6/20/10

The Washcloth Debate

So I was sitting around at my friend's house, with a couple of my bestest girlfriends. My friend's cat just had kittens and we were probably committing a major sin of nature by holding and loving on these tiny little babies (chill, Bob Barker-ites, the kittens are over a week old), and of course, gabbing.

With my particular group of friends, you never know where the conversations will go. We can start out talking about paper towels and end up in a make-shift group therapy session, tears streaming down our cheeks as we talk about how our moms just don't get us. This time the topic du jour was the first time you realize that one of your babies has a raging case of b.o., and from that exciting conversational tidbit we somehow ended up discussing washcloths and showers.

I think it started when we discussed how when you first smell that horrible "onion gone bad" odor emanating from one of your prepubescent children, the main thing you need to do (besides offer up some deodorant) is make sure that they know how to bathe properly. Because all moms know, the 30 second shower that most kids take most likely entails them standing under the water, working up a small pouf of lather in their hair and maybe getting the bar of soap wet. So it's your duty, as someone with a nose, to ensure that they get soap in all of their now-ripe nooks and crannies.

At this point in the conversation, one of my friends turned to me and said, "And I have no idea how you get clean without washcloths, Jenny."

You know, the fact that my friend knows that I am not a washcloth-in-the-shower person didn't strike me as odd, as some of you 16 readers may think. My friendships are kind of a black or white thing in my life. If we are friends, we are FRIENDS. I have very few people in my life whom I would consider mere acquaintances, once we have spent a fair amount of time together we will walk away knowing more than we probably should about one another. I can tell you which one of my friends fakes orgasms, which ones keep their ladygardens smooth and Kojak-ey and which ones go au naturel, which ones would rather be eviscerated than spend more than 5 minutes with their in-laws, I even know which friends have peed their pants at Target (more than you'd think). We know things about each other.

So, when Friend brought up my washcloth issue, suddenly I felt the eyes of the women all alighting upon me. I stammered, "What do you mean? I use soap." Another friend said, "Seriously, Jenny? No washcloths?" like she just found out that in my spare time I eat babies. I felt instant shame and wondered if perhaps I had dark tendrils of stinky fumes rising from me, ala' Pig Pen.

I don't use washcloths in the shower. Maybe at one time I did. I know that when my angels were still in the "bath time" era, we used washcloths with them, I still have the stringy, faded Spiderman and Hello Kitty terry cloth squares as proof of that. It's not a big deal in my hygienic life, I don't have some fabric-phobia or some scary Howie Mandelish germ issues. I just don't use 'em. I lather up, rinse off. If I'm feeling crazy I'll shave my legs; super crazy, and the pits too (this part of the routine changes if I happen to have a victim, of course, but let's just say that for the past several months I have been a bristly bitch). As far as I know I don't stink, but believe me, as I walked home from this little Inquisition I felt filthy and dirty. I felt like a RenFest performer, minus the stained green tights.

And worse than that, I started to feel guilt...you see, my children have evolved from washcloth in the tub people to no washcloth in the shower people. I started to fret that I had passed some disgusting hobo-habit onto my brood. Were they the smelly kids at school? Were kids secretly whispering about those reeking Jenny bastards?

I'm the first to admit that there are times when one of my darling offspring will settle next to me on a couch and the smell of ass hits me in the nose like a boxing glove. That's when you employ the "Hey, maybe it's a good night for a shower" talk. After that, though, no more ass smell. As far as I knew, our washcloth-free zone had the olfactory seal of approval. But then I started to wonder, maybe it's because we are all used to our stench...maybe it's like the person who lives in a den of cat urine and can't smell it anymore...maybe we did, indeed, smell.

So, I did what any rational, insecure, fraught-with-self doubt person would do. I started a poll on facebook. I didn't get thousands of replies (ok, I got about 20) but the overwhelming majority answered, loud and clear, "NO WASHCLOTH". There was one person who just answered "Ewww", which I don't know was "ewww" to no washcloths or "ewww" in regards to washcloths, so I took that as a check in my favor. Vindication. I felt good.

I felt squeaky clean, dammit. Washcloth or not.

14 comments:

  1. Hell yeah. I've got gadgets and gizmos aplenty. Whoosits and whatsits galore. Just no washcloth. I also have a borderline-hoarder obsession with shampoo and conditioner. But other than that I'm perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think washcloths are disgusting germ breeders, personally. After the kids outgrew "bath time" they became nearly extinct in my house. Seriously, I think I may own 3!

    Just my opinion, though. . . . . ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, if you have a scrubbie, what's the debate? I think they are more sanitary than the washcloth.

    ReplyDelete
  4. QA: I also though, "Big Whoop", but I tell ya...I know I have some paranoid tendencies but seriously, some folks have very strong opinions on the washcloth issue. I have never felt so dirty as I did after the original conversation.

    Well, ok. I have felt dirtier but this was the first time I felt that way without drinking or really bad judgment being involved.

    ReplyDelete
  5. No washcloth here either....ever, I don't think. Trying to go back in the misty past to remember...like last week...) But no, I have always just used a poofie & shower gel.

    And speaking of polls, you know what weird thing my children do? (and NO, this one they didn't get from ME) They don't use top sheets on their beds. Just blankets. I make up the beds with them, they throw them on the floor or hamper.
    Strange.

    ReplyDelete
  6. No top sheet? That's weird (said in my best Jim Gaffigan voice).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also hate top sheets... it just gets tangled inside the blanket.

      It's not like anyone is going to bed filthy. Geebuz. :P It also makes making the bed SO easy in the morning. Throw blanket across bed, tug edges as needed, slap pillows on top. DONE.

      Delete
  7. My hub, myself and my kids are not the wash cloth type. No one used them when I was growing up either. Nasty germ breeders...and more little crap to fold on laundry day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, sister. My BFF and I have heated debates, TO THIS DAY about what must remain on a washcloth after you use one to wash all the nooks and crannies. She insists it's no different than underwear...I disagree. Good thing I love her :)

      Delete
  8. My husband has never understood why I don't use a wash cloth and I've always thought I was the only one.... thanks for making me feel more normal! My kids do use them, but I insist on making sure they are one-use only and they get washed in bleach every time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahh..you are welcome! I just found some washcloths in the shower my boys use. Into the white load they went, with plenty o' bleach. Bleah.

      Delete
  9. LOL - I'm re-reading your blog and the washcloth thing is great. I just bought an 18-pack for $3.42 at Walmart because my SIL and her brood (10 people in the house for mid-winter break, wheeee) are coming next week.

    She expresses her horror, every time, that we don't do washcloths. "But how do you get CLEAN?!!!" Um, with the soap. "So you just make a lather in your HANDS?!" Yes, bars of soap tend to lather up well... "And you just fill up your hands with body wash and then... I mean, you just slop it around your privates with your HANDS?!" Um, #1 body wash is.not.SOAP. It isn't a cleaner, it's a smell-good thing. It doesn't CLEAN. #2 Yes, we lather up the self-cleaning SOAP and rub it alllll around our VAGINAS and PENISES and BUTT CRACKS. #3 By virtue of BEING COVERED with SOAP, our hands are also clean... who.the.hell knows what butt-juices are still on some wet, hot ASS RAG? I'd wash my face with soapy hands that were just in my junk but I'd NEVER wipe my ass with a fragrance-covered rag and then scrub my face. THAT is EWWWWW.

    This woman didn't use SOAP - real, actual soap - until I pointed out that body wash is.not.SOAP. It does not clean, it's a good-smelling liquid. In taking to Google to prove me wrong, I was proven right. And now she uses soap with her hands... but we're still gross for forgoing washcloths. LOL

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...