Do you close the bathroom door when you're home alone?
November 29, 2013 9:23 AM   Subscribe

On the most recent episode of Homeland, a female shut the bathroom door during use, which allowed an intruder to make a clean exit. The people I watched this with were baffled as to why she would close the door when she was home alone. This is something I do 90% of the time, and after talking to some other people I'm definitely not alone in doing this. I'm just curious if this normal, a guy or girl thing, something cultural? I guess for me it just feels odd to have the door open while in the bathroom.
posted by signondiego to Grab Bag (121 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I used to close the door when I was alone, but only out of habit. I no longer do. But if I lived with people, even if they weren't home, I would again close it.
posted by gjc at 9:27 AM on November 29, 2013


I do it 100% of the time. However, I live and have always lived with roommates, where there's no guarantee someone won't come home unexpectedly.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 9:28 AM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am a male who always closes the door. My girlfriend doesn't bother even when I am home, most of the time.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:29 AM on November 29, 2013


I leave it open when I'm home alone and sometimes when my husband is home (but only if I think he won't make an appearance). Female.
posted by emkelley at 9:29 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I leave the door open, if just so the cats can come in and say hi. (Female, lives alone)
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:30 AM on November 29, 2013 [20 favorites]


I live alone. I usually close the bathroom door, but sometimes I don't. I never did this before I lived alone, and really only started doing it occasionally in the last couple of years, and I've been living alone for over 5 years.
posted by ohmy at 9:30 AM on November 29, 2013


The door, like the toilet lid, is there for a reason. Close it, we're not camping.
posted by The Whelk at 9:30 AM on November 29, 2013 [26 favorites]


I'm a dude, I live in the US, and I always close the bathroom door, even if my roommate is away on a trip. Because...it's weird not to.
posted by jcreigh at 9:31 AM on November 29, 2013


If we're talking for pee only, yeah, I generally leave it open, both alone and if my husband is around, but if there's guests over, I shut and lock it. He does the same. We both close the door if there's more than pee involved.
posted by catch as catch can at 9:31 AM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Live with my husband and my cat. Rarely close the door when I pee, usually leave it open only a crack when I poop, so that the cat can come in and use his cat box at the same time (solidarity!).

My husband closes and locks it for everything.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:33 AM on November 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've always left the door open but then I've always lived with cats. Cats that will otherwise assume you do not exist will throw themselves at a closed bathroom door as though they are orcs besieging Helm's Deep.

When family is home, I'll toss a towel or magazine onto the floor so the door can't swing all the way open when one of these four legged bathroom inspectors inevitably comes in. If guests are visiting, I do the same but use the back bathroom off the master bedroom, where guests don't venture.
posted by jamaro at 9:33 AM on November 29, 2013 [22 favorites]


Only if there are guests over. I live alone, and with two cats, the minute the door closes they are immediately convinced something amazing must be going on and start crying and trying to dig their way into the room.
posted by gilsonal at 9:34 AM on November 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


If I'm just peeing and no one except my husband would possibly be coming around, I'll leave it open, as I do whenever he is there. If I'm doing anything else, it's closed, though if I'm definitely alone, sometimes I'll leave it open a crack.
posted by limeonaire at 9:35 AM on November 29, 2013


Never close it when I am alone. Sometimes don't close it when I am not alone. Just depends on the circumstances. This habit developed because of my cats (no longer with me, sadly). Over almost 15 years they pretty much scratched right through the door frame. My super was horrified.
posted by idest at 9:37 AM on November 29, 2013


If I am peeing I leave it open in my own home where I live alone. If I am pooping I close the door because why on earth would you want to release the poop smell into the rest of the house?
posted by elizardbits at 9:38 AM on November 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


I don't always close the door when I'm home alone, but will if other people are in the house. (Thanks for posting this thread since I've sometimes wondered if my behavior in this regard is weird, and it looks like it isn't very.)
posted by mlle valentine at 9:38 AM on November 29, 2013


When I was single I always peed/pooped with the bathroom door open. For me it was a hidden pleasure of singledom. For reasons unknown it felt very empowering. The grosser the bathroom visit, the more I enjoyed having the door open.

I love my husband but I legitmately miss pooping with the bathroom door open. I'm weird. Don't judge me.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:39 AM on November 29, 2013 [19 favorites]


Live alone and never close the door.
posted by cecic at 9:40 AM on November 29, 2013


I only close the door if I'm pooping.

F, 39, lives with spouse and toddler and cat and dog, any of whom feel free to come in when the door is open (and some want in even when it is closed).

I sometimes don't even close the door if I'm just peeing at close friends' houses. We're a pretty casual bunch.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:40 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I close the door when I'm home alone just in case there is an intruder. I don't want to do them the indignity of having to witness me with my pants down.
posted by Apoch at 9:43 AM on November 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


M 40s - I only leave it open when I'm home alone and only peeing. All other times closed.

The one time I left it open while peeing when my SO was home she said "So, we're leaving the door open now?" incredulously.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:45 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't like being closed up in our tiny bathroom, so I leave the door open if I'm alone. If my husband is home, I always close the door when pooping. I might not close it when peeing, if he's across the apartment somewhere. But I will close it when I hear him approaching. Peeing doesn't take long, so I can usually finish before he walks by, without having to be entombed in the bathroom.

He would not be scandalized if he saw me pee; I'm just trying to be polite.

The cats definitely have a factor in this, too. One of them isn't allowed in the bathroom without supervision, but she desperately wants to hang out in there. So our moments on the can are the best time for her to get in her sitting-in-the-tub time.
posted by Coatlicue at 9:45 AM on November 29, 2013


I always close and always lock the door. Because you just never know.
posted by Solomon at 9:48 AM on November 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


Female, live alone. If no one else is around or will be coming in, I always leave the door open. If someone else is around or might be coming home (if I am at my parents' house, say), I always close it. I have to remember to take off the housecoats that hang on the corner of the door so it will actually close if visitors are coming over.
posted by jeather at 9:48 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had an apartment where sitting on the toilet had a nice view out the living room window at the apartment across the courtyard, so, yeah I closed the door. The bathroom now has a door for both our bedroom and the hallway, so the hallway door is closed against housemates coming home early, the bedroom door is left open to allow for cat supervision.
posted by florencetnoa at 9:51 AM on November 29, 2013


When home alone (single, F), I never close the door, because cats. I have to remember to close it when there are other 2 legged creatures around. I'm more likely to accidentally leave it open for people than close it prematurely. However, when there's anything that sounds even remotely intruder-ish, even if it's my own imagination, I leap like I was shot to close the door.
posted by cgg at 9:51 AM on November 29, 2013


She closed the door because the plot needed a way for the other person to make an exit. (In movies, people always walk into strange places and don't immediately turn on the lights--makes me crazy.)
If I'm alone, I close the door because my dog will come in, and I don't need his help changing the toilet paper roll.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:52 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


It varies for me and depends how I perceive my security. I was brought up in a city so pretty much lock doors to any room I'm in at any time even my office at work or as soon as I get in the car. Our cat also uses the bathroom though so I often leave the door open now if he hasn't been for a while so I don't get cat poo all over the carpet in the hall ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 9:53 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do. But I also say "excuse me" when I sneeze and I'm home alone. I do these things to keep up good manners; I'm afraid that if I don't practice good manners all the time, I will fail to practice them at the wrong time.
posted by vignettist at 9:55 AM on November 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


If I'm alone or if just the husband is home with me I just barely close the door. Unless it's a poo. I'm not an animal.
posted by like_neon at 9:56 AM on November 29, 2013


I live alone. I never close the door unless I have company. Often I have to remove towels or clothing from the top of the door when I have company so the door CAN close.
posted by mollymayhem at 9:56 AM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I leave it open when alone, but mostly close it when my husband's home (sometimes I don't if it's just for a quick pee). If I close it, I have to knock before opening it because my dog will be keeping a vigil on the other side, lying in a down with his nose to the door and his cute paws ready to get pinched under the door if I open it too quickly.
posted by HotToddy at 9:57 AM on November 29, 2013


I close the door always, despite my cat's pleas that I change my ways. I am not forgoing manners for a feline, as much as I love the little beast.
posted by k8lin at 9:58 AM on November 29, 2013


I close the door when I'm home alone just in case there is an intruder. I don't want to do them the indignity of having to witness me with my pants down.

I leave it open in case of the same thing - I want to hear the bad guys sneaking in & not be caught unawares when I open the door & they pounce. /toomanylaw&orderreruns
posted by headnsouth at 9:59 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Female, living with male partner of many years and several cats, one of whom is thoroughly obsessed with watching the toilet flush. Both my partner and I vary door opening depending on what is being done in the bathroom, how willing we are to have cats watching us do it, and a certain randomness factor. I would not think it particularly weird if I saw a TV character have the door either open or closed, if the character thought he or she was alone in the house.
posted by Stacey at 10:00 AM on November 29, 2013


if i don't close the door, my kitty will come in and try to interact with me when i'm sitting on my litterbox. i prefer to have a smoke, woolgather while staring at the wall and scratch my balls when i'm done all by myself.
posted by bruce at 10:00 AM on November 29, 2013


I have two little kids, and the idea of pooping alone is something I look forward to again at some point. For now, unless I actually lock the door, the pooparazzi are right there with me.
posted by ambrosia at 10:06 AM on November 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


A few years back I rented a townhouse from a woman who had removed the door to the master bathroom while she resided there. The first thing I did when we moved in was reattach that damned bathroom door. Close it every time for cosmic peace and harmony.
posted by planetesimal at 10:07 AM on November 29, 2013


Closed, because I have paranoid nightmares of guests, intruders, Improve Everywhere, or other unexpected surprises bursting into my house. Also, my cat likes to watch - like put his paws up on the toilet bowl for a closer view of the proceedings, and that skeeves me out.

Mostly, though, I think of bathroom time as private time, even if it's a very quick break. As an introvert who has always lived with other people, I'll take all the alone time I can get, even if it's just a separation from the remote possibility of social contact.
posted by bibliowench at 10:13 AM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I always close the door. Female.
posted by discopolo at 10:15 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I never close the door unless there's company. Female, married, 3 kids, 3 cats.
posted by wisekaren at 10:15 AM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lady married to a man here, and we never close it unless company is here. I'm learning that this is odd--we fart/pee/whatever with a minimum of shame. I don't think i could have a relationship where bodily functions wee shameful.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 10:15 AM on November 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I live alone and only close the bathroom door if I have guests over. If it's just me, the door stays open while I do my business.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 10:15 AM on November 29, 2013


Never close it, nor does Mr. Arnicae. We've never been all that bathroom-shy, partially because one of us spends a lot of time in there, I'm pretty used to leaving the door open and continuing conversations. We're pretty free with our bodily expressions, but we both share a fairly infantile sense of humor about body functions. Also, cats have further trained me not to shut the door for fear of furry armageddon and the loss of my damage deposit.

We're early 30s, US-ian. Have been doing this for a long time.
posted by arnicae at 10:18 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I live alone, and I do not close my bathroom door when I'm home alone.

However, when I've lived with other people, I've always closed the bathroom door, even if I was certain I was home alone at the time.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:19 AM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Open when alone, because dog will go crazy otherwise. Closed when any company, including my boyfriend, is over. They often think it odd that I summon the dog in with me.

(Still traumatized by an incident years ago when a different boyfriend came into the bathroom and had a poop while I was showering behind an all-too-translucent curtain. No, just no, never.)
posted by rpfields at 10:19 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Close the door when pooping, although I may not bother to close it all the way/latch it if there's no company. I don't always bother to close the door when peeing if I'm alone. Or even when the rest if the family is home but I think they're occupied with something else.

Female, 38, husband and two kids.
posted by leahwrenn at 10:22 AM on November 29, 2013


Female. Open when I'm alone. Hit or miss (usually partially closed but not latched) when Mr. gudrun is around when it comes to peeing but we both close for pooping. My family growing up was kind of a nudist colony, but Mr. gudrun's was a lot more traditional so I bow to his closed door sensibilities. I have an elderly father but refuse to bring the phone into the bathroom so I also tend to leave it open to hear the phones in case of possible emergencies.
posted by gudrun at 10:26 AM on November 29, 2013


Live alone, never close the door unless there's someone over. Always close the door for pooping when someone else is around, and close it for peeing when a partner is around, but have some friends with whom I don't and don't expect them to.

The cat is definitely a factor, but I think these would be my habits even without him.
posted by dizziest at 10:27 AM on November 29, 2013


My bathroom door faces a window. Window faces on to a church.

Hence, it is mostly closed with just a crack for cat-allowances.

If the bf is over, the door is sealed shut. Some things must remain a mystery.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:39 AM on November 29, 2013


I'm female and I used to always close the door while alone, until I dated someone that left it open always and kind of got used to that. Now I might close it 50% of the time while alone (and still always around other people.)
posted by Autumn at 10:41 AM on November 29, 2013


When I (male, no pets) lived alone I didn't unless there was company. Now I always do whether my partner is there or not.
posted by epo at 10:42 AM on November 29, 2013


I think it's more indicative of habits than a male/female thing. From a perspective of character development in fiction, if a character closes the door (and they're not just doing it to keep things polite / G-rated), then it would seem -- my interpretation anyway -- to be an indication that the character is used to being with other people in the house. It does seem slightly odd for someone who lives alone most of the time to close the door.

The converse would be more obvious. If you showed a character using the bathroom and not closing the door, then it would be a pretty obvious sign that the person is used to having the house to themselves. (That might not be totally true in reality but it's how I'd interpret it if I saw it in TV/film.)

When I lived in what was effectively a studio apt by myself I rarely closed the bathroom door, because the bathroom was so tiny it took contortions in order to do so. I also eventually moved the back-of-the-door robe hook around to the front side of the door so that I could use it with the door open all the time. Best 5-minute DIY job ever.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:45 AM on November 29, 2013


Female, thirties, married. Our bathroom is small and the door is right in front of the toilet, so you have to shut it at least partway if you want to do any business. I have a habit of closing but not latching it, which usually results in the cat coming in to say hi, but I like to snicker at him when he's using the litter box, so we're even.

When I was female twenties single, I occasionally went to the bathroom with the door open, and it always felt like this amusing rule-breaking thing to do, like drinking straight from the milk carton. I never made it a habit; it's not that much harder to close the door.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:46 AM on November 29, 2013


I crack the door- I don't want to be disturbed but I also like to hear what's going on in the house...
posted by misspony at 10:52 AM on November 29, 2013


Female, 30. 1 cat and 1 dog. Since I be all in their business when they have to go potty, they like to be all up in mine.

Living alone - door stayed open always unless I was showering (closed and locked).

Cohabitating - door stays open unless pooping, or showering (closed and locked). In fact, I had a good friend over once and I realised I had peed with the door open out of habit. I apologised but she didn't think it was big deal, probably because we've also shared public bathroom stalls.

SO leaves the door open unless pooping or showering, but he doesn't lock the door.

There is no rhyme or reason to this that I can think of, except that usually there's a conversation going on. Either way doesn't particularly bother me.
posted by sm1tten at 10:52 AM on November 29, 2013


I'm lucky if I remember to close it when guests are over. scratch that: *they're* lucky.

I've been living with my wife for about a decade now, and we're both.....I don't if it's lazy, or comfortable with our bodies, or just gross. we've got toddlers, and we're starting to realize it's probably time to start closing doors.
posted by jpe at 10:55 AM on November 29, 2013


Female, 33, I don't close the door if nobody's home. I don't close it all the way even if someone is home, as the cats sometimes go in and out.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:02 AM on November 29, 2013


MM 40s house, We only close the door is there are guests or it's particularly embarrassing.
posted by edgeways at 11:05 AM on November 29, 2013


I'm a door open person (Finally got my own apartment, I'll poop as I choose).

That said, it's not so inconceivable that someone would be a door closed person, to the point that it would be a plot hole in a TV episode.

Hell, right now I'm watching Land Girls and there's a scene where someone opens the door of a plane as it taxis down the runway. Which, ????????
posted by Sara C. at 11:09 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Female, solo, and I usually close the door 100% of the time -- but I fell out of the habit in my current (older) apartment because the door is known to stick shut. So: ajar.
posted by avidreader at 11:11 AM on November 29, 2013


Closed, because I don't really care for the additional complexity and rules involved with, "if there is no one home, then leave open. If there are people around, closed, unless that person is a SO or too young to notice, EXCEPT when pooping, then always closed", etc. Better to have my brain just go on autopilot/muscle memory.
posted by deanc at 11:16 AM on November 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


The very small, old bathrooms in the apartments I favor when I live alone tend to have tricky, warped doors. So closing the door requires effort and makes the room claustrophobic. Also, no cat owner ever closes a door without a really good reason to do so.
posted by wotsac at 11:20 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Married with one cat. We usually leave the doors open unless company's around.
posted by luckynerd at 11:25 AM on November 29, 2013


Also, I lived with my exboyfriend for a number if years and I left the door open ONLY when showering because he liked to come in and chat with me and bring me towels.
posted by discopolo at 11:26 AM on November 29, 2013


Single female, no pets or roommates. I leave the door open unless I have company. I don't know when I started doing this (I've been living alone for a few years) but at one point one of my friends had to point out to me that my bathroom door doesn't have a latch, or a doorknob, just a handle so you can pull it open from the inside.

I hadn't even noticed.
posted by janepanic at 11:32 AM on November 29, 2013


Live alone with a cat who thinks the bathtub is a giant litter box. I close the door if what I'm doing is quick enough to stop him. Otherwise it's one of the small joys of singledom.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 11:32 AM on November 29, 2013


Female, 26, live alone with furry roommates. I leave the door open 100% of the time using the bathroom or showering or whatever. Will obviously close it 100% of the time if anyone is visiting or when I lived with someone.
posted by rawralphadawg at 11:32 AM on November 29, 2013


I close the door, even if home alone, because you never know who's going to come in and bug your computer.

A little more seriously, though, I suspect that many people equate an open door while using the facilities with a position of vulnerability. There's a psychological benefit to closing the door that is hard to shake for some people. I find that the older I get though, the less I care.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:35 AM on November 29, 2013


Female, live alone. I usually only close the door when I shower because I like to keep the steam in. I have to close the door for potty activities if my boyfriend is over because he thinks peeing in front of each other is weird.
posted by Nolechick11 at 11:36 AM on November 29, 2013


Female. I used to always close it, but then I lived in an apartment with three other people and only one bathroom and we'd leave it open while showering so that people could come in to use the toilet. After that I became more relaxed about closing the door in general, so I leave it open when I'm alone or when the only person around is a friend/family member who's comfortable with that sort of thing.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:39 AM on November 29, 2013


Live alone and leave it open. When I lived with my former SO, I left it open sometimes, but she was a door closer most of the time. When I am at my partner's house and vice versa (we don't live together) I close it and so does she. This may change over time as I feel cooped up in there.
posted by Lescha at 11:41 AM on November 29, 2013


Male, almost 50, married, 3 dogs. I work from home and my wife commutes to her office job. When I'm home by myself I leave the door open, if my wife is home (day off or a weekend) I close it. The dogs are used to me leaving the door open, so when I have it closed I can hear them snuffling at the door as they try to figure out why they can't come in.

When I was single and living alone I always left the door open unless I had company over.
posted by ralan at 11:45 AM on November 29, 2013


female, live with boyfriend and two cats. i never close the door, because when i do, the cats go apeshit throwing themselves against it/scratching it. growing up and living with my parents, however, i was taught young that you close that door because it's the proper thing to do. that lasted until cats.
posted by koroshiya at 11:47 AM on November 29, 2013


Gay male living with boyfriend. Two bathrooms, one his one mine. Neither of us closes the door when we are at home alone. When I was single, I also never closed the door. I do have male friends who don't close the door when they visit my home (at least for #1). I still don't understand that, but I guess I'm glad they feel at home?
posted by conradjones at 11:54 AM on November 29, 2013


I close the door for several reasons:
1) Old house and there is a straight line from the front door down the hall to my bathroom door. If someone opened the front door, they would see the loo and whomever was using it.
2) I like having a cat-free peeing experience. One cat on a lap might be ok. But when the second cat comes in to try to dethrone (ha!) the first cat, that is too much.
3) The door is *always* closed. My bathroom is the only room in the house to have a door and no windows and is a completely interior room - when the AC is on in summer and when the furnace is on in winter, that bathroom is the coolest/warmest in the house and it is a lovely respite.

F with F roommate. Have our own bathrooms. Between us we have 4 cats.
posted by pointystick at 12:03 PM on November 29, 2013


I live alone and close the bathroom door when it's cold, so the heater can make it warm when I shower or 'read a magazine.' Or if I want to take a long hot bath.
posted by theora55 at 12:04 PM on November 29, 2013


I live alone, and close and LOCK the bathroom door every time. Middle of the night, middle of the day, doesn't matter...I barricade myself in.

I grew up in a big household and shared a bathroom with three brothers and one sister, so the old ways die hard.

I also keep the bathroom door closed when not in use for aesthetic reasons. Who wants to see the crapper en route to the kitchen?
posted by nacho fries at 12:07 PM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm the mother of a two year old. This bathroom door, it closes?
posted by sonika at 12:10 PM on November 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


F/ 30s/ live with partner, cat and toddler. Open, pretty much always.
posted by goo at 12:19 PM on November 29, 2013


I leave it open when nobody's home. Closed for #2 if my partner is home. No kids, no roommates, no pets.
posted by futureisunwritten at 12:23 PM on November 29, 2013


29/M. It's fun to leave the door open if I happen to have the apartment to myself for a few days, but I've never actually lived by myself, so I am in the habit of closing and locking the door.

I actually suspect I might still lock and close the door quite a bit if I lived alone, both because of the force of habit, and because I think it's normal to feel vulnerable when you're on the can and controlling access to the room would take the psychological edge off.

And who knows, maybe the character had an unconscious feeling that something was wrong, felt a little more nervous than usual, and closed the door because it felt soothing.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:31 PM on November 29, 2013


I would never close the door if I was home alone. It would not make any sense to me. I'm female.
posted by Blitz at 12:35 PM on November 29, 2013


Both my husband and I leave the door open if we're alone, although if the other person is in the house we close it. A good part of the reason is the cats--one of our has learned to open the bathroom door anyway, so it's not exactly safe. (Only the master bath--it's got a different handle than the guest bath!)
posted by telophase at 12:35 PM on November 29, 2013


I'm the mother of a two year old. This bathroom door, it closes?

My two year old likes to close the bathroom door for me.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 12:39 PM on November 29, 2013


If I'm alone the doors are open. Heavy influences include not living with roommates for 20 years and growing up an only child with frequent access to my own bathroom and few of the privacy issues a normal family experiences.

With an SO around I'm comfortable with the door opened or closed and would defer to whatever made them comfortable. Exceptions would always include any activities that were stinky or could be described with the word distress.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:40 PM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Female, married. Close the door, 100% of the time. Its the only place I can evade our pack of cats and dogs. I always closed the door before getting pets though, I tend to be pretty body-private.
posted by Fig at 12:43 PM on November 29, 2013


I will admit that one of the reasons that I don't sometimes close the door when I'm home alone is because I have a secret fear that I'll hear unknown footsteps approach outside the door, and a slight jiggling of the door handle.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:47 PM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, and I lock it too. There's no why, I like it that way. Can read more peacefully.
posted by Namlit at 12:53 PM on November 29, 2013


Used to be always open unless company was over, but have started closing lately, because am trying to help my son understand that not everyone enjoys his company during his OR their private/unclothed moments, so close the damn door.
posted by emjaybee at 12:54 PM on November 29, 2013


I live with a room-mate, her dog, and my (foster) cat.

I leave the door wide open when I'm alone, and open a crack when when the room-mate is home or when we have guests over so the cat can get it. I close it once he's in the bathroom with me. If I don't do this he sits in the hallway and sings me the song of his people.
posted by dipping_sauce at 12:55 PM on November 29, 2013


I have three small kids, two dogs and a husband... I don't/can't close the door unless there's company.
posted by ellenaim at 12:56 PM on November 29, 2013


Female, live alone, usually have the door not-fully-closed because sometimes people wander into my house (so don't want it totally open, but why bother closing it) but I basically don't close it. I also have a bathroom arrangement so you'd have to really walk down a little corridor in my bathroom to see me peeing anyhow. When the boyfriend and I are sharing space door is usually open/ajar if we're just peeing, closed when poopin. I grew up in a house with a single family bathroom and no lock on the door, I don't think of bathrooms as things that have truly-closeable-lockable doors, I think.
posted by jessamyn at 1:06 PM on November 29, 2013


While I was growing up my mother, father and sister would use the bathroom with the door open and have conversations with anyone in the adjoining rooms (as long as it was just the immediate family in the house).

Because of this, I lock the bathroom door regardless of whether or not I am home alone.
posted by elvissa at 1:23 PM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I live with my son; when I'm alone, I don't close the door. Though most of the time I only pull the door to without latching it, otherwise my bathroom activities supervisor (my cat) will yowl and fling herself against the door.
posted by lemniskate at 1:27 PM on November 29, 2013


scene where someone opens the door of a plane as it taxis down the runway. Which, ????????

Speaking as one of the bathroom door-open contingent, I have actually done this (opened the door of a plane and closed it to get the latch to catch firmly during our takeoff roll - on many of the flimsier Cessnas the door is about as sturdy as an outhouse door and requires a delicate hand to properly shut).

I've also opened the door of a plane while it was flying but that was work-related.
posted by arnicae at 1:32 PM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


In our house we have specific rules about this. We pee with the door open, poop with the door closed. If I am peeing and then suddenly realize I have to poop I will yell (not a big deal, we live in 800sq ft), "Don't come back here, I'm pooping! I didn't know! I'm sorry!" Interestingly enough, my husband is much more poop-privacy focused than I (female) am.

Door closed with guests, of course.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 1:43 PM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also keep the bathroom door closed when not in use for aesthetic reasons. Who wants to see the crapper en route to the kitchen?

Good point. I just realized that the only time the bathroom door is closed (ajar really, for the cat) when I'm home alone is when I'm not in it.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:49 PM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am home alone and the door is open right now.
posted by biffa at 1:50 PM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I live alone, and I leave the door open because I live with two co-dependent cocker spaniels.

When I lived alone and didn't have dogs, I generally left the door open for #1, closed for #2. I like to trap the fumes, so to speak, so I closed the doors and struck a match afterwards.
posted by magstheaxe at 2:09 PM on November 29, 2013


I didn't get nearly enough privacy as a child, my daughter had very few boundaries when growing up, my cat takes a closed door as a personal insult, and my partner is the opposite of bathroom shy.

I live for a bathroom door that stays closed once I've shut it.
posted by Space Kitty at 2:30 PM on November 29, 2013


I am a creature of habit, and I am a space cadet. If it ever occurs to me to leave the door open, I instantly think that it would be a TERRIBLE IDEA to get out of the habit of closing the door every time, lest I absentmindedly leave it open at some point when there are other people in the house.
posted by Compared to what? at 2:51 PM on November 29, 2013


Late 20s female, living with family, roommates, or a boyfriend for all but 1 of those years. I always close the door; never know who's going to be home when.
posted by paradeofblimps at 4:07 PM on November 29, 2013


In Australia, the toilet is frequently in a separate (small) room to the shower, bathtub, sink etc. So in the toilet, I close the door 99% of the time - the other 1% is when I'm in a desperate hurry because I really should have gone before I left work/whatever. The bathroom door only gets closed if there's someone else in the house while I'm taking a shower, which rarely happens. I am female and live alone.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:25 PM on November 29, 2013


Yes, for two reasons:

1. My bathroom is right off the bedroom and sometimes I've had a curry the night before, if you know what I'm saying.

2. YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE CAT OUT.
posted by Decani at 4:30 PM on November 29, 2013


I live alone in an apartment and always leave the door open when no one else is there. My bathroom is right off the bedroom, so it feels very private and cozy.
posted by désoeuvrée at 4:31 PM on November 29, 2013


The taking a shower part happens every day. There being someone else in the house while I do so is the rare part. Whoops.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:31 PM on November 29, 2013


Female with sister and roommate in far reaches of the house, and two nosy cats. Always open unless nonfamily guests are over. The feline poop coaches will not be kept from making their observances of the proceedings. And as a vegetarian, my poops do not make much stinks to waft into other rooms.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 4:44 PM on November 29, 2013


Always closed. Force of habit. Grew up in a home where that was the only peace and quiet you could count on.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:48 PM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Female, early 30's, you could not pay me enough to keep the door open.

To be fair, I feel this way about all doors. You are in a room with a door! Why would you not close it? Unnecessarily open doors itch at the back of my brain.
posted by darchildre at 5:10 PM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Married, 2 cats, dog, 9 year old. For the first 15 years of our relationship the door was open unless we were showering or had guests over. For the last year or so my daughter has been closing the door always so we try to close the door too, so it sometimes is closed other times.
posted by Mitheral at 6:35 PM on November 29, 2013


Male, door open type. Also open for partner, when she stays, but closed for others.

As an aside, the attitudes and reasoning exposed (pun intended) above are fascinating - there has gotta be a few PhDs in this topic.
posted by GeeEmm at 6:39 PM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Married. I close it when I am bathing, and when going #2. Leave it open for all other stuff.
posted by Danf at 7:21 PM on November 29, 2013


When I moved into my current residence, the bathroom door was not capable of being shut (warped wood/paint swelling; landlord fixed it). The previous tenant had lived here for about 7 months, apparently without ever needing to shut the door. I assume that means she never had anyone over, but who knows?

I mostly leave it open when I'm alone and shut it when there's company, though if I need something behind the door or want the shower humidity to stay in the bathroom, etc., I'll swing it shut. Usually don't physically click the door into place without guests, though.
posted by vegartanipla at 7:39 PM on November 29, 2013


Single female with dogs. Door is open or gets pushed open. I have not gone to the bathroom by myself in 25 years.

They also watch me shower.

If I have a guest I just bring them into the bathroom with me and shut the door.
posted by cairnoflore at 8:03 PM on November 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I once read that Sir Francis Chichester, the sailor, always closed and locked the door to his head, even though he knew he was thousands of miles from the next nearest person.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:38 PM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Female, live with my mom and two cats. I leave the door open to pee, and shut it (or close enough) if I hear my mom coming. Closed for pooping but I'm another open door person who doesn't really shut it all the way, much less lock it. I leave it partly open to shower unless it's cold and I want to keep the warmth in. I do close the door if I'm at someone else's house or someone is at mine.
posted by kassila at 9:42 PM on November 29, 2013


Female, live with SO and one cat. Pretty much 100% closed. I think as others have said that it takes less mental energy to just always close it than to think about various scenarios.

Our cat is actually pretty chill about closed doors. She does occasionally like to lie in front of the door and slide her paws underneath for you to bat at them, but she doesn't scratch or do any damage. This is possibly the only way in which she is not a total jerk.
posted by lwb at 6:02 AM on November 30, 2013


Female, live alone with a cat. I never shut the door unless I have guests. Part of that is about the cat, part of it is because there seems no reason to shut it when there's no chance of anyone non-feline violating my privacy, but I think a lot of it is just about how I was raised: when I was growing up, the only time the bathroom door was ever shut was when my dad was pooping (family consisted of parents and two daughters). So that just seems normal to me.

When I was married, the door was open for anything except pooping by any party. Conversations while peeing seemed perfectly normal. I'm sure I could adjust to someone with different modesty needs, but it would definitely be an adjustment.
posted by Superplin at 10:54 AM on November 30, 2013


M 50 - so has anyone else as a pre-teen read the EC Comic where the character who had done the bad thing thought he was hearing odd animal noises throughout the house, and when he sat down in the bathroom with the door open he convinced himself that it was just his guilty imagination. The last panel was just the word "Chomp!"
yeh, since then I always close the door.
posted by Sophont at 6:40 PM on November 30, 2013


Female, live with spouse. Always at least pull/push the door shut even if theoretically home alone, but completely closing it results in cat trauma (to anyone listening or sometimes to the door).
posted by immlass at 7:38 PM on November 30, 2013


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