The Futile Feud

January 19, 2012 at 1:26 am (Uncategorized)

As I was scrubbing down the bathroom in our master bedroom recently (my punishment for leaving a dish in the sink), I was struck by the sheer volume of bottles, jars, tubes, cans, grooming aids, and other paraphernalia to be found therein. Hardly any of this belonged to me, mind you. I could claim ownership of just 6 things: a razor, a can of shaving cream, toothbrush and toothpaste, a deodorant stick and a hairbrush. And the way things are going, I probably won’t need the brush too much longer.

My wife, Maureen, on the other hand, had 411 items by actual count, only 9 of which I could positively identify. Truth be told, the place is starting to look like Fibber McGee’s closet. I can hardly squeeze into the shower these days with all the baskets, racks, medieval torture devices, and something resembling the fuel tank from an intercontinental ballistic missile jammed in there. I’m not exactly a ballerina, you understand, who can pirouette gracefully through this bizarre obstacle course in order to reach the barely-visible showerhead. Believe me when I tell you that I have recurring nightmares about the bulging walls of that bathroom suddenly exploding outward during the wee hours and washing me down the stairs and out onto the street in a tidal wave of creams, lotions, sprays, and fluorescent goo.

We have an oversized walk-in closet in that bathroom as well. Or, more accurately, SHE has one. That thing is packed to the rafters with skirts, dresses, slacks, blouses, and shoes of all styles and colors. There’s no possible way Maureen can cram another piece of clothing in there without borrowing my crow-bar, which, come to think of it, I haven’t seen lately. And what really blows my mind is that she buys more hangers almost every month!

Conversely, my extensive wardrobe of four shirts and three pairs of slacks has been relegated to a small corner of my office closet behind the excess Christmas decorations. I was flabbergasted recently when my wife suggested with a straight face that I should donate some of my old clothes to Goodwill in order to open up a little space in there. Hey, I’ve already moved my suits, ties, dress shirts, and oxfords from a previous life into a box in the garage. I even threw out a “golf” sweater (it had 18 holes in it) that she hated. How much more can I give up and still comply with the public decency laws? Is the neighborhood really ready for a revival of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”? Meanwhile her wardrobe could outfit half the population of Kazakhstan. Where is the justice in all this?

And somebody please explain to me why a woman has to use FIVE towels when she showers. Meanwhile, environmentalists adore me because I usually just grab one of the slightly damp ones she left behind, dry off with it and then hang it up to be recycled the next day. In fact, my towels were the original inspiration for the term “going green”! Now, I understand that we men can be somewhat insensitive Neanderthals at times and often fail to appreciate some of the more subtle nuances of feminine behavior. I’ve never been particularly adept at reading female signals, which has gotten me into lots of trouble through the years. It usually takes something more overt, like a 2X4 upside the head, to create my “AHAH!” moment with women. But does she REALLY need four vases of artificial flowers and seven candles on the bathroom counter? With a little organ music piped in we could hold a funeral in there, for cryin’ out loud.

OK, maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but I’ll wager that many long-suffering husbands out there are nodding vigorously in agreement with me. Unfortunately, the reality is that it’s unlikely we men can come out ahead in this battle. In fact, I may very well be one of the first casualties in the War of the Water Closet. Oh well, I suppose if I wasn’t so pig-headed I could always use the guest bathroom. Then I wouldn’t have to listen to Maureen’s daily admonitions about my failure to put down the toilet seat. What fun would that be? However, I found a solution to that problem: I no longer lift up the toilet seat! So to get back at her, devil that I am, I now squeeze the toothpaste tube in the MIDDLE! Take that! Heh-heh.

Yes, there may very well be some advantages to boasting of a few Neanderthals in the family tree, but having control of the facilities probably isn’t one of them. I’m afraid that I’D be the one clubbed over the head and dragged out the door by the hair, if I had enough. Unfortunately, just as with the GEICO caveman, I simply can’t win.



  1. John said,

    So true, closets are made for the ladies or so I’m told

  2. John said,

    That’s what friends are for! She has 3-closets & I have one. And I think she wants part of that. Oddly she NEVER has anything to wear?!?

    • yeeditor said,

      Heh-heh-heh. But at least you don’t have a problem with bathrooms… I’ve heard that they’re OUTSIDE in Georgia!!!

  3. Cousin Michael said,

    Never had these problems as a youngster…

  4. tiger said,

    Hi, thanks for sharing.

  5. Tom Smith said,

    Love this one, Jim. You and I seem to share similar lives.

  6. Giovanni Oliveri said,

    As a member of the younger Neanderthal community, I can confirm these are in fact still valid problems. I too am faced with using guest room closets and limited space in the shower. Great story love you pop.

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