Our Luxurious Clawfoot Bathtub

Last summer, my girlfriend and I gazed over dozens of apartment ads listed on craigslist.com. Neither of us had ever set foot in Portland, so the majority of our time was spent studying neighborhoods. Once we settled on an area — the Alphabet District — we pored over dozens of apartments, looking for something that was more aged than old, more vintage than dingy.

There's no way of taking a full picture of our clawfoot bathtub. The bathroom is too small and I don't have a wide-angle lens.

We settled upon an apartment built in 1905. According to the ad, it featured brick exterior walls, a french door dividing the living room and bedroom, wood floors, track lighting, 12-foot ceilings, and, in the bathroom, a luxurious clawfoot bathtub. (OK, “luxurious” is my addition, but it was heavily implied we should impressed.)

We got the apartment. We knew it would be small, but like a dorm room at college, we weren’t rattled by the size of our residence. We figured it would force us into the city to take part in the local culture. That was a great weekend.

This is our sixth month in our apartment, and here’s my one and only complaint: Our bathroom is painfully small.

During a recent renovation, the apartment owners went with black linoleum tile. Each tile is roughly one square foot. By my count, there are 26 tiles in our bathroom floor, and a good 16 of them are covered by our clawfoot bathtub.

Consider the clawfoot bathtub. Whoever decided furniture, no less a bathtub, needed limbs? Not just limbs, but claws? Should I feel better knowing my bathtub is built to be some kind of predator?

Our clawfoot bathtub is unnecessarily tall. To get in and out in the morning requires a high-jumper’s athletic ability. It’s as if the bathtub was constructed to ward off children, drunks and anyone over the age of 55.

Since the clawfoot bathtub has no tracks for shower doors, it instead relies upon a metal track which extends out from the wall and drapes a shower curtain around the entire bathtub. When showering, the shower curtain sucks itself inward. This often leaves me feeling like I’m showering in a uterus. There I am, rinsing suds, whistling something Hall & Oates, maintaining proper hygiene, and the next thing I know, I’m trapped in the Death Star garbage compactor like Luke Skywalker.

And I hate anything that ever makes me feel like I’m Luke Skywalker.

Forget bathing in the clawfoot bathtub. Once puberty hits, you’re too big. It’s peach fuzz, pubic hair, body odor and the inability to bathe in a clawfoot bathtub. Bathtub. What a misnomer. It’s a clawfoot shower.

I’m interested to know about the dumbest part of your home. What’s the one area you absolutely despise?

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5 thoughts on “Our Luxurious Clawfoot Bathtub

  1. Heeeeey Buddy! Glad to see you’re back! I miss reading your articles in the college paper, but I check out the Miller Times frequently so keep up the good work. Later!

  2. I absolutely hate our bathroom sink.

    It’s too shallow. Anytime you want, you know, water pressure you end up getting soaked. Everything around the sink gets soaked. It’s awful.

    The only way to avoid the shallow-splash effect is to turn on the water in a tiny trickle that essentially serves no purpose.

    Sometimes I punch my sink.

  3. I just read this aloud in my office. Overall, pure laughter. Heat registers are annoying (you know this), but the overwhelming flock of crows that have descended upon Loring Park this winter really gives me the willies. I have a hard time even looking outside. Keep ’em coming Miller. They’re thoroughly enjoyed.

  4. Our Bathroom Sucks « Blank Stares and Blank Pages

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