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Posts Tagged ‘bathroom’

Intended NTKOG: The kind of girl who, while in a public restroom, makes calls on her cell phone, heedless of public decency, dignity, or her callers’ eardrums.

I am: shy of bladder and faint of heart when it comes to public restrooms. During my two years in the dorms in undergrad, it was my primary goal to be that girl no one ever sees entering or exitin a restroom. I was eerily successful.

I am not:  really big on talking on the phone anyway, let alone in the cavern of bodily shame.

The Scene: The large restroom of the food court in the mall next to my current temp gig. Ideal, I figured, as it’s a) full of people, that b) I will never see again. All morning I chugged iced tea to flood out my bladder’s introversion, and when the moment was right, took my lunchbreak.

It took a while to figure out the perfect victim — er, lucky phone recipient. Finally, I settled on The Ex, because after living together for a few years, I figured the odds were slim that he had not at some point heard me peeing. Heck, he could probably pick the sound of me peeing out of some sort of terrible, dystopian auditory line-up just from my particular bladular cadence. (You can see I’m campaigning hard for the role in his wistful reveries as The One That Got Away…)

After pacing anxiously outside the restroom doors, I finally girded my (aching) loins and stormed the nearest stall like the Bastille. Snag: I was alone in there. So I crouched on the toilet for five or six minutes, clutching my cell phone, before, mercifully, a group of eight or nine women entered en masse. The time had come! 

I started to loosen my muscles, but then — TWIST! As I scrolled urgently through my contacts, I remembered: I deleted his number out of my phone a few weeks ago in the throes of break-up pique. Frantically I scrambled to remember his number, and right as my bladder was slipping, I hit the send button.

Only to find that the mall architects had apparently pre-empted this particular social dysfunction by rendering the restroom I was in as the only thirty square feet in the whole friggin’ mall with no. cell. reception.

For a moment I considered just faking the call, to at least give my fellow restroom compatriots the awk-talk treatment, but no, I decided. It would be against the spirit of the NTKOG project. It would be ignoble. It would be another twenty seconds at least until I was finally able to pee, and that just wasn’t an option.

So What Went Wrong? Ultimately, I decided to wait on this, the NTKOG I have been dreading since the conception of this project. Not to discard it altogether, mind, but merely to postpone it. And like the deferral of all dreaded tasks, this greatest mortification looms before me even more horrifying than before.

On the bright side, this massive TMI moment does suit nicely for the lovely LiLu‘s weekly TMI Thursday roundup — if only because no blog I know of features a WAAAAAAAAY TMI Wednesday.

But, as a cautionary note for everyone other than The Ex, who is now off the hook because all of the surprise will be gone (much like the magic in our relationship after he reads about my pee travails), beware any calls from TKOG. Because you might be next.

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NTKOG #13: The type of hippie/vegan/freegan chick who eschews store-bought fungus-blasting cleaning products for biodegradable homemade concoctions. (Look, these projects can’t all be glamorous.)

I am: eco-friendly only inasmuch as you’re considered kind of a dick if you’re not, in this day and age. There. I admitted it. I recycle in my home and generally when I’m out, as long as it’s not too inconvenient; I own dozens of reuseable grocery totes and make some sort of an effort to remember them; I walk instead of driving when I’m not in a huge rush (or when parking’s going to be a hassle.)

I am not: too trusting of any cleaning products not bearing a big-name slogan in neon colors.

The Scene: My apartment’s semi-grungy bathroom, which is monochromatically Navajo White — except for huge swathes of baby blue paint dripping down the tile walls, and streaks of blackish dirt covering every surface. Because the shower curtain had been covering the only source of natural light when I first viewed the bathroom, I didn’t realize how bad things were; the only thing I had commented on to the previous tenant was the bathtub, which she had assured me she had cleaned thoroughly, despite the asymmetrical grey stains starting halfway up the walls and darkening as they oozed toward the drain.

“I scrubbed the shit out of that tub!” she assured me, not once but twice.

Well. Thanks for getting the shit out. But you didn’t have time to go after the soap scum too while you were down there?

Armed with nothing but a package of microfiber cleaning cloths, a sponge, a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda, a gallon jug of vinegar and an on-sale container of Dawn dish soap (combined value: $5), I closed myself into the bathroom and prepared for battle.

The four accumulated years’ worth of soap scum came out of the tub fairly easily, once I rinsed the tub with vinegar, then sprinkled it all with baking soda and sponge-scrubbed until my arms were asleep. It was so successful that I used the same basic trick on the walls and floor, except I blended the baking soda in with dish soap until it formed a frosting-like consistency (that made me quite unreasonably hungry), then used it to scrub. At that point I noticed that the top inch or two of every single tile on the wall was coated in layers of three different colors of paint. Apparently whoever painted the bathroom was too lazy to buy painters tape and so decided they’d just “be really careful” — essentially the painting equivalent of the pulling-out method of birth control. Awesome, guys. Really great.

The Verdict: Dang, guys. This all-natural cleaning idea is amazing. My few basic ingredients did a stunning job taking up four years worth of accumulated soap scum, dirt, dust, bad paint job, rust, everything! And all without even a single paper towel, too! Although I definitely had to put in a few hours and a lot of elbow grease, pausing in my toils every so often only to curse the fucking Swiffer generation, who apparently either cannot recognize dirt & scum, or else perhaps encourage it under the delusion that it contains anti-oxidents.

Turns out I was totally wrong about this whole hippie cleaning thing. It’s significantly cheaper than store-bought products, and works just as well, if not better. Although I still stand firm in my reservation that the kind of girls who use all-natural cleaning supplies are much the same demographic as those who choose to use “keeper cups” instead of tampons and are thus generally to be ignored by polite society.

Bonus Tutorial: How to clean a fucking bathtub (especially if you are of the Swiffer Generation)

This is very complicated, guys. It’s totally effin’ brain surgery.

  1. Empty all of your shampoo, shaving cream, etc, out of the tub, and make sure your bathroom is well-lit.
  2. Dampen a sponge and sprinkle baking soda all over it.
  3. Choose a reasonably clean part of your tub and scrub it as hard as you think humanly possible (or even harder, if you can!) for forty-five seconds. Note the color that the patch is, post-scrubbing.
  4. Scrub the rest of your tub until it matches the color achieved in #3 (reapplying baking soda and re-wetting sponge as necessary.)
  5. THAT’S FRIGGIN’ IT! Go clean your bathtub, 20-somethings. It’s beyond overdue.

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