I love free reading materials in my mailbox. Take, for instance, those realtor “newsletters” with suggestions such as “Top 10 Easy Things You Can Do to Improve the Value of Your Home.” I learn so much from these. I often try to guess at some of the suggestions before reading. Will #5 be “If you plan to sell your house this October, be sure to put an animated coffin-enclosed Dracula in your foyer, with a plastic garlic wreath”? Probably not. I’m so bad at these things.
Do you know another improvement that’s never on that list? Toilet seat replacements. But I’m here to tell you that the effort is worthwhile, if you’re like we are and you’ve toilet trained two children in five years. Instant scent and sparkle upgrade!
But how do you decide on a good replacement? As with most home projects, it starts out easy enough. First, you’ll go to your local home improvement store, only to be disappointed in the selection of seats. This sounds finicky of me, but you’ll believe me when you eye the lavender padded seat with the embroidered butterfly on the lid. Should a seat be too comfortable? More importantly, was that butterfly embroidered by hand or was it mass produced without originality? Inevitably, you’ll find yourself in the online forest of Amazon to consider alternative choices.
There, you’ll stare at the 15 variations of the color white. Your spouse will ask you, “Do you think our seat is more of a biscuit or a heart of palm shade?” After debating more than 5 minutes on the topic, eyeing the toilet and comparing to color swatches on the iPad, one of you will scream “Just…white! Not cloud, ivory tusk, snow daisy, or bleach. Pick white because I’m sure it will suit fine.”
Having narrowed down your toilet seat selection by shape (yes, you have choices), color and brand, you’ll take a quick look at the reviews, mostly because they’re not all 4-5 stars. Which piques your curiosity, because you wonder how such a simple product would not earn universal acceptance.
For the seat in which we showed interest, the “most helpful positive review” was as follows: “I especially like the chrome hinges. I did think that it should be cheaper though, but maybe I’m just cheap.” Other good reviews included “Nice ride.” Even Balki said Cousin Larry likes it: “The toilet seat is just what my cousin was looking for. He is very happy with it. Yes he would say get it if you want a good seat.”
But what of the lower starred reviews? Well, there is the problem of being shipped a used seat: “It was easy to install, but I took one star away from the rating because the first seat we received from Amazon was obviously a previously returned item (box was ripped, item was scuffed and dirty, and the fasteners were bent and loosely attached).” Apparently this has happened more than once: “I had to return this because it had been used and returned. It was not even in its original box, but in a box for a different toilet seat. If it had been a new seat, the quality looked good and I would have been happy with it.” Now, I know the elders of the forest of Amazon are busy, and perhaps have a liberal return policy. But I would never expect to receive a used or dirty toilet seat from them. What if I ordered a hairbrush, underwear or set of insulin syringes?
Then there is the problem of hardiness: “I am below 200 lbs, but sat down too fast. If they are going to use brittle low strength materials, then they need to add more supports on the bottom.” Are there instructions regarding how fast or slow one must lower oneself to the toilet? I worry this consumer might be overly self-critical, unless they’re accustomed to diving into their bathroom like it’s third base.
Once the important decision has been made and you begin to finalize your purchase, you see that Amazon has other recommended items for you. And what else goes well with toilets seats, but toilet paper? I decided it was worth a look, as bulk is often cheaper. But there are ratings on this too, and anyone who tells me they could click away without reading the 1-star reviews is a liar. Plus as it would turn out, you can buy bright red, bright yellow, or camouflage toilet paper. You can even buy Fidel Castro or Happy Birthday themed! Most all of these products got 5 stars. All except for the pink, in 32 rolls.
“The color of this Pink Colored Toilet Paper is gorgeous however the texture of the rolls is horrible! It is rough and scratchy and I would be terrified of flushing it down the drain after use. It is exactly the texture of very poor quality paper towels. They look rough and ‘sound’ coarse when touching them. This toilet tissue is more for decoration because of their standout color however for me they are a complete waste of money….(To have to explain to guests to not flush them, and to have to hand the guests another roll of tissue in which to use and flush would be ridiculous)! I am going to look for a way to send the rolls back however it took sooooo long to receive them (I believe the company is in China) and the cost of returning them would be great. They are a disappointment! Please do not waste your money! Wish me luck on trying to return these!”
I added to my order a package of 32 pink rolls for TP’ing my enemies, but I swear if any of it looks used….just wait until I write my review.