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Who in the Hell Invented the Jack and Jill Bathroom??!!!

November 8, 2012

Next time you see the guy that invented the Jack and Jill bathroom, please do me a favor and kick his ass for me. This is a perfect example of an idea that works really well conceptually, but is an absolute failure in real life.

The Jack and Jill bathroom is a brilliant concept that gives kids their own sinks, but they share a shower and other stuff. Even the name uses fairy tale characters to convey a sense of idealism and subconsciously make you believe this modest Shangri-La is custom made for your little blessings. At my house, this is where Fight Club happens.

Other than some liquored-up moms at their daughters’ cheerleading tryouts, I honestly can’t think of a better recipe for a nasty fight to break out than to have two girls, that are two years apart in age sharing a Jack and Jill bathroom. It’s like a cage fighting octagon for little girls. In real cage fighting, at least the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters respect each other and hug after beating each other to a bloody pulp. In a Jack and Jill octagon, after the fight is over they just go to their corners and devise a new scheme to get back at their sister. I also think that a bloody, sweaty octagon is probably cleaner than my girls’ bathroom setup.

The crazy part is that the bathroom fighting and chaos erupts randomly. It’s like a car bomb exploding in a crowded market. One minute, life is normal, the girls are saying nice things to each other, sharing their hair de-tangler and reading each other stories. Then, out of nowhere…. BANG!!! Noise, fighting, slamming doors, crying, hair-pulling and yelling explode out of nowhere, and I’m running down to their room like a fight just broke out among the general population in the prison yard. In a word… chaos. At least the guards have pepper-spray. Me, I face the shanks un-armed. Although there is no pattern to the time of day when emotions will come unhinged, you can usually count on it happening at the worst time possible. I’m either pouring my first cup of coffee or they are getting ready for school when – BANG!!! – they are going at each other like kids after a piñata. Some pattern to all of this would be too easy to fix. Instead, there is no buildup and no warning.

I think it has to do with just being sisters. They don’t hit each other. Instead, they shred each other to pieces with their words. To make matters worse, their emotions have no restrictor plates. So, when a certain something is said their emotions go from 0 mph to 100 mph in less than a second and it’s officially “ON”, and it escalates from there.

Sisters know each other’s vulnerabilities and insecurities. And I think it’s this knowledge that gives them the power they can’t resist. Inside, they must be thinking…. “If I say her _____ is ugly, I know she will go ballistic.” They learn there is a lot of power behind being able to push that button, and it’s usually too tempting not to go ahead and push it.

© Johnny Hea – 2012 All Rights Reserved


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