Thursday, September 8, 2011

signs of the invader

Cleaning a man's bathroom can be as daunting as giving birth and there are similarities.  Both are messy, confine you to uncomfortable positions and are accompanied by a lot of yelling and swearing.  Why doesn't the man just clean his own bathroom and the answer comes back swiftly.  Dirt is invisible to men. It can be crawling down the walls and onto their shoes but they don't see it and what can't be acknowledged cannot be conquered. So if I ask Dave to please clean that disgusting bathroom he obliges and after five minutes is seen leaving the premises, possibly even whistling. There will be a few swipes here and there but as all women know dirt likes to hide in the corners, in places people never even see that require on-your-knees attention.

Men are pigs, Ivy said and she goes on to tell me some of the messes she has had to clean late at night in men's restrooms in some of the more elegant business buildings in town where her family runs a cleaning business.  I interrupt her, not necessary to hear the details, my own imagination can feed me lots of horror stories based on growing up with three brothers and having two husbands.

My aunt Irene calls her daughter Sandy after discovering a couple of the great grand kids had made a mess upstairs in her attic behind a closed door in her ancient farmhouse.  You must come and help me get that cleaned up, Irene insists.  Can't today, maybe tomorrow, Mom, I have meetings all afternoon.  You must come today, Irene repeats, I cannot, I will not live in a house with that going on in the attic.
I understand, Irene, and I feel your pain.

Susan married a second time and we were all surprised, no wait,, we were thunderstruck.  Susan was the pioneer for unmarried women and although living with a man she always swore she would remain in her blissful single state never signing the papers. So I began to question my own manless state and I liked the idea of a really big diamond on my finger.  I had heroically told my first husband that a simple gold band would do. We needed furniture and appliances much more than I needed that bauble, stupid me. When I approached Susan with the M question she promptly answered that as long as he had his own bathroom all would go well.  It never occurred to me that on some day deep into the future the tile in his bathroom would need to be regrouted and replaced and that meant the man would need to share my bathroom, my private sanctum. I am relieved to say the work is done, his exploding shaving cream can is back on his sticky vanity and I have cancelled my appointment with the divorce lawyer.

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