Shared Bathroom

By Kristin Connor

Kristin Connor is a new student in Writing Class Radio. She wrote this story in response to a prompt in class.

My parents still live in the house that my sister, two brothers and I grew up in. I get to go there on a weekly basis and, while my Mom has changed around many of the rooms, it’s home.

Only my older brother and I can remember the time when there were six of us sharing one and a half bathrooms. We would call out “first shower” on the way home, all of us riding from our various destinations in my mom’s navy station wagon with wood paneling. We would then race each other out of the car, into the house, and up the stairs. I was usually pretty quick and would climb into the shower, pull the curtain closed and yell “I took my clothes off!” knowing that my brother would be too horrified to dare check if it was true.

That bathroom looks totally different now, and my parents did a significant addition to the house when adding one more bathroom and enough bedrooms for each of us to call our own. But when I walk into the “new” bathroom, it still feels like the “old” bathroom. The sage green subway tiles, with a black border, and black and white checkered floor tiles always felt so cold after a hot shower. It was the place where we learned to use the bathroom and brush our teeth, but also to negotiate and to compromise with each other.

My siblings and I are all very close today, and I believe that that bathroom is a huge part of it. These days, people’s homes have huge closets with sprawling bathrooms, many not shared with another person in the house. Had we not lived in a place where we had no choice but to face each other, scratch each other’s chicken pox, wait for the head lice shampoo to take effect, and then smile in the mirror while we brushed our teeth, I don’t know that we would be so close. I am grateful for that shared bathroom, as many fights as it caused, it also brought us together. 

allison langer

Allison Langer, MBA, travelled the States taking pictures, later worked for a ski photographer, then took pictures of her friends and their babies. This was the start of a 20-year photography business. She also taught high school photography and entrepreneurship. As her students wrote their business plans, she wrote hers to create a podcast about her writing class, which is now Writing Class Radio.