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As with many things, it happened without my knowing it. And I could ignore the whole thing until I got my hand stuck in it.

This morning I went into the bathroom to take a shower. Like I’ve done hundreds of times before, I opened the cupboard below the sink to get a towel.

woman-gaspingThat’s when I noticed it. This line of goobery material that looked like that adhesive snot used, say, to stick a mailing label on a box. The kind that pulls up in rubbery strings and snaps back on your fingers.

But what was it doing in front of my towels? And how’d it get there? I scraped some away. Along with it came a few dust bunnies. Scrape, scrape. After a minute or so of this, I realized I had reached an impasse:

I could grab a towel and close the door, pretending I hadn’t seen the mystery material. (Sounds really good to me…)

Or I could get the scrub bucket and tackle this the right way.

Just then, I heard my mother’s voice, faintly, from a galaxy far, far away:

“If you’re going to do a job, do it right.”

Sigh. I got the scrub bucket and went to town on the offending strip of mystery material.

At this point, my female readers will know exactly what happens next. It’s not enough to rid the bathroom of the rubbery stuff. As long as you have the scrub bucket out and the rag in your hand, you might as well tackle the rest of the cupboards. 

It’s that phrase “as long as I’m…” that gets me in trouble a lot.

SharpenerDrawer 1I opened Drawer #1 and took a good, hard gander. Dust. Another mystery blob of white stuff in the corner. Inside was a warped pre-Civil War eyeliner sharpener that looked like it could shred anything in its path. That went in the garbage before it came after me.

Next came Drawer #2. Hidden behind my hair dryer was some weirdo gizmo attachment that I haven’t touched since I bought the dryer back in the early 90s.

hair dryer gizmoExhausted from my efforts thus far, I took a break and Googled the gizmo, learning that it’s a Concentrator Nozzle, designed to “concentrate the airflow directly onto the hair you’re working on, rather than blowing your strands all over the place.” Who knew? I tossed the nozzle in the garbage next to the killer eyeliner sharpener. Let ’em fight it out.

razorsI moved to the more manly side of the bathroom, emptying all the stuff my husband has in his cupboard. Out came three containers of dental floss, wart remover with an expiration date sometime in 2013, and four razors.

My first thought was jeez, how many razors does one guy need? I mean, he’s only got one face, right??

Dental mirrorBut then my thoughts wandered to the shoe collection I have upstairs. And possibly a few sweaters. Wisely, I put the razors back on the shelf. And as far as his floss collection goes? I’m just glad he’s not my friend’s husband. I also replaced the dental mirror. Hey, if my man’s into dental hygiene, who am I to argue?

On and on it went. Drawers and cupboards were emptied, their contents sorted out, tossed, cleaned. Dust bunnies that gossiped in corners and congregated along drawer pulls were flattened and rinsed away by my rag, clumping at the bottom of the scrub bucket.

Finally, it was over.

I took a well-deserved shower and pondered my madness. Is it better to be in denial when it comes to the things that lurk in my house? Can a little dirt be good for us? How clean is too clean?

I decided I’m probably good until next spring when I’ll tackle the basement. Or until I see the next collection of mystery material…