First Words — 04 May 2018
Zen and the art of home bidet installation

By Mark Gauert

City & Shore Magazine

There’s something you should know about installing a bidet in your home that I’ll save for the end.

It was not my idea to install a bidet in our home. One day we didn’t need a bidet in our home, and the next day, my wife – who grew up in France, where bidets are as common as bar soap in the bathroom – said, “I wish we had a bidet in our home.”

This was not something I was expecting my wife to say, after 32 years of marriage in this country – where bidets are not common in every bathroom. But, after 32 years of marriage, I am finely attuned to my wife’s sense of what we need.

I missed out on a fortune, for example, when my wife said in the mid-1980s that she wished she had bottled water, like she’d had in France. “Why would anyone want to drink bottled water?” I said.

I missed out on another fortune when my wife said, in the late 1980s, that she wished she could get a decent croissant, like she’d had in France. And now, with every bakery, Starbucks and gas station minimart selling a croissant as good as one on the Rue Monge, it’s clear we could have been rolling in pastry dough long ago.   

So I was determined not to miss out on the next potential bonanza, when my wife said she wanted a bidet.

I know you’ll find this next part impossible to believe, but the very next day, I walked into work and saw a note atop a box on a filing cabinet in our office.

“Want to test this product?’’ the note read, with just a hint of desperation. “Please.”

It was a bidet fixture. 

I know, you find this impossible to believe. (I can barely believe it myself). It was like something out of an episode of Shark Tank. Except with rear-cleaning nozzles where the tank – and, well, you – usually sit. 

And not just any old bidet, by the way. It was a Supreme Bidet, Model SB221, from the Superior Bidet Co., promising “A luxurious clean in every bathroom.”

Luxurious? 

Thinking as quickly as the editor of a Luxury Issue can, I thought, what better opportunity to bring this important trend to the attention of our readers AND get out in front of another European import that could make us rich enough to afford everything here in the Luxury Issue? (I can recommend the Lamborghini).

I immediately began research and found that bidets are not uncommon in luxury bathrooms in this country. There’s even one in one of the most expensive houses for sale in Fort Lauderdale – the stunning, $39 million Bella Fortuna on the New River, featured in our fashion story. 

I also learned from Mark Barrozzi, founder and CEO of Superior Bidet, that not only are bidets common in Europe, three in five homes in Japan now have them, too. Could the rest of the world – read, US – be far behind? Bottled water, buttery croissants … bidets! Bonanza?

I rushed home and carried the review fixture upstairs to the bathroom the kids used to use. No one ever goes in there now, so I figured it would be safe if anything went wrong. There’s no batteries, electricity or fissile material required, so what could?

Sure enough, as the instructions promised, installation on the toilet was easy. And, within half an hour, I was on my way to a more hygienic, toilet-paper free, “shower clean” experience. (I can recommend the Model SB221, the Lamborghini of bidets).

Just remember you should be sitting down when you turn the middle dial to start the stream of water, activating the “rear washing mode.” 

Otherwise there’s nothing to stop the test bathroom – and the tester – from the full “shower clean” experience.

I probably shouldn’t have saved that part for the end.

 

 

— mgauert@cityandshore.com

 

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