Skip to content

Toilets on the Lawn

October 29, 2010
Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

I’ve been stuck in the 60s for months now.

It all began with the release of Deborah Wiles’ Countdown, the 1st book in her highly anticipated Sixties Trilogy. My strongest recollections of the 60s begin as a 10 year-old around 1964 so I was enchanted to follow Franny’s story as a 11 year-old in 1962. The documentary novel brought back so many memories and immediately I had to have more

This Means War by Ellen Wittlinger

This Means War by Ellen Wittlinger

I then buzzed through Ellen Wittlinger’s This Means War! continuing my passion for juvenile and young adult fiction. But soon I was in need of some more grown-up material.  I knew it was time to try out the hit series Mad Men on AMC.

In anticipation of the new fall television season, I reviewed a synopsis of Season One and watched highlighted episodes from Seasons Two and Three.  I felt ready as I began following the series when Season Four premiered. I soon realized I was not ready, in my heart, for the rush of fear and pain that the conflicts of the sixties returned to my emotional being. But I continued my rapidly developing addiction, at a loss to describe my discomforts that watching Man Men revived.

And then my daughter suggested The Help, Kathryn Stockett’s first novel. Set in 1960’s Jackson, Mississippi, the book carried me through the remembrances of injustice and discrimination of the time. Did hurtful feelings return? Yes. Was I fearful? Yes. However could I find parts of this humorous? I did and you will too. And was it embarrassing? Horrifyingly so.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

So embarrassed I was that someone might notice the cover but not already know the story should question me as racist, I kept the cover hidden as I read for 10 hours on the train.

Stockett was embarrassed too as she explains in a Today Show interview. “”I’m so embarrassed to admit this … it took me 20 years to really realize the irony of the situation that we would tell anybody, ‘Oh, she’s just like a part of our family,’ and that we loved the domestics that worked for our family so dearly, and yet they had to use the bathroom on the outside of the house.”

In The Help, bathrooms are a highly sensitive subject as are courage and independence. The power of a determined woman is also paramount to the story as three such women become unexpected companions in search of answers to the problems of their time. And it all revolved around the use of the bathroom.

But it was not just their time. Struggles for fairness and equality still exist today in our personal and business lives for people in many communities. Let’s just hope we don’t, as Skeeter did, have to resort to toilets on the lawn to be allowed to live and let live and love everybody too.

I didn’t want The Help to end as badly as I wished the segregation would. And as Mad Men has certainly brought back to light many of the discrepancies and disparities of the 1960s one thing stands true. As has been shared by other Bathroom Blogfest bloggers in the Mad Men Theme Song – With a Twist on YouTube,

“The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return”


Stuck in the 60s

Logo design by Susan Abbott

Perspectives Reflect Universality of Bathrooms with Mad Men Twist

Kinnelon, NJ – The 2010 Bathroom Blogfest, now in its fifth year, brings together 33 bloggers from the U.S., Canada, the UK and India to address the 2010 Mad Men inspired theme “Stuck in the 60s?”  A blogfest brings together writers who direct their blog posts around a single subject while making the subject relevant to their readers during a specific timeframe.  Between October 25 and 29, these experts in marketing, customer experience and service, public relations, library sciences, museums, home & interior design, life, retail, flooring and healthcare IT/RTLS will call attention to improving the overall bathroom experience for end users via their 40 blogs during Bathroom Blogfest 2010.

“This year’s theme “Stuck in the 60s?” is inspired by Mad Men, the show that has captured the imaginations of many for its portrayal of life in the 60s when social and cultural taboos meant that many critical aspects of life – like bathrooms – were ignored, glossed over and treated dreadfully,” said Christine B. Whittemore, who manages the Bathroom Blogfest. “The result is that end users suffered. By calling attention to modern day instances that are “Stuck in the 60s?”, we can reinforce the value associated with being more responsive to the end user experience be those users customers, clients, patients, patrons or consumers,” said the chief simplifier of Simple Marketing Now, Kinnelon, N.J.

The Bathroom Blogfest began in 2006 as the brainchild of Stephanie Weaver, Experienceology author and consultant, and Susan Abbott, a business consultant and consumer researcher in Toronto. “They wanted to generate awareness for bloggers passionate about the customer experience at a time when blogging was more experimental.  The Bathroom Blogfest created a forum for focusing on spaces that are not a subject of conversation, even though they should be,” added Whittemore. “As an event it builds relationships and conversations about the user experience demonstrating how universal the relevance and appeal is regardless of the industry.”  Participation in the 2010 Bathroom Blogfest has increased 65% compared to 2009.

Bathroom Blogfest 2010 Participants:

Susan Abbott – @susanabbott
Customer Experience Crossroads

Paul Anater – @Paul_Anater
Kitchen and Residential Design

Shannon Bilby – @shannonbilby
My Big Bob’s Blog
From The Floors Up
Big Bob’s Outlet
Dolphin Carpet Blog
Carpets N More Blog

Toby Bloomberg – @TobyDiva
Diva Marketing

Laurence Borel – @ blogtillyoudrop
Blog Till You Drop

Bill Buyok – @AventeTile
Avente Tile Talk Blog

Jeanne Byington – @ jmbyington
The Importance of Earnest Service

Becky Carroll – @ bcarroll7
Customers Rock!

Marianna Chapman – @ResultsRev
Results Revolution

Katie Clark – @practicalkatie
Practical Katie

Valerie Fritz – @Awarepoint
The Awarepoint Blog

Nora DePalma – @noradepalma
American Standard’s Professor Toilet
O’Reilly/DePalma: The Blog

Leigh Durst – @LivePath
LivePath Experience Architect Weblog

Iris Garrott – @circulating
Checking In and Checking Out

Tish Grier – @TishGrier
The Constant Observer

Renee LeCroy – @ReneeLeCroy
Your Fifth Wall

Joseph Michelli
Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog

Veronika Miller – @Modenus
Modenus Blog

Arpi Nalbandian – @TileEditor
TILE Magazine Editor Blog

Maria Palma – @mariapalma
People 2 People Service

Reshma Bachwani Paritosh
The Qualitative Research Blog

David Polinchock – @Polinchock
Polinchock’s Ponderings

David Reich – @davidreich
My 2 Cents

Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond – @scarletopus
Scarlet Opus Trends Blog

Sandy Renshaw – @purplewren
Purple Wren
Around Des Moines

Bethany Richmond
The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog

Bruce Sanders

Steve Tokar
Please Be Seated

Carolyn Townes – @SpiritWoman26
Becoming a Woman of Purpose

Stephanie Weaver – @experienceology

Christine B. Whittemore – @cbwhittemore
Flooring The Consumer
Simple Marketing Blog
The Carpetology Blog

Ted & Christine B. Whittemore
Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog

Linda Wright
LindaLoo Build Business With Better Bathrooms

For more information about the blogfest, visit

Follow Bathroom Blogfest on Twitter @BathroomBlogfes, look for the tag “#BathroomEXP” on flickr,, Technorati, Twitter and Google or ‘Like’ on Facebook.

Or, contact Whittemore at

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 29, 2010 8:17 pm

    Iris, you’ve added another marvelous dimension to Bathroom Blogfest 2010. I need to read ‘The Help’. Thank you so much for being part of this celebration.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: