Bath-Warming Gift? Is This A Joke?


This is my kind of tile. It’s pink.

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf -Published in the Albert Lea Tribune the week of  January 19.

I have been in hibernation mode; at least, that is how it seems. The weather is cold and snowy. My house is warm and cozy. There is no question which is more attractive.

The problem with hibernation mode is the fact I can go a week without face-to-face conversation with anyone except my husband. Social media keep me up on the news of the world and my friends. I chat and converse online, occasionally over Skype, but it is not the same as face-to-face contact.

Along with personal contact, when you hibernate in your home, your life experiences hibernate with you and are confined to your home also. Hibernation mode makes my life smaller. It might not be a problem to be in hibernation mode for some. It might be a lonely feeling for those who are shut in all the time. I do know the more I stay in, the more I don’t want to go out into the world.

For me, hibernation mode is a hindrance when it comes to creativity for this column. My creativity has to come from inside — inside my house that is. I traveled up the stairs, down the stairs, pulling out drawers, looking at my yard and laughing at my shysters trying to find inspiration for today’s column. I had to rule out the shysters because that was last week’s column.

And then — and then — I found my inspiration in the bathroom, by the toilet.

Poop. I can’t believe I used that word in my column, but I did. No, I did not find any bits of excrement by my toilet, but I did find something that I know was a joke, but as it turns out the joke is on the giver of the present. I found Poo-Pourri.

It is widely known, because I have spread the news, that my downstairs bathroom had been in disarray for the last year plus a few months. It fell apart when the sewer pipe broke between the second floor bathroom and my downstairs bathroom.

We had to rip out walls, vanities, cupboards, ceiling, floor and toilet to fix the bathroom. It finally came together in November of this year in time for me to have company for Thanksgiving Day.

December is Christmas and the time for gifts. One of my good friends gave me a gift and in the bag along with my Christmas gift was a bathroom warming present. The name on the bottle was Poo-Pourri Magic Spritzmas. Under the name it announces “Tis the Season to Smell.”

We had a good laugh. She knew I had wanted to put a bathroom fan in my downstairs bathroom when it was tore apart but because my house is vintage or an antique it wasn’t possible. This was my friend’s solution to my angst. It was a joke and neither one of us thought it would work.

According to the label Poo-Pourri is a before you go toilet spray. It is a blend of vanilla, peppermint and natural essential oils that is supposed to create a barrier and stop the smell.

It is kind of like a “little dab will do ya.” You spray a little dab in the toilet bowl water before you go and no one will ever know what you left behind.

I launched an Internet search to find out how Poo-Pourri got started, but its website did not have that information. I did find out there are other scents and other products, and the testimonials are good.

I have to say the joke is on my friend. It is the best bath-warming gift I have received. It is also the only bath-warming gift I have received. My husband thanks her because I am no longer lamenting about having no bathroom fan, and I guarantee the word poop has never graced my column before. And it never will again.

I am out of hibernation mode and relentlessly pursuing other unsuspecting subjects outside of my home. I will be incognito. You won’t recognize me if you see me because the picture that resides with my column is from 2006. I will be out and about, waiting to pounce on my next unsuspecting subject whether it be an inanimate object or a human being. You are warned.



photo credit: neatlysliced via photopin cc

Who Cleans The Toilets

Toilet Master

Column: Something About Nothing, by Julie Seedorf from November 4 Week of Albert Lea Tribune and Courier Sentinel

I recently did an unscientific poll on Facebook. This is what I asked: “OK, ladies fess up. How many of you are the toilet bowl cleaner in the family? What would happen if you didn’t clean it? Would it stay grubby forever?”

I got many answers, all from women, none from men, but to be fair, I didn’t ask the men. I expected a few needles from the men. Here are a few of the women’s comments:

• You got that right!

• Yes, yes it would.

• Yes, it would. I was gone for a week, came home and cleaned toilets.

• Yes, I am. If I’m gone long enough, it does get cleaned.

• Eventually some new life form would emerge from mine.

• Mmmm, grubby doesn’t even describe the algae forest I found in bachelor’s pre-husband toilet.

There were more comments, but because they named names I thought it best for those names not to be broadcast to the world for the sake of world peace.

I did the poll because I wondered if toilet cleaning at home always became what used to be called “women’s work.” There were many things that were deemed women’s work when I first got married many, many years ago.

I remember being baffled the first time we had a holiday with my new spouse’s family. The men sat down to be served and the women waited until they were done to eat. That wasn’t the way it was done in my family. I was rather crabby back then, so let me tell you, that particular tradition didn’t last much longer when I was around.

In those days the women were in charge of the household. That meant, even if they worked, they were in charge of the kids, the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning and whatever else came along with the house and, of course, toilet cleaning.

When a friend of mine died of cancer, her husband had no idea how to turn on the wash machine or the oven. That is when things started changing in my household. Because I was brought up to believe in women’s work, I hadn’t educated my husband and family in the workings of a household. My husband could fix anything. He could repair anything, and that was his job. I realized that if something happened to me, his job would change and he would be like my neighbor, lost, unless of course he could call his mother.

I became stubborn and he became a better house cleaner, laundry person and cook. Although one of the challenges wasn’t him, it was me. I always micro-managed what he did because he didn’t do it like I did. I cringed when my new Colorado T-shirt now fit my 4-year-old. It was also easier at times to do it myself because I didn’t like the results. “Were you wearing your glasses when you dusted that corner?”

Many years have passed, and he washes his own clothes (now I don’t do it good enough for him), he cooks much better than I do, he does floors, but in all these years he doesn’t do toilets. He could very well survive with me, and the house would be picked up better than the way I keep it. It would be a little dustier (must be the eyes) and the toilets? I don’t want to guess.

As I watch my sons and son-in-law help their wives and take care of their houses, I don’t see the mentality of women’s work anymore except maybe when it comes to toilets. They seem to share their duties and in all fairness to their wives; occasionally they need to be reminded of certain tasks if they are trying to do the man thing with the television remote.

It is a different time in 2013 than when I and my friends were first married. There is more negotiation between couples and the chores that are needed to be done in a family. That doesn’t mean the older generation of men were lazy or not caring. It means that they lived by what society was back then and what was expected of both men and women was different.

If you are a man in 2013 and you do toilets, make it known because in my poll, toilets still seem to be women’s work. I am not sure what message that is giving to us and to our children and does it matter?

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