Geocultural and Gender-Related Differences in Bathroom Maintenance
How lucky I am to have highly literate and incredibly articulate friends who occasionally share their stories with me. So I can steal them.
This wonderful person -- who knows a boatload about fragrance and to whom I owe my addiction to ... oh, never mind -- shared my recent digestive issues. But she took time out from her own suffering to send me a missive on geocultural and gender-related differences in bathroom maintenance ...
"Of course, in the depths of physical misery I now have to wonder if we will shortly be visited by the local health inspectors who may try to evict us due to my dear husband's misstep this morning.
Some men were scheduled to come and do some garden work this morning. Husband assured me that they wouldn't need to come into the house to use the bathroom (not a long job). I was too ill to do anything but believe him.
Most of house is fine, but husband's clothes are randomly strewn about and I haven't had the energy to pick them up. Still, not *terrible*. My bathroom is perfectly clean, but I left an undergarment on the floor this morning.
Husband's bathroom however, is a frightening, haunted place into which I only venture once a week in full body armor to do a cleaning and then have to exit through his study, which is another holy nightmare and which I rarely bother to pick up anything in since he appears to enjoy the stimulation of terror one feels upon entering and seeing the mess.
Well, I was in the bedroom napping when one of the men apparently *did* feel the call of nature and asked husband to use our bathroom. Did husband go pick up said undergarment from my perfectly guest friendly bathroom??? NO!
He instead invited the unsuspecting man to come in, go through his study and use HIS bathroom. AAARGH!!!
A good Southern man who undoubtedly has a wife who keeps her bathrooms so spotless at ALL times that you can eat off the floors in them. I expect health inspectors to show up any minute now. Husband came very close to needing another trip to the emergency room when I found out.
Our feng shui woman warned me dire things would happen if I didn't keep the WHOLE house clean. Yes, I veer into weirdness from time to time and we paid a considerable amount to have the house feng shuied. Main thing she left us with was to keep all the energy flowing and to keep it *clean*....said while looking suspiciously at husband. I just hoped (in vain apparently) his two black hole rooms could be overlooked by the gods of flowing energy. Sob!
Am off to South America this weekend. Perhaps permanently.
Making matters worse, early this evening I had to take metrocanine out for a stroll. Didn't recognize the truck on the corner till it was already too late and I found myself passing the men who had worked in our yard this morning.
They've met me before. I had no option other than to wave and give a brave cheery smile...all the while PRAYING the earth would just open up and swallow me on the spot. Oh, GOD! I bet they're spreading the word through the neighborhood. Uncleaned Port-a-potties probably look divinely Martha Stewartish compared to husband's bathroom.
I tell you, was only planning about 5 days in S.A., but may just apply for a green card while I'm there."
Well, as I analyze this material, I see that my dear friend has absorbed WAY MORE of that Southern mindset than she needs to. She feels she must live up to the standards established by our genteel Southern sisters.
I'm sitting up here, relaxed, in sweatpants and two ponytails, in the upper left corner of the country and I say: NAY! We must be who we are! Even when we have been transplanted into a locale where the bathrooms are uniformly spotless! I think, though, that this gentility may actually be a part of my friend's personality. Never mind the Southern location.
Also, I'm loving the feng shui aspect of it. That's an interesting counterpoint to the whole Southern thing. I love the image of dear friend dutifully taking notes on clearing the ch'i as husband
apparently rolled eyes and couldn't wait to get his study and bathroom back to their (his) natural state. That's entertainment!
That brings me to the gender-related differences. Um, there aren't any. I'm afraid I fall much more in my friend's husband's camp on the whole hygiene spectrum. Me, I like a little earthiness. Heh. (I mean, not cholera or typhoid ... but nobody would ever suspect me of being Martha Stewart. Or any of her servants.)
But I hope my friend decides against the green card. We would miss her a lot. (Me, her husband and metrocanine.) (And we're not the only ones.)
Today's fragrance: Wild Summer Rose ... a triangular scent of rose, jasmine and iris ... which somehow makes me hum wild thing *I think I love you*