Friday, August 28, 2009
I grew up in a house full of people. My mom left us when I was barely a toddler, so my dad whisked me and my older sister to live with our grandparents. My dad is the eldest in a brood of eleven, so with the grandparents plus house help, there were at least 16 to 17 people in the house.
From age 13 to maybe 20, I actually dreamed of living alone. As in ... alone. In high school, my imagined pad was composed of a sofa-bed, a stereo component, and a personal ref full of cola. It didn't occur to me that food and water were actually essential to life. At least I had a sofa-bed to accommodate people to drink coke with me. One room would suffice. My imagination didn't even get as far as a bathroom.
In college, I become more realistic and realized the value of furniture. So my imagined pad now has a Japanese-style living and dining room. The Japanese dining table was important because that meant that I wouldn't need any chairs. Oddly enough,I still didn't picture a bathroom.
After college, now being a woman of the world, my imagination drastically changed. I now had provisions for actual food preparation - a neat kitchen. It finally dawned on me that I would need a bathroom... and a bed, Guests would probably appreciate chairs and so I mentally filled that in too, along with bookshelves,closet,and some sort of space to wash things in.
And that's where the major snag happened.
Every human activity involves some sort of cleaning up after. We eat, we have to wash dishes, pots and pans. We wear clothes, we have to launder them. We have a room, we have to dust it. The doozy is having to clean a bathroom - a toilet, to be specific.
I would like to believe that one's biggest luxury is having a clean bathroom. Better than a shiny new car, better than diamonds. The diamonds I will get to use about five times in my life, tops. A bathroom is forever. And since this is the one place I do visit many many times in a day, its conditioning is of prime importance. Above all, cleanliness.
Even when we are not rich, we had the privilege of having a household help. I eat and, lo and behold, the dishes are clean for the next meal. I put my used clothes in the hamper and then they disappear and reappear all nice and pressed. I Have never once had to dunk a brush in a toilet and swish. It's like having magical elves around!
Now why would I want to let go of that? Living alone in my own, what was I thinking?
Oh maybe it was almost every twentysomething's dream. It sure was mine when I was that age.