restroom door. And even on an average night, when your bladder is far from bursting, head downstairs to embrace the privacy and solitude. In those second-floor bathrooms, there's always the possibility that some desperate drunk might angrily break down the door to your stall and crap on your lap.
Reason 4: They collectively lower community standards. In basement bathrooms, all common rules of decency are casually thrown away as convenience becomes everybody’s principal ally. You can pee in the shower, throw up in the sink or shave your legs in public. (Note to all of my neighbors: I do not actually partake in any of these activities ... please do not throw me out.) Also, I like to walk around naked, and the low population density minimizes my risk of full frontal-ing the poor girl who lives near the men’s bathroom.
Basement bathrooms provide a cool respite in the otherwise hectic and unforgiving Princeton bathroom circuit.