I am a consumer. I consume things. I didn’t used to be like this. No, in my teen years when I didn’t understand where money and stuff came from, I rejected conformity and jobs and goals for happiness. In college, I rejected 9 to 5, I wanted to be free. I used all the college mind games to quiet that voice in the back of my head that said, “You aren’t rejecting 9 to 5, it’s rejecting you. Now pull out that nose ring and wash the purple from your hair, put away the Doc Martens and get a goddamned job and find a roach-free place to live.”
After a while I got sick of the roaches and the idealism and whatever else comes with it and I got a better job, a better place to live. Then I worked harder at the job, got a better place to live. These things happen. This isn’t some story about me rejecting the ideals of my peers and moving on, we did it together, everyone does. After you’ve consumed every chemical, this is the new peer pressure.
But this isn’t about ideals or investment portfolios. Oddly, it’s about my bathroom. My bathroom is pink. It came like that when I bought the house. Pink tiles, pink wallpaper, pink countertop, two matching pink sinks and a lovely pink push-button toilet. I love my bathroom. I had considered gutting the bathroom, then on the second walk-through, before we made an offer, it stole my heart and has yet to let it go.
Why am I rambling? The point is, my bathroom is a microcosm of my consumerism. If you want to see to what extent a person spends money on ‘stuff’, go look in their bathroom.
In my bathroom, I have no less than 14 different products that can be dumped into the tub to make bubbles or good smells or calm spirits. I have Ivory soap, antibacterial soap, rose-scented soap, some sort of jitzy soap that came from a loaf, and facial wash. Four shades of nail polish, one clear coat, two kinds of polish remover and cotton balls. I have gels, volumizers, pomades, hair sprays, mousses, and leave-in conditioners. Vitamins of every shape and flavor (I like the hippos best). No less than 3 methods of removing hair from my body. Two toothbrushes (mine is always green), two kinds of toothpaste. Hers is always for sensitive, mine is always whitening.
A few kinds of pain killers, but fewer than you would expect, really. In fact, except for band-aids and the occasional shot of Cepacol for my recurrent strep, we don’t use a lot of medicines.
But we do have lotions, not to be confused with lubricants, which are in the bedroom, thank you very much. There are lotions that spray, lotions that tighten, lotions that smell good, lotions that invigorate, and somewhere in the mix, I think we have a few that moisturize.
I have a few generations of bathtowels, hand towels and washcloths. Each set different, but still work with the previous generation. The only set of bath linens (yeah, I said bath linens) that don’t match are the set for the guest room.
I have a special cupholder that used to hold matching Hers and Hers cups, but one broke so we stole the one from the guest room. Now when people come over, do they think that we use the Hers cup and leave the Guest cup clean for them?
I bought 2 simple gratin dishes from Crate and Barrel once intended for serving elegantly simply side dishes to my guests. They probably cost more than they are worth. One is used in the bathroom now to elegantly display my health and beauty supplies. The other elegantly displays the set of miniature health and beauty supplies that I keep in my guest bedroom.
Two hairbrushes, same style, but mine is always clogged with hair, forcing the girl to buy her own. I have headbands, barrettes, clips and bobby pins for my hair. A pair of Fiskars for impromptu trims.
One entire drawer is full of cold medicine. We almost never get colds anymore (mind over matter works), but when I do get sick, I believe the only cure is a colorful pill roulette and soup.
My tampons come with pink, green, yellow and purple distinctions, for the appropriate use during the appropriate microsecond in my cycle. Cottonelle Double Roll with comfo-ripples, 6 pack.
Oxy-Clean, Liquid-Plumr and Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach do the secondary work. My heart belongs primarily to Scrubbing Bubbles, one can a month. They do not, as advertised, do the scrubbing for me, but more often than not, I find myself a Goddess overlooking the vast empire that is my bathtub, at least until The Girl opens the door and lets in some fresh air.
Hello Kitty curtain and matching shower curtain in the Water Lily pattern, as well as the complementary Hello Kitty bathmat round out the decor.
Perhaps four kinds of shampoo and an equal number, if not more, of conditioners. More soaps, body washes, and facial cleansers abound. Two different ways to lubricate the skin while shaving. Sponges, brushes, and exfoliating gloves remove from our bodies the products of us, leaving us as clean as the borrowed ladders of Gattaca.
We could walk all over the house and see evidence of my nutty consumer affairs, but the bathroom is the epicenter and the evidence room and all you need. I am typing this in the bathroom, The Girl is showering as we speak.
Oh, and I saw Fight Club tonight. Good movie.