It’s Not Exactly Memory Foam, Now Is It?

The saddest toilet seat in our house.
The saddest toilet seat in our house.

As we advance in years, my husband and I often find ourselves complaining about how quality of the products we buy seems to have downgraded . . . and this statement is most often followed by our commiseration over how expensive everything we buy is.

With that in mind, we went into our purchase of a new toilet seat with some skepticism. Our old seat was just fine, except that the doohickeys that held it to the toilet had broken and it had developed a disconcerting habit of sliding off the bowl at inopportune times. I will simply say that its final slide was a real doozy and leave it at that. I didn’t care where we shopped, but we would not be returning home without a new toilet seat.

That led us to my least favorite “big box” store, where the choices were limited to white, round or oval, padded or not padded, and woodgrain. The wood grain beauty on the shelf brought back memories of the seat we’d had that had cracked and would never let us rise without a little pinch in the posterior—the decision to eliminate that one was swift and unanimous. That left us with padded or not padded, and we had a little debate in the aisle. We’d had a padded seat at one time, but had gone back to a hard seat after that, and neither of us could remember why. I thought that it, too, had pinched us somehow, but as we stood there squishing it, the thought of a soft seat after one that had slid out from under us had a lot of appeal. We bought it and Chris installed it as soon as we were home.

I had forgotten about it by the time I first used it, and I appreciated the cushy feel right away. Once I stood and looked at it, though, I was a little shocked. I may have been comfortable on the seat, but, clearly, from the deflated, wrinkled look of the thing, the seat had not been comfortable with me. I remembered the old padded seat as being of thicker padding that recovered quickly, and realized that this sad sack of a replacement had also fallen to the downgrade of products. As I studied it a little more closely, I realized that the firm plastic part of the seat is only about ¼ inch thick—in other words, we’re good for a few months and then it will pinch, or slide, or crack, or disintegrate and we’ll be in the market for another one . . . possibly a downgrade from this one.

There is a solid gold, functioning toilet at the Guggenheim museum in New York Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan designed and named the 18-carat piece “America”, and at a price tag of anywhere between $1.47 million and $2.53 million, I can only guess at what the toilet seat would set a buyer back. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that “America”, the toilet, has the only seat in the world that will not be subjected to a downgraded replacement seat.