So that leaves me with little else than to bend your ear for another four hundred words or so, on how I have managed to take a shower without going into anaphylactic shock due to vinylhydrophobia.*
Previously, on Bathtub Blues. We left our heroine (That would be me. Hey, it’s my column; I get to be the heroine.) balancing precariously in a space approximately the size of a Pop Tart, partially blinded by shampoo suds, and desperately trying to keep the shower curtain from sticking to her ankles.
I’d love to say that I made it through that shower without incident, but let’s be realistic, remember who you’re dealing with here. However, to be fair, I have to admit there were a few moments of relative calm when the furnace kicked on, and the warm air blowing into the bathroom somehow caused a reverse suction of the shower curtain making it draw away from me in blissful, but all too brief, phobic relief.
No, there had to be a better way than praying for intermittent blasts from the furnace or only showering on the coldest of days when I’d be assured that the furnace would be running pretty steadily. Yes, to solve this problem I would have to devote my next shower to research. I would sacrifice my ankles for the sake of science. And personal hygiene.
So after considerable cogitation (good word, look it up) and a lengthy, raisin-finger inducing shower, I made my calculations. The results were undeniable. The source of the problem came down to my only having two hands. Yes, even with my mentally-tilted reasoning abilities, I had to see that I couldn’t do what needs to be done in the shower while at the same time keeping the billowing shower curtain off my ankles. The solution was clear. I needed another pair of hands. Ok, I know what you’re thinking, but showering double was out of the question. There simply wasn’t room. Remember the Pop Tart-sized area. What to do, what to do?
Then, like Wylie Coyote dropping an Acme anvil on my head, it came to me. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? How could I have been so blind? (Well, shampoo suds, for one thing.)
The answer was clothespins*, what else?
For me, the solution to almost any problem has always been clothespins.
Never, never leave home without a few clothespins. You know how hotel drapes always have that one-inch gap? No matter how hard you pull on the cord or yank them together, they will not meet in the middle. The motel industry can give you mints on your pillow, whirlpool bathtubs, that strip of paper across the toilet seat, Continental breakfasts and wake-up calls—but do you think they could measure a window correctly? No, you’re stuck with a ground floor room looking out on the parking lot with lonely truckers walking past your window at all hours of the day and night while that one-inch gap seems to gape even wider.
Before you spend the whole night in the lobby chatting with the desk clerk about her persistent toenail fungus, I suggest you clothespin those drapes together and get some sleep.
And if my memory serves me correctly, I may even have used clothespins when my children were babies and I misplaced the diaper pins. (Yes, I’m enough of a dinosaur to have used cloth diapers.) My children hopefully were too young to remember their clothing being held together by clothespins or at the very least, have worked through these childhood traumas with a trained counselor.
~End of Tangent~
So simple was the solution to my shower curtain dilemma, that I’m almost ashamed to admit it. All it took was to clothespin the offending, billowing shower curtain to the windowsill and voila; a little wooden springy thing doing the job of an extra pair of hands. Sheesh.
Stay tuned, gentle reader, for the next installment of Bathtub Blues, when our heroine (me again) will attempt to do something about that space approximately the size of a Pop Tart.
*Ok, once more. And really, I must insist that this be the last time I give you this definition. I’m afraid some of you are just not listening. Don’t be ashamed to take notes. It’s how we learn. Vinylhydrophobia (n) the irrational fear of being in the shower and having the force of the water create a suction thereby causing the shower curtain to draw inward toward the bathing subject, resulting in the slimiest portion of the curtain affixing itself to said bather’s ankles and calves further resulting in a wild case of the heebie-jeebies.
*For a gripping article (pun intended) on the history of clothes pins, check out AmericanHeritage.com magazine online, fall 2006, vol. 22, iss. 2.
I was particularly fascinated by the group at www.laundrylist.org. Did you know there are places in this free country of ours where hanging your laundry on a clothes line is prohibited! Nope, I’m not kidding.