by Pettus Read
During my years of childhood development, I was taught many things that have carried over into my adulthood. The habits of manners, respect, work ethics and modesty are all abilities that I have today due to my early upbringing.
In fact, often I catch myself referring back to those childhood teachings on numerous occasions. The proprieties of modesty is one trait that was well drilled into my thought processes during my early, character-building years. I may have lived in the country, but country modesty is a pretty strong characteristic that even medical science will never overcome.
With today's modern fashions, and the continued effort of those who create those fashions to show more skin, as well as unmentionables, I often see my modesty tested. I'm a country boy. There are some things that should be a secret and remain a secret. And, when people get to the point of trying to show-their-all, it does bother me.
To explain the extent of my modesty, I will have to go back to a recent event that happened to me and I'm sure there are others who have had the same experience. Being one of fairly decent modesty, the following explanation even causes me to blush somewhat.
It all began at home in our, should I say (blush, blush), bathroom. I was asked by my wife to go to the local building supply store to purchase a much needed item for our bathroom facilities. The item was a toilet seat. Yes, now I have said it and I feel much better for doing so.
I know it is something that everyone must have sooner or later, but it still causes me to be somewhat self-conscious when I discuss it in public. I come from a generation when the toilet had real wooden seats and one size fit all. Your own concern back then were wasps and snakes, not do we need a seat that is round or elongated. Color didn't matter back then either. Natural was very "in" back in those early days of toilet needs. They all came with a path out back.
Early one Saturday, I made my trip to the building supply store to make my purchase. I arrived early to avoid running into someone I might know while looking for our replacement seat. I thought surely there would be no one in that section of the store in those wee hours of the morning.
After going down several aisles in the plumbing section, I finally found what I was looking for. Of course, I looked in both directions before stopping in front of the display, just to make sure someone who may have recognized me wouldn't see that I was looking at toilet seats. I really don't want everyone knowing what my toilet seat looks like.
Do you know there are hundreds of styles of toilet seats? What ever happened to just plain white, round and plastic throne covers? Now there are numerous colors, elongated, padded, clear plastic, some that play music, some that close the lid by themselves, and others that do things that are just too ridiculous to mention here.
All I wanted to do was find my white seat and get out of there before someone came by. And, do you know they also come in different lengths? Now I had to measure one to find out if it was what I needed. A salesman came by in the mean time and asked if he could help me, but no way was I going to let a perfect stranger help me locate a toilet seat. Remember my modesty?
Just as I thought I had found what I needed, I spotted Mrs. Smith from church and her three daughters turning down my aisle. I immediately made a speedy turn around and began looking at some parts to repair a sink. Sinks are not as embarrassing as toilet seats are in front of ladies you go to church with.
After speaking to the Smiths and seeing them turn down another aisle, I grabbed my purchase and headed for the exit. Paying quickly, I returned to the safety of my car and breathed a breath of modesty relief.
To a country boy, almost letting the Smiths see me buy a toilet seat was a near death experience that I wish to not relive again. I am just glad they put those things in plain brown paper boxes. At least someone understands my upbringing.