Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Out Damned Spot. Out!

I feel like Lady Macbeth. Today, Bing and I were chatting at dinner and I teased her about her obsession with our lawn. It is um...SNOWING here today and she was all in a tizzy because the lawn needed to be mowed. I told her to relax and see this as a lucky break. It's wet and slushy snow. It will be gone in a few days. In the meantime, just chill.

She gave me a long look.

B: You think I'm obsessive don't you?
M: Well, yeah. A little bit.
B: You know, we all have our little obsessions.
M: Who me? I'm not obsessive.

Bing snickers. Just a little. Just enough to let me know that I am so wrong.

M: How exactly am I obsessive? Do tell.
B: Well, you have that hand washing problem.
M: What hand washing problem?
B: Come with me.

She leads me into the bathroom. Points to the sink. I look. There is our bottle of Endure 420 Cida-Stat(chlornexidine gluconate 2% solution.) Next to it is my big bottle of Germ-X hand sanitizer.

M (with complete innocence): So what? It is hand scrub and sanitizer.
B: No. It is SURGICAL hand scrub, Maria. Do we really need to wash our hands as if we are preparing to do surgery?

Well. Yeah.

I get this stuff from a friend of mine who just happens to be a surgeon, yes. And, okay. I wash my hands frequently. And follow up with hand sanitizer. Just. To. Be. Safe.

Okay, maybe I am a little obsessive. But, to my credit, none of us has had a cold in a long time. I tell Bing this, trying to keep the shrillness out that creeps into my voice when I feel put upon.

B: Honey, you wash your hands...well...a lot.

Bing sighs. She knows that resistance is futile. I win most arguments by simply outlasting her.

She hasn't said another thing. But, now I keep catching myself going in to wash my hands. I DO wash my hands a lot. Probably about 5 times a day. Is that too much? Should I just let my hands stay yucky after I clean the bird cage or the fish bowl?

Well, there are worse things, I suppose. I could be a nose picker. Or snort when I laugh. Or overuse phrases like "You don't say!" or "I'll be a monkey's uncle." Now, THAT would be annoying.

I could be a counter. I used to know a person who had to count everything. Steps. Marbles in a bowl. Potato chips on a plate.

I don't do that. I just wash my hands a lot. Well, not alot, but okay, frequently. And, I don't scrub my hands for minutes on end. Just the um..normal amount of time. I think. Ok. Let me know. How often per day do y'all wash your hands?

I'm getting a little defensive here. Would she prefer that I let us all catch colds all the time?

Maybe I need to wean myself off the surgical scrub, though. I mean, maybe switch to Dial or something?

Do any of you have any obsessive habits? Please say you do.


Melanie said...

would it help if your friendly neighborhood natural soapmaker gave a long lecture on how the growing use of germicidal products is actually leading to a huge increase in skin disorders, which compromise and create breaches (cracks, sores, etc.) in our bodies' biggest disease-protection organ - the skin? hmmm? because stay tuned, i've been gearing up for a rant on that for...oh, months now.

that said, my mom and i both went through surgical scrubbing phases in the past, right about the time we took microbiology classes. you will be horrified to know that our petri dish experiments revealed that the dirtiest place ON EARTH was around a human being's mouth. this included testing used underwear, the floor beneath a urinal, and the scrapings under fingernails after using the bathroom and not washing.

you're welcome. i just love to spread a little cheer wherever i go. :)

kristi noser said...

Maria, I wash my hands about 10 or 12 times a day--depending on what I'm doing. Cooking all day? probably 20 or 30. Dirty hands are nasty. But I never use that germicidal junk or antibacterial anything if I can help it--thank you Melanie for your thoughts on this--that stuff is bad for our health. People are just discovering how bad antibacterial stuff is for you because we have helpful bacteria on our bodies and hands, and that stuff kills it all.
Just my two cents.
Oh, and I count stuff all the time too....hmmm

MamaLee said...

Well I think I beat ya. I wash my hands maybe 20 times a day.

And I'm still sitting here with a stupid headcold.

Terroni said...

Hey, what do you have against girls who snort when they laugh? Sometimes things are really funny, and that little noise just happens.

And, yeah, maybe switching to Dial is a good idea. Or you could check out some of Mel's soaps!

My obsession--hair washing. At least once a day. Twice if I'm stressed (because stress sticks to your hair).

Burg said...

I wash my hands so much they now feel like sandpaper. I want some of that surgical scrub..

To do list: Make friends with surgeon...

PBS said...

The neighborhood kids that used to hang around our house when my son was young once counted that I washed my hands 32 times while cooking dinner! They took turns counting while they were all playing with my son and nobody told me they were doing that until we were eating dinner. But in my defense, we had an old house, bad plumbing and 5 dogs at the time and I was interrupted many times during the cooking process.

Melanie said...

i wash my hands whenever i have a suspicion they need it, which is probably at least 4-5 times a day, but i use (of course) natural soap and i usually put on a little lotion afterwards to prevent drying and cracking, which lets infections right into your bloodstream. but i guess my big obsession is having a clean bathroom. i probably wipe down the sink and counter every time i go in there, which for someone with a bladder the size of a lemon is pretty darned often. i also can't stand to get into a bed when the sheets/blankets aren't smooth, straight, and perfectly even on all sides of the bed. it literally makes my skin crawl and i can't sleep until i get up and fix them. once i'm asleep, it's fine. buy my husband likes to torture me by letting me go through my little nightly sheet-straightening routine, and then, just as i try to get into bed, he'll thrash his legs and mess them all up. then giggle at me while i curse at him and go into another frenzy. he's so mean.

Carrie said...

I wash my hands a lot too. Oh and sometimes I snort when I laugh. One thing that Adam gets freaked about is how I play with my food. We have sandwiches almost everyday for lunch and well I have to open it and take half of the meat off if we are dining out. Plus I have to arrange it so that I don't get one big bite of lettuce and then nothing on the other.