You know, with all the energy it takes to keep up with diabetes, sometimes I welcome the chance to engage in things that are truly ridiculous. I was given the chance to do just that a week and a half ago, when I received an announcement about a contest from American Standard for the “Best Toilet Story.” The winner, I learned, would receive a Champion 4 Toilet, their top-of-the-line flusher.
Most people would not read a contest announcement about a toilet and think it was fate. But then again, most people did not harbor a childhood obsession with bathrooms, manifested in a 1988 journal of a family trip to London. In this journal — written when I was 9 years old — I focused not on the sites we were seeing, but on the bathrooms they contained — complete with extensive descriptions and hand-drawn pictures. For example, an entry from a Cezanne exhibit:
Please note: the “crying” part is a reference to the fact that, earlier that day, I had left my favorite stuffed dog in the British Museum (I’d set it down on a glass case so that it could look at the Magna Carta and then forgot to pick it up). Hence the tears.
Anyway, upon receiving the announcement from American Standard, I was sure, more sure than I’d ever been about anything, that I was meant to win that toilet. There was just problem: I had missed the deadline.
The story of what happened next is a parable of missed opportunity and of never giving up — of doing whatever it takes, in other words, to become a Champion. The end result? Thanks to a (borderline crazy) series of emails from me and the behind-the-scenes work of Jill, my new favorite person at American Standard, I am getting my toilet. Oh yes. And I am going to put up a framed letter from American Standard in my bathroom, explaining its story.
So what does this have to do with diabetes? Technically nothing. But like I said, sometimes it’s good to take a break to do something truly silly. And on a bigger level, I think it’s a reminder of how important it is not to let the hassles of your daily life — including all it takes to live with diabetes — kill your sense of fun. Don’t be afraid to be ridiculous once in a while. At the very least, you’ll have a good time. And best case scenario? You could win a toilet.
(And not just any toilet. . . .)