Scrubbing Out

Bathroom shower smallI’m scrubbing the toilet with a round brush that has green and white bristles for getting under the lip of bowl. I think the two-toned color is just for my benefit, not the toilet’s. Lysol Toilet Bowl cleaner is very effective at removing stains (my stains or his stains?) but it clings so tenaciously to the side of the bowl that it has to be scrubbed off with the brush. I’m thinking this makes it a high-maintenance cleanser. Maybe Barkeep’s Friend would work just as well.

I experiment in the second bathroom as the Lysol bottle is empty anyway and I forgot to buy more. I’m still not used to keeping track of these products as Maria used to just leave a sticky note. I dump some of the powder into the second bowl and scrub around with the brush. The powder doesn’t cling to the side of the bowl, it sinks to the very bottom and slides down into the abyss. Clearly this is not an improvement over the Lysol. What did my mother use? Probably Ajax. She thought Ajax solved all of life’s untidy problems.

I go back to the first bathroom and start working on the shower. The aroma from the chemical cleaners make me feel a little sick in that confined space but it has to be done every week and everyone knows those earth-friendly cleaners don’t really take off the calcified deposits. What’s the point of having a new bathroom if it’s not clean?

We renovated this room only six months ago because the floor fell in. It turns out there were tree roots in the outtake pipe. When I lived in New York, I didn’t have to know about tree roots and wide flanged faucets and Toto toilets because, if something went wrong, I’d tell the doorman on my way out and I’d come home to find the problem solved. Now I’m the doorman. I wonder if I’ll get a nice, fat envelope at Christmas.

We put this huge shower in the new bathroom because Tom is 6’5” and wanted to see what it felt like to be able to stand up in the shower. I never realized he always had to bend over. I like the big, new shower with wide glass panels, too. I had the contractor put in subway tile with a grey border and two nooks for shampoo and razors and a nice little bench. It looks beautiful. But it’s a bitch on cleaning day. There’s a whole lot of tile and glass to clean. It takes more time to clean that shower than the whole other bathroom.

Now that I’m at home every day, I clean a lot. My son, on the rare occasions when he comes home from college, thinks this is a little crazy. It probably is. It’s a control thing, isn’t it? I can’t control how the advertising industry has changed, or how often my son visits, but I can control how clean my shower is. There. No therapist needed.

Going down the rabbit hole, I let myself remember the day my team spent all morning picking out a picnic basket for a TV shoot. We chose the one with Limoges china. It was so big, if a couple actually used it for a picnic in real life, they’d need to bring the servants along just to carry it out of the car trunk. After we’d made our selection and had sent all the reject baskets away with the stylist, we went out for a lovely lunch at La Grenouille or was it The Four Seasons? We even had a cocktail. How shocking.

You’d almost think we were talking Mad Men here but it really wasn’t that long ago when companies weren’t so cheap. Now you spend all day thinking of something provocative to say on Twitter you didn’t say five minutes ago. Nobody really cares about chic anymore. And they certainly don’t care about picnic baskets.

You take time off to raise a baby and you’re dead meat. That’s what I’m thinking and I know I’ve got to shut those bad thoughts down before I get to the part where I remember how I was the best, the best, the smartest, the hottest, oh, there I go, I’m sitting on the floor of the shower with a sponge in one hand and a rag in the other and I’m cleaning, cleaning, cleaning the grout, the brand new grout, and if I’m not careful I’ll scrub it right out of the tile. I should really get some Ajax. I really should.

3 thoughts on “Scrubbing Out

  1. Are you really suggesting that one should clean the bathroom at least once a week? If so, that calls to question my method of cleaning. I clean every time I change the oil in the car; or every 5,000 miles…dam, and it was so easy to remember that way too. J Okay, I guess I can come up with another method of scheduling this unpleasant task; maybe every Federal Holiday. That might work.

    I loath to criticize another’s work, however; I would suggest that you write your piece and let it “rest” for a day or so. Then go back and read it with fresh eyes. I think you will find any spags (spelling and grammar mistakes), dropped words, or other changes requiring your attention much easier. All-in-all though, another well written piece.

  2. There are little things that hang under the lip of the bowl that clean every time you flush. Or so I’ve heard. And just wipe down your walls after each shower so tile and grout stay fresh. Constant maintenance, baby.

Tell me, tell me.