In order to understand my panic, you must know three things:
1. I prefer to shower in the dark.
2. I have a housekeeper.
3. I am very nearsighted.
Without my contacts and in the best light, I can distinguish color and basic shape. I can, for example, identify that there is a human on the other side of my living room, and experience tells me it’s probably my husband. Although this would be an excellent ploy for any cat burglar interested in my 10-year-old television.
In my dark showers – it’s very womb-like, you should try it – I rely mostly on things being where I put them last time. Except, of course, I have a housekeeper who comes every other week to save me from myself, and she has her own system. So when I squinted down at the various tubes lining the wall of my shower – why does everything beauty and medical come in a tube? – I grabbed what I felt confident was face wash. I squeezed some into the palm of my hand, lathered and applied.
It turns out I also rely heavily on smell in my shower; although, I didn’t know this until now because oh my God, that smell was all wrong. It did not smell like soap, not at all. It smelled medicinal and…and…geriatric. It smelled like my weird great aunt who eats mashed potatoes with a spoon. It smelled like…could it be…hemorrhoid cream?!?
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, HOUSEKEEPER LADY, IF YOU WANTED A RAISE, YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST ASKED!
There was panicking and rinsing and fumbling for light switches and glasses and puddles of water and shampoo on the ceiling just because and when the offending tube was finally in focus it was…face wash. “New Improved Scent!”
New improved scent?! Improved? You think washing my face with something that smells like it should be rubbed on elderly nether regions is an improvement? What other options were you considering? Lilac and dog poo? Rotten broccoli in a spring breeze? Musk o’ dumpster?
What will people think as they subtly sniff in my direction all day? No, never mind. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. I’ll just stay home.