Wednesday, January 23, 2008


When my boys grow up and lounge in a therapist's leather chaise one day, they might be saying, "My mother was a neat freak. The queen of neatniks everywhere. All those anal rules about folding towels and fitted sheets drove our dad to the edge of madness, but he stayed because Mom was the trophy wife he married on the first try." OK, so maybe I embellished that trophy wife part a teensy bit. We all know every psychosis known to man is blamed on his mother anyway, so this small deal I make about cleanliness will be the least of their worries. My boys are perhaps the only children on the planet who ask permission before dumping out a crate (a labeled crate, mind you) of toys. Overheard just this morning as I was cleaning up after breakfast (because I never, ever leave crumbs on the table or dishes in the sink):

Deal to Bird: "Can I dump out the cars?"
Bird: "Yes, but only if you clean up the balls first."

Music to my ears! Some might say I am squashing their creativity, but there was a day last week that I tolerated the Legos, Lincoln Logs, Kapla blocks, AND random assortment of weathered blocks and spools from Mac Daddy's childhood strewn on the floor at the same time. At the same time. Did you catch that? At the same time. I've even submitted to MIXING Playdoh colors. Deal loves the kaleidescope of colors he can create, but Bird cringes like I do at the concoction. If I squint, the mixed Playdoh looks a bit like a Pucci print so I can appreciate it if I kick in my fashion sensibilities. And admittedly, there is some crazy satisfaction in mashing together the purple and green, but I've learned firsthand that too much mushing makes the whole blob puce.

Teaching my boys about cleanliness and the the simple act of putting toys, shoes, coats, and backpacks away is part of my job. It is my responsibility to teach them how to be good citzens, stewards of our planet, and gentlemen. Some woman will thank me one day. It is common for Bird to exclaim out of the blue, "I love it when our house is clean!" He won't even ride in a friend's car because he thinks it's too dirty. And believe, he's said so aloud...to her. I'll be covering the chapter on Tact and Decorum at a later date.

Hopefully a woman like the one I saw in the locker room at the gym this morning won't be lurking around my boys. After a long workout on the ellipitcal thingee I went to take a shower, wearing my flip flops, natch. As I walked into the shower I noticed a pile of stuff on the shower floor next to me. Here's an inventory of what I saw ON THE SHOWER FLOOR, with no cover, container, or makeshift protection from the gazillion bacteria and viruses lurking on that one 6 x 6 inch square of tile: a disposable razor, a bar of soap, one of those netted puffy scrubbers, a tube of Crest that someone squeezed in the middle (a deal breaker for me), and get this, a TOOTHBRUSH! Did I mention is was ON THE SHOWER FLOOR?

The same floor littered with pubic hair before it swirls down the drain. The same floor that tinea pedis grows rampantly on. The same floor that people pee on to get a two-fer in the shower in the drought-stricken ages we are living in. Trust me, I know this happens. If nothing else, I do know that Deal once peed in the shower by accident after we were rinsing off after a swim.

I'm curious what was going through that woman's mind as she set her toothbrush on the shower floor. Can you imagine? I heard that staph germs can spew 25 feet after you flush the toilet so you shouldn't keep toothbrushes exposed anywhere near the toilet. I'm pretty sure the same folks would tell us that putting your TOOTHBRUSH on the SHOWER FLOOR is even more DISGUSTING. For the record, all the toothbrushes in our house are well protected from staph germs. Bird goes so far as covering his with a Spiderman travel top just because he's super clean, or some might say fussy, like I am. For starters, those pesky staph germs are kept at bay if you just shut the toilet seat before flushing. Now some woman will really thank me for that one day.
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Anonymous said...

Now I know why we never see you.

Anonymous said...

Our chief alumnist passed on the link to your site. It was a fun read.

Anonymous said...

I WORSHIP you. Oh yes I do!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree, the neat freak that I am or OCD, as my husband says. I lost my stomach thinking about the toothbrush on the floor. I too teach my son to close the lid because the germs fly.