October 21, 2006

It's Better To Be Clean

Sometimes, things happen that make me realize that I've a lot for which I should be grateful. I am grateful for my parents, who have provided unfailing and unflinching support for me in recent years, especially when times were hard. I am grateful for my friends here in Palmdale, who found a way to share a portion of their prosperity and hard work with me. And most of all, I am grateful to the wonderful woman who agreed to spend her life with me. She's cleaned up my act in a big way.

The impetus for this gratitude was a trip to da LBC (that's Long Beach, for those of you who aren't street like me) to pick up some things from my brother-in-law's apartment. When The Wife and I started dating, her brother moved out here to California and took over her apartment as she and I moved in together. He's decided to move back to Wisconsin and we went down there to get some of her things back. We borrowed a co-worker's pickup truck (for which I am also grateful) and fought traffic for three hours to get there.

The brother-in-law has a somewhat different attitude about moving out of a place than either The Wife or I would have -- he's not going to move most of the things he doesn't want out of there and would rather forfeit his security deposit than clean the place up. I also know his primary hobby is smoking, so mentally I was prepared for the effects of three years of tobacco use. But a non-smoker surrounded by other non-smokers most of the time is never fully prepared for close contact with heavy smoking.

So I knew the place would not be in not very good condition, and indeed it wasn't. No physical damage but the place is filled with crap. Trash bags everywhere, sinks and other fixtures innocent of cleaning products for a three-year period, and the acrid odor and film of cigarettes permeating everything. I'd given him a blond wood table which now looked more like oak, but not in a good way. But worst of all was the bathroom. He knew it was bad, because he warned The Wife not to use the bathroom; however, I'd had a few diet Cokes before and simply could not wait.

How is it that certain specimens of the breed homus bachelaris can tolerate astonishingly high levels of grime and buildup of, um... things... in the bathroom? It looked like a three-dimensional watercolor painting in there, using only rust, black, and soap-scum colored paints that had oozed everywhere in sight. While my brother-in-law has grown a beard and claimed to have not shaved his face for three weeks, there was a cone-shaped pile of whisker shavings from an electric razor occupying a corner of the sink.


Anyway, after emerging from this chamber of horrors, I realize that while The Wife gets on my case for cleanliness from time to time, it's for the good that she does. As we air out the bedframe and other recovered artifacts in the garage (they too smell of her brother's cigarettes) I am grateful indeed that The Wife has impressed upon me the importance of keeping a clean house and not living in filth.


Salsola said...

I remember someone in college who had a bathroom that was named the "Throne of Pubes."

Becky said...

YUCK! I sure hope I didn't marry Mr. Throne of Pubes. TL claims it's not him, but I saw his bathroom in Manhattan Beach and it deserved a big ol' Mr. Yuck sticker.