Always Prepared: The Toothbrush Stash
I read a post by the lovely Marie at McKinneyOatesCereal about her toothbrushes and her reluctance to share that she shares a toothbrush with her husband (Frank and I have been doing the same thing for about a year- don’t be grossed out though. It’s one of those awesome electric ones. We have different heads – mine is purple, of course.) And I just went to the dentist and got a clean bill of health – no doubt thanks to the toothbrush. It has a built in timer, which stops me from brushing “until it feels clean.” And, because I am 7, I was obviously thrilled with the sample toothbrush. And then Frank reminded me of the “toothbrush story” and suggested I share it. This would be the second time I write about toothbrushes.
Frank and I moved out together about 3 years ago. It was the first time either one of us had lived away from our parents, and I got a little obsessed with playing house. I wanted to have matching plates, and place mats and avoid all Ikea furntiure. I wanted to make the kind of home that reflected “us” (whatever that means) and I wanted to do all the goofy stuff that you always said you would do, when you were a teenager and thought about running your own household (other people did this, right?). And for me, part of that was the idea of stocking up. I love my mom, but she is not the most organized person – and I always longed for the particular joys of reaching for Tupperware and knowing where the matching lid is and never running out of detergent mid-cycle. I wanted to be able to invite friends over, last-minute and have some easy to prepare food and snacks available. This isn’t easy to do in an apartment (storage issues) but I was determined to be able to play a decent hostess for my friends.
One night, about three years ago, a bunch of friends were over late, and we had plans to hang in the morning. We asked everyone if they wanted to crash in the living room, and they agreed. I swooned when I was able to break out enough pillows, towels, blankets and sleepystuff for everyone. And then I almost beamed with pride when I handed everyone a fresh toothbrush from our stash. They oohed and aahed, and I felt like I had earned my place among the Jewish grandmothers in my lineage. It was a really, really pathetic high.
And of course – a few weeks later, I found out that Frank was Pissed! You see, it’s not that he didn’t want our friends to be comfortable – he did. But while in my head, that stash said “You are so prepared – when anyone needs anything, you are going to be able to help them” – in his head, the stash said “You are so prepared – you have all these toothbrushes, and you got them on sale and you will never have to buy one again!”
So, now we share our mega-toothbrush and save our travel ones for travel. We still have a stash, but it’s much smaller and we are both aware of each other’s intended uses for this bounty. With anything, communication is key. Which reminds me of the time where Frank made this whole mail-organization system and forgot to tell me …