Friday, June 4, 2010
I am a neurotic hand washer. My mother didn't believe that cleanliness was next to godliness; she believed that cleanliness WAS godliness.
1. The amount of time one should take to wash his/her hands is the amount of time one sings, "Happy Birthday". I was in a public restroom today and I thought I was alone. As I was washing my hands, I began singing "Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me..............". As I finished washing my hands, another woman came out of a stall and she said, "Happy Birthday!" I was slightly embarrassed, but I told her that it wasn't my birthday and about the hand washing routine. She said that she would have to start doing that; she and I sang "Happy Birthday" as she washed her hands, and we had a good laugh!
2. One of our relatives has a child whose every fault is excused. Everything that happens to him is always someone else's fault; if he doesn't do well in school, it is the teacher's fault; if he has a problem with interpersonal relationships, it is always the other person's fault; nothing is ever his fault. Never making a child take responsibility for one's actions cannot possibly be a good child rearing technique, but since I am nonparous, I hesitate to criticize and usually just keep mum in these situations.
However, one incident displayed such effrontery to common sense that I had to comment. In our house, we have a half-bath right off the kitchen and when the door is closed one can hear one flushing and water running. When the "faultless child" was six years old, he used the bathroom and came out the door; I had been standing there waiting for him to finish and I knew that there had been no water running after flushing. I gasped and exclaimed, "You didn't wash your hands!" His excuser immediately spoke and said, "He doesn't touch anything!" It was difficult to believe that not washing hands after using a bathroom would be excused! I believe that every other member of my family would have merely told a child to wash his hands, but this child was being excused in such a fatuous way. I was momentarily nonplussed, but as usual, I resorted to humor! I started yelling, "Gerald, Gerald, come here, you MUST learn how to do this!" Of course, my ridiculing of them was not well received.
3. This may be an apocryphal story, but I enjoy it: before they were married, Arthur Miller took Marilyn Monroe to meet his mother. Mrs. Miller lived in a small apartment in Brooklyn. Marilyn needed to use the bathroom and when she went in, she didn't want them to hear what she was doing, so she turned on the faucet. After coming out of the bathroom and after a nice visit, she and Arthur left; a few days later, Arthur called his mother and asked what she thought of Marilyn. Mrs. Miller said, "She's a nice-enough girl but she PISSES like a horse!"
4. One night after work, I asked my husband to stop at a gas station restroom. When I went in, there was some very interesting graffiti. One in particular amused me: it was written: "My name is Debbie and if you don't like me, you can kiss my butt" [I cleaned that up!]. Below it someone else had written, "You're probably just a greasy prostitute!" [I cleaned that up too!] The next night I asked my husband to stop again and he told me that was so peculiar, because I would usually go hours instead of using a public restroom. I couldn't tell him that I only wanted to see the graffiti! Debbie had obviously returned and she had written: "You probably perform fellatio on hairy donkeys" [I REALLY cleaned that up!] Below that someone had written: "I can get the donkeys for you!" The third night I eagerly anticipated Debbie's response and I asked my husband to stop and he suggested that I might want to "consult a physician" for my problem. I couldn't tell him that I just wanted to see the graffiti, because he would've suggested a psychiatrist!
When I went in the bathroom, I was very disappointed: the bathroom wall had been painted. So much for the Debbie/Donkey saga!