Column: Taking the plunge, or ‘How to quickly and loudly flush out the competition’

By Katie O'Connell

I live with five women in one apartment.

We all have our own bedrooms, but that’s still a lot of estrogen floating around.

It’s a lot of tampons, nail polish, hair straighteners, push-up bras, chunky earrings, high heels, hair brushes, body lotion, wine glasses, throw pillows and cute black and white photos.

But it’s also a lot of fun.

Stereotypes aside, it is possible for five women to live together. Sure, we might have similar cycles, but you get over it in a week at least.

And quite frankly, the fight that has torn our apartment apart the most involved something that certainly isn’t girly, unless you consider a toilet bowl plunger to be cute.

Yes, that’s right. A bathroom declogging device nearly destroyed a friendship that started more than two years ago. But it really was important. I mean, five people and one working toilet just isn’t a pretty situation.

Nasty details aside, the upstairs toilet simply didn’t flush like it used to. And it was up to the roomie I share that bathroom with and myself to purchase said product, and we fought like two passive-aggressive retired women playing bingo. It just wasn’t pretty.

My argument: I had already fixed the toilet once when the chain came undone, and I shouldn’t have to fix it again. Her argument: she brought the shower curtain, bath rug, etc., and shouldn’t have to bring another thing for the bathroom. Note: I did pay her for picking everything up.

Hence, I won.

It was a tough fight to fight. I, by no means, want to underplay the catty behavior that went on. Just try to imagine having to go downstairs to the bathroom late at night because there’s a notecard on the toilet lid that says, “Do not use.”

Think about what it’s like to stand in front of the plungers at Walgreens, picturing yourself carrying one the 3/4 of a mile back to your apartment in broad daylight. As you’re standing there, you picture the shameful, judgemental glances you’d catch from your peers. You can hear the jokes they make about you.

And if you were in that situation, you’d opt for just buying toilet paper and walking away. You know you would.

I can’t take credit for the victory though. The roomie in question was having a good day and decided to take the plunge, literally. It might be a shallow victory for me, but a win is a win.

And quite frankly, if you’re ever over at my apartment, you can flush wherever you want. Tell me you don’t appreciate that, and I’ll call you a liar.