The first time I saw a bidet was in 1972. I had finished college and was traveling in Europe. There I was in France, a rather young 21 from Minnesota and there was this thing in the bathroom of the small hotel at which I was staying.
I didn’t have a clue. When some one told me it was a foot bath, why would I have a reason to think they were teasing the gullible American
Now admit it – unless you grew up with money, staying in fancy hotels and having your home decorated to compete with the rich and famous, you haven’t always known what one was and what to do with it.
Before any of us embarrass ourselves further – go here and take a look at the article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet from Wikipedia. Now you know what it is. It certainly is a level better than the ceramic two-footer in the floor with a hose on the wall found in many areas of the world in public facilities.
I always thought they were European, or a sign of wealth. A bit of pretentiousness in a a US household. There has been much engineering work in recent years to combine bidets and toilets including adding drying facilities. At first this did not make much sense to me. But then I needed to consider the implications.
THink for a moment if you are mobility impaired in one way or another. Leaving out the issues of clothing, with one of these new, modern combination fixtures you may be able to toilet independently. Anyone who has every had to ask for help in using a toilet immediately understands the importance of this small bit of control and privacy in one’s life.
There is another market in the US in the massively obese. The ability to be clean can not be underrated.
When you think about it – not an uninteresting invention by 1700s French Cabinet makers from the country which also brought you waxed toilet paper…..