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Sunday, February 12, 2006

There's no going back

Long time treppenwitz readers may remember my New Year's post from a couple of years ago where I talked about being an incurable romantic.  So romantic in fact, that I spent all of New Years Eve engineering the trappings of perfect marital bliss; a unilaterally disengagement from our shared master bathroom.

Oh sure, I still venture into the master bath for purely, er, excretory purposes and the occasional shower... but all of my other morning and evening ablutions now take place in my masculine domain; my personal sink and medicine cabinet located on my side of the master bedroom.

I was inspired to disengage from the shared bathroom arrangement after more than a decade of Zahava repeatedly and flagrantly violating the 50/50 bathroom shelf-space treaty of 1991. 

Truth be told, I didn't really need 50% of the bathroom shelf space... but each year around spring cleaning time I would invariably find that my 'stuff' had been relegated to a tiny, undesirable spot on some lower shelf under the sink... while the medicine cabinet and all other prime shelf real estate in the bathroom would be crowded with Zahava's powders, cremes, combs, brushes, scents and G-d-only-knows what else!

So, when we purchased our house here in Israel I noticed the potential in the existing hot & cold water hook-up on my side of the master bedroom and immediately set about installing a sink and medicine cabinet of my very own.

Sink

This arrangement has allowed Zahava to officially take full possession of all shelf and storage space in the master bath and has been quite satisfactory for all parties involved.

Well, mostly satisfactory.

About halfway through a recent meeting at work I noticed that one of the female engineers sitting to my left kept staring intently at the side of my head.  I caught her at it several times and each time I glanced over at her, she quickly turned away.  I finally had to know what what the heck she was looking at... so while a coworker droned on through an endless PowerPoint presentation I whispered,"What are you looking at".

She quietly whispered back "You seem to have some kind of paint or ink inside your ear.  Have you been sticking your pen in there?"

Being a guy, I quickly took an exploratory swipe with my pinkie and came away with with what indeed looked like black ink all over the end of my digit.  I couldn't remember having put my pen near my ear... but I also couldn't come up with a better explanation, so I just smiled sheepishly at her and shrugged. 

I spent the rest of the meeting trying to look nonchalant, but I could clearly read the thought bubble over this engineer's head; "This idiot doesn't have the good sense to keep sharp objects away from his ears".

What does this have to do with my emancipation from the tyranny of the shared marital bathroom?

Being a pretty typical man, I have studiously ignored most of the little primping and preening rituals in which my wife engages.  I think most men feel, as I do, that our appreciation of the finished work is in no way diminished by not watching over the artist's shoulder. 

In short, I enjoy being presented with the finished product and feel no pressing need to know the trade secrets employed to arrive at such beauty.

So it's no wonder that I was, until quite recently, completely unaware that 'Q-Tips' might be drafted for any task other than the one for which I use them.

This probably comes as a complete surprise to many men who are reading this, but in addition to being the tool of choice for cleaning out one's ears, some women also employ 'Q-Tips' in the application and/or removal of certain pigments that are used to accent the eyes.  These can include eye-liner, mascara and/or eye-shadow... but please don't quote me here since I have only the most tenuous grasp of what any of these things might be.

These extra uses for such an innocuous bathroom item wouldn't normally be worth mentioning here on treppenwitz, except that I while I sat in that meeting trying to figure out how I had gotten ink in my ear I suddenly remembered exiting the shower that morning and swiping a few 'Q-Tips' from Zahava's stash before returning to my manly domain. 

It never occurred to me that there would be anything but fresh, clean 'Q-tips' there.  I mean, I throw mine away after each use... so it stands to reason that everyone would, right?

Anyway, when I got home from work that day of the mysteriously painted ear canal, I went exploring in Zahava's medicine cabinet and sure enough I found that instead of nice clean 'Q-Tips', I had grabbed a couple from a small pile that seems to have been set aside for applying or removing the above-mentioned eye-pigments.

[~shudder~]

If ever there was a flashing neon sign that once a man has willingly surrendered the bathroom shelves to his wife he can never, ever, go back... this was certainly it.

219_32

Posted by David Bogner on February 12, 2006 | Permalink

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So if I understand all this correctly - what you're saying is that you appreciate me nominating you for your winning JIB post, and you've decided, in honor of that win, to provide me with next years nomination?

Posted by: Dave | Feb 12, 2006 3:18:11 PM

Also, as I'm sure many writers will tell you, you're really not supposed to use Q-tips to clean your ears. The advice seems to be:

"Never stick anything in your ears smaller than your elbow"

Even the official Q-Tips website does not include any ear-cleaning amongst their myriad tips of what to do with their swabs...

Posted by: Dave | Feb 12, 2006 3:26:23 PM

Dear Treppenwhimp,

You like to play the role of 'real man in sensitive guy's clothing' but when the chips are down you always show your true feminist colours. Somone else is always to blame when you wusses get what you so richly deserve, never the whipped themselves. We real men are sick and tired of feminist fanatics scuttling every hope of us winning the gender war. If not for you people we would have been living in the 1950s for decades now. You are the fly in the ointment, or shall I say the mascara on the Q-Tip, and we will never have the upper hand in our marriages as long as you and your feminist co-conspirators continue to undermine us.

You cry crocodile tears when you get your ear painted by your wife's makeup, but you have nothing to say for yourself when you people blog all day about shopping (bakeries and butchers? Please!). .

You are the biggest reason that the women of the world hate us so much, and if I could think of a way to help them neuter all of your kind I would be doing a huge favour to the rest of us real men who would finally be left in charge.

If you have any shame at all you will stop spreading lies about real men and write a blog about feminazis, but I'm sure you will simply make some lame excuse for their castrating acts so don't bother. Don't think I don't know what you're about nancy boy.

A real man

Posted by: President, Kippot Srugot for Kadima | Feb 12, 2006 3:28:54 PM

LMAO @ President!

I just wanted to make sure you threw away the q-tip, so the missus doesn't get earwax in her eye. *shudder*

Posted by: Tanya | Feb 12, 2006 3:36:33 PM

Dave... Thanks, I'll take that to mean you enjoyed today's post. :-) By the way... the makers of cotton swabs can make whatever disclaimers they want, but I don't know one person who doesn't use these things to clean out their ears. Sure they are also handy for mixing epoxy and detailing the car... but c'mon, if we all followed that 'nothing smaller than your elbow' crap we'd have potatoes growing out of our ears. Puleeze!

President... Very cute. I haven't figured out which department you work in yet, but based on your ability to reverse engineer and adapt existing innovations I'd have to guess the Engineering Division. ;-)

Tanya... No, we've already established that I (unlike some people I could name) properly dispose of used Q-tips. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 12, 2006 3:54:05 PM

Bwaahahaha. Thanks for rescuing me from an insane week-end.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Feb 12, 2006 4:15:15 PM

Q-tips used to be a lot better- they used to have a lot more cotton on the ends... but I digress. Funny post, David...:)

Posted by: Regina Clare Jane | Feb 12, 2006 4:23:23 PM

I needed a good smile. If I wasn't so tired I would tied this in to the great soup/gravy story you blogged about.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 12, 2006 6:19:24 PM

Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!

You’re an inspiration, Trep. You are a rallying cry for all husbands to reject the illegal occupation of our bathroom shelves by the evil feminine entity. We will demand a right-of-return for our aftershave and toothbrush. Our brave deodorants will fight against the decadent Clinique Day/Night Skin Toning Balm With Vitamin Microbeads until we are victorious!

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 12, 2006 7:33:45 PM

That is one war we will never win. We women do not negotiate with terrorists, invading our sacred ground. Stay away! : D

Posted by: Irina | Feb 12, 2006 8:31:42 PM

Y'know, David, my neighbors are never going to believe that I was laughing this loud over Q-tips.

I'll just have to show them all your post ... after I stock up on enough oxygen tanks to go around.

Posted by: Rahel | Feb 12, 2006 10:43:32 PM

Did you hire someone to do the bathroom or do that yourself? I need to learn to be more handy (especially as I'm having some shower bar issues)

And Trep - how do you not notice makeup on the q-tip? I hope you took care your ... uh ... problem... before you discovered why it occurred

Posted by: amechad | Feb 12, 2006 11:12:07 PM

This doesn't just happen in hetero couples. I have some case study data that leads me to believe that this is universal.

Posted by: John | Feb 12, 2006 11:48:47 PM

President - your comments are overall kind of rude, don't you think? Plus I fully disagree with about everything you say, so count me in the category of "laughing out loud" at your comments. Sorry.

Treppenwitz - today's post was SO full of comedy, I had a great time. Here it can be similar. Between wife and kids, I'm having a real hard time finding my shaver and even toothbrush when I need it. I ask for so little. This problem extends to my pens, stapler, flashlight, and calculator, and the most problematic: the scissors. We own 8 of them and I can't find even one. But the bathroom is loaded up with girlie stuff. {sigh}

It takes a real man to finely handle these very difficult situations!

Posted by: Seattle | Feb 13, 2006 12:51:42 AM

What crime has been commited with Q-tips! Always inspect them closely. At least you didn't get someone else's ear wax in your ear.

Posted by: sirbarrett | Feb 13, 2006 3:50:14 AM

I can't even remember what it's like to share a bathroom with a woman. It's one of my important priorities not to have to. I like to keep a certain distance between me and everybody else on the planet when it comes to the things I do in my bathroom. I like to have a good exhaust fan in there as well. I actually design houses, or at least I used to and one of my trademarks is double baths for the master. Make the kids share a bathroom but not me. Not ever. I don't care how small it is. Just as long as it's mine and nobody elses.

Posted by: Scott | Feb 13, 2006 3:58:50 AM

TREPPENWITZ IS BACK!

Posted by: Shevy | Feb 13, 2006 5:19:37 AM

Mademoiselle a. ... Glad I could help. :-)

Regina Clare Jane... They also used to have wooden sticks. I hate the ones now because they bend and break too easily.

Jack... You forgiven. I'm sure there will be many more opportunities to make fun at my expense. :-)

Doctor Bean... "We could fight them with conventional weapons but that could take years and cost millions of lives... " (guess the movie).

Irina... So this would be an improvised weapon of sorts... sorta like a landmine! :-)

Rahel... Don't put anyone in danger, OK? :-)

Amechad... That sink in the picture is in our bedroom, not in the bathroom. I installed the sink and medicine cabinet and I had a plumber install the drain and faucet.

John... Please don't tell me you use eye-liner. I have this mental picture of you that is going all blurry on me. :-)

Seattle... Trust me, he was totally kidding. By the way, it's hard to look manly with eye-liner in your ear.

Sirbarrett... Y'know, given the choice I think I'd go with ear wax.

Scott... "I like to have a good exhaust fan in there as well" Whoa there cowboy... WAY too much information!

Shevy... I never left... I just started talking about stuff that you all hate to read. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 13, 2006 9:26:15 AM

Quote: "We could fight them with conventional weapons but that could take years and cost millions of lives..."

The end of the quote is appropriate as well: "I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part."

Posted by: President, Kippot Srugot for Kadima | Feb 13, 2006 10:00:00 AM

We have two separate bathrooms on two different floors of the house. As far apart as possible... I believe this is for the best. I don't wear make-up, so he would never have had this problem... but we've found that a separate but almost equal (I have more shelf space, he has the larger bathroom) is really the only way to go.

Posted by: nrg | Feb 13, 2006 10:28:34 AM

No eyeliner here - but I am a pro at bathroom storage and counter space occupation.

Posted by: John | Feb 13, 2006 12:10:12 PM

It seems to me that this would render a successful "send me your photos of..." edition? No one has cookie jars at home (or wants to share), but they all have bathrooms.
You could go for "his shelve of dreams" and "her shelve of dreams", so everyone gets their minute of fame. ;)

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Feb 13, 2006 2:16:06 PM

President... "And we're just the guys to do it!" :-)

nrg... Well hello! Where have you been hiding? :-) Wow, not just separate bathrooms but on separate floors as well! You guys must really need your space. :-)

John... Whew... I was worried there for a minute.

mademoiselle a. ... Nah, people are slackers about contributing and I doubt anyone would willingly submit photographic proof of the filthy condition of their bathroom. Let's face it, few of us live like the folks in Better Homes and Gardens. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 13, 2006 4:05:20 PM

That movie has set many a young man on a path of mischief, but well worth it.

Alway wanted to be Brother Bluto.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 13, 2006 4:27:04 PM

I thought the post was hilarious, but now I'm trying to stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks from laughing at the comments. LOL

Posted by: Tracey | Feb 13, 2006 5:11:06 PM

I wouldn't have gotten in without President's help.

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 13, 2006 5:15:30 PM

Jack... Not to mention marking the destruction of countless bedsheets.

Tracey... I only come here for the comments. ;-)

Doctor bean.. "Germans? Forget it, he's rolling" :-) BTW, the genius in that scene is the way they have the soundtrack record skipping in the background while Bluto mulls over the correct follow-up to "when the going gets tough...". :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 13, 2006 5:45:59 PM

Face it, David. Your readers MUCH prefer to hear personal anecdotes - 'specially the ones where you come out looking silly! ;)

Posted by: Val | Feb 13, 2006 5:49:22 PM

Oh, that's funny David.

I totally agree with Val.

My favorite is your encounter with the salesgirl and the sunglasses. That was classic!

Posted by: sweettooth | Feb 13, 2006 8:46:02 PM

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

Classic

Posted by: Jack | Feb 13, 2006 8:55:35 PM

President - your post is funny, now that I put on the right glasses ;)

Posted by: Seattle | Feb 13, 2006 9:04:45 PM

You could say this is Zahava's revenge for posting that photo of her asleep on the couch with Yonah. (I would never have forgiven you for that one!)

Posted by: Fay | Feb 14, 2006 9:26:37 AM

life has assumed a pace that I am having trouble keeping up with at the moment! I'll try to check in more often! And two separate baths is lovely! Had we decided for two separate bedrooms, I'd say we needed space! :-)

Posted by: nrg | Feb 15, 2006 12:13:49 PM

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