Friday, June 13, 2008

Domesticity Redux

I scrubbed my bathroom floor today. Really, really, on-my-hands-and-knees scrubbed. I used Pine-Sol. I used Mop & Glo. I slipped and slid across the wet floor with a knife trying to clear away whatever it is that accumulates along the baseboard.

I tell you this, because were you to walk in to my apartment and make the foolish mistake of asking if you could use my bathroom, you would think it had not been touched since the Wilson administration.

My bathroom is very small. It is, at night, my cat Crickett’s bedroom. She sleeps on a folded blanket atop the closed toilet lid. Her food and water are placed on the floor against the wall between the toilet and the door. Her cat litter box (I really must invest in Kitty-Litter stock, since I sometimes think I am keeping them in business) is beneath the sink. Since the room has no storage space whatsoever other than the small medicine cabinet, I bought one of those white-metal, over-the-toilet storage shelves, which I had to bend slightly to get to fit. It has four legs which are impossible to reach, let alone clean around.

Being unable to lift my head above chin level, or turn it more than 15 degrees in either direction makes trying to reach behind the toilet an exercise in fun and futility. But I try. I really do.

Crickett is not messy, but some cat litter does get out of the box, and some small bits of dry kibble food also find their way out of the bowl, so I am constantly sweeping it up. You would think that might help keep it clean. You would be wrong.

So, deducting floor room for toilet, under the sink, and storage stand leaves an area 2 ½ feet by 4 feet. I bought a throw rug measuring 2 feet by 3 feet, hoping this would help keep the floor clean. Needless to say, it did not.

I suspect that someone has (or a large number of people have) duplicated a key to my apartment, and when I go out for coffee, or am otherwise occupied, use it for mud wrestling championship matches in my bathroom. (I also would not be surprised to learn they sometimes use the rest of the apartment for similar activities, but that’s another story.)

Most of the people I know, my friends and my family, consider—with total justification—their bathrooms to be showplaces; all sparkle and neatness and crisp, neatly folded guest towels and little bowls of pot pourri, and not so much as a gnat’s eyebrow to be found. (And if there were a gnat’s eyebrow anywhere around, it would have been picked up with a few squares of toilet paper and promptly flushed down the sparkling water of the toilet.). Were there room, they could hold state dinners in there. I stand in awe of their ability, and I am truly envious.

I clean my bathroom sink at least four times a day. But I can clean it to a shine, and come back ten minutes later to find it looking as though someone had dumped a 55 gallon drum of toxic waste into it. And we will not even mention my toilet bowl. No, we won’t. Seriously.

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