dept. of subtle taboos: bathroom computer

Ellen Silverman

Ellen Silverman

It’s weird how easily taboos can sneak into our thinking: subtle, almost unconscious “don’t do that”s or “that’s not normal” or “not done”, that keep the status quo. They can apply the all sorts of mundane parts of our lives, and especially our living spaces. The standard height of kitchen wall cabinets is 18 inches above the counter which makes the work surface feel oppressive…why not make them higher? Why not make counters deeper than the standard 24 inches so there’s plenty of room to work, even if the carpenter or contractor says “You CAN’T”.

Ask “Why?” and you often get the answer “Because that’s how it’s ALWAYS done”. “But,” you ask, “if it’s the same amount of work to put an outlet in the middle of the wall (where it’s glaring and ugly) as it is to put it close to the counter where it blends in…why not do it the way that looks best, or is best for the way I live my life?”  It can take persistence to identify an everyday taboo, and then to break it.

But taboos also apply to how we live, and what we think we can and cannot do.

Why can’t we learn to weld, or drive a tractor, or wrap a beautiful scarf around our head to make a hat, or  have a computer in the bathroom…

It’s a good idea ask “Why not” when we have an idea, demanding a good answer from the experts or ourselves.

Have you identified some subtle, insidious every day taboos? Let’s hear em’ and what made you realize that they were there, and what you did about them.

2 Responses to dept. of subtle taboos: bathroom computer

  1. Charlotte 10.11.2009 at 7:13pm #

    I stumbled on your website/blog through The Atlantic Food Channel. What is really ironic is that I’m reading your posts while I sit in my bathroom. I am still adjusting to my new Mac laptop but the one thing I really love about it is that its fits my lap perfectly while I am using my bathroom. Its always been acceptable for magazines and books to find a home by your tub or toilet, then whats the big deal with your laptop finding a home there too? I have a breakfast in bed tray that my Mac fits on and it is the perfect height beside my bathtub so I can surf while I soak in bubbles. Add a glass of wine and I am a very happy person, AND if Momma is happy then everyones happy, right? I am enjoying your blog very much. Thank you for making me laugh at lifes irony.

  2. Sally 10.12.2009 at 6:30pm #

    I love that you’re commenting from the bathroom, that ‘the improvised life’ is there with you, where so much creative thinking is done. I’ve often thought of putting my laptop on a wheeled tray table from the “50′s and surfing while in the bath (having it on a sort of lap table over the tub), but think I’ve been inhibited (chicken!) by the idea of it falling in the water. I think your technique of keeping it alongside the tub is the solution…

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