A post about house guests who complained about having to move to a hotel after they allegedly clogged the toilet in the home has gone viral on Reddit, where it has received more than 7,500 upvotes.
In a post shared on Reddit’s AITA subforum, user Far_Muscle_4268 said: “I live in a country with terrible plumbing. If you flush toilet paper you are pretty much guaranteed to back up your toilet.
“So I installed a wand bidet in all three washrooms in my retirement house…after you poop you just spray your backside down nice and clean. Then you use the toilet paper to dry your butthole,” the user wrote.
The user said their brother and his wife came to visit the user at the retirement house. The couple were told about using the bidet and “they both said that they understood.”
However, the couple later allegedly “clogged the two public bathrooms [on] the first day [of their visit].” When they were offered a plunger and a drain snake to unclog the toilet, “they said I was the host and it was my responsibility. I laughed in their faces,” the Redditor wrote.
They later left to stay at a hotel instead and were allegedly “on social media complaining about the s******* country I chose to retire to and calling me a terrible host for inviting them down but not letting them use my bathroom.”
The couple allegedly blasted the original poster because they were “having to spend money on a hotel when I live in a really nice house with guest rooms,” the user wrote.
Etiquette and coaching consultants Rachana Adyanthaya and Julia Esteve Boyd, the hosts of the Manners Matter 2 podcast, told Newsweek: “Generally, being a gracious host means that you fix things that go wrong in the home.” However, the case of the latest Reddit post is “a little different.”
“Guests also have an obligation to behave in a manner that is respectful of the rules. Given this is of such a personal nature, I would say that the onus is on the guest to make amends and fix the situation, or at least try. If not, offer to pay to get it fixed,” the podcasters said.
As a host, if you have some strict rules that need to be followed (such as removing shoes when you enter the home), it is better to “let the guests know this is your preference and the reason for it,” Adyanthaya and Boyd said. “Even if a guest doesn’t necessarily agree with the practice, a good guest should respect and appreciate your decisions.”
Having originated in France, bidets are more commonly seen in Europe, but they were never a regular fixture in most American homes.
According to a January 2022 post by Express Sewer & Drain, a California-based plumbing service, the U.S. “struggled to accept the bidet and it’s not because of a love affair with toilet paper, but because of what bidets were once associated with.
“During World War II, American soldiers first started spotting bidets in European brothels, and stories about them traveled home. This false association made bidets seem quite the opposite of sanitary, and as such, the U.S. remained largely bidet-free,” according to the post.
But the U.S. reportedly saw a brief spike in bidet sales at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, around March 2020, when there was a toilet-paper shortage.
In a January 2021 survey of 3,600 American adults—conducted by Bespoke Surgical, a New York City-based private medical practice specializing in sexual health and wellness care—overall, 12.1 percent of Americans were reported to have access to a bidet.
The survey found the greatest percentage of the population having regular access to a bidet was in Alabama (23.5 percent), while in Minnesota, the portion with regular access to a bidet was less than 2 percent.
Bidets were found to be most popular in the southern half of the U.S., with 12.7 percent of Americans living in the South having regular access to a bidet.
As well as being more hygienic, eco-conscious and a money-saver on toilet paper purchases, people also like bidets because there are “fewer plunger incidents,” says the Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center based in Ohio. “If you’re not using wads of toilet paper, you won’t have to worry about TP [toilet paper] clogging your toilet.”
The hosts of Manners Matter 2 podcast said: “Hosting is tricky. First and foremost, you want your guest to feel at home. If you have an exhaustive list of what not to do, this won’t make anyone feel at home.”
However, “to some extent, you may have to relax your rules to ensure the guest feels comfortable too. Like anything, there will be some areas that you will feel easier about relaxing the rules to than others. If you do have some rules that need to be followed, then let the guests know, but make sure you do so in a kind way,” the podcast hosts said.
Several Redditors sided with the original poster.
In a comment that received 11,400 upvotes, user AmazingAmiria posted: “The responsibility to unclog the toilet falls on the person who clogged it, not the host.”
Dry-Comment-6889 wrote: “It’s appalling that they are unable to understand a simple request and why it is requested, and on top of everything – a very normal alternative was provided.”
Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.
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