Friday, February 28, 2014

Woman Considers Flushing Relationship Over Bathroom Odors

Dear Tazi:

I have a problem so embarrassing I don't dare ask anyone I know! My boyfriend, "Clyde" and I recently moved in together as a prelude to getting engaged. We want to make certain that our living habits are compatible before we make such an important (and pricey) commitment to each other.

Clyde and I are compatible in so many ways, and for the most part we enjoy living together. However, there is one problem that I just can't seem to get past and I am not certain if I will ever be able to get past it. I would hate for this to be what ends an otherwise wonderful relationship; but I cannot see myself living this way, either. My problem has to do with Clyde's bathroom habits.

Clyde is a big meat eater, and bacon is his absolute favorite food. Because Clyde does not get a lot of fiber in his diet, things tend to "back up" in his system until he unloads it all at once. If you are getting the picture I am trying to paint, you will be able to understand just how awful the bathroom smells when he is done in there. It is seriously bad enough to knock you to your knees. (Do cats have knees?).

Adding to the issue is Clyde's absolute refusal to use an air-freshening spray after he has finished his business. He insists that sprays simply cover up the odor while putting chemicals into the air, and that by turning on the bathroom fan the problem takes care of itself. I beg to differ, Tazi. I once entered the bathroom a full 15 minutes later and the room still had a malodorous smell about it; and even when the smell has dissipated, the bathroom still does not smell fresh.

Clyde has suggested we burn organic candles in the bathroom, but I am not comfortable with the idea of leaving a flame (open or in a jar) unattended; and the candle has to be actively burning for a while in order to combat the bad bathroom smells. Do you have any ideas on how to solve this problem?

Holding My Nose

Dear Holding My Nose:

You do paint a vivid picture of an embarrassing problem, and it seems that you and Clyde are at an impasse. Whether this issue is one to end your relationship over is entirely up to you; but personally, I think it rather petty. Seriously, how often does Clyde stink up the bathroom?

I can understand how Clyde does not wish to release chemicals into the air as well as your desire not to leave a lit flame unattended. There are other options available, though. Some air-freshening sprays (like Lysol or Febreeze) kill germs as well as freshen the air, giving the bathroom a disinfecting with every use. Considering your description of what Clyde does in there, this option gets my vote! If you want to go organic (which Lysol and Febreeze technically are since, in chemical terms, "organic" means "carbon based"), it may be trickier to combine disinfecting with air-freshening. Here are a few all-natural ways to absorb the odors, though:

• An open box of baking soda on a shelf (just remember that baking soda will also absorb moisture, so the bathroom may not be the best place for it)

• Vinegar with lemon juice will neutralize odors. You could put the mixture in a spray bottle to create a natural, homemade air-freshener

• Having houseplants helps reduce odors in the home by cycling the air

• Keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter (these may also absorb moisture, but not as quickly as baking soda)

• Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices in a potpourri warmer (the electric kind) or leave a small jar candle on an electric candle warmer, allowing the candle to "burn" flamelessly

Whatever you do, I hope that you and Clyde can work past this issue because if this is the biggest problem the two of you have to face as a couple, you should consider yourselves blessed!

-- Tazi-Kat

P.S. Yes, cats do have knees! They are on our hind legs, just like on humans, but on us it is called the "stifle". Here is a picture of a cat skeleton, and you can see them clear as day.

Even on the inside, we cats are a work of beauty!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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