Friday, March 19, 2010
I tend to be somewhat of a "Mommy Dearest" at times, minus, of course, the severe eyebrows and freakishly large shoulder pads. (Please disregard any photos of me during the mid-80's that might contradict that last statement.) I have rules - lots and lots of rules. I am a drill sergeant disguised in yoga pants and flat-ironed hair who frequently conducts unannounced room inspections and dares any recruit/kid to leave their clothes scattered about the floor or half-finished bowls of Count Chocula on the kitchen table. Many of The Rules deal with respect and becoming an upstanding citizen of The Planet Earth. I do, however, seem to have a wee bit of an obsession with cleanliness. And while Joan Crawford spent her time raging against wire hangers, I am waging my own personal jihad against a far stealthier foe: germs.
I used to be normal - well, this crazy girl's version of normal. I would actually eat a meal without furiously washing my hands first and dare to touch the door handle of a public restroom without getting the shakes for half an hour afterward. I was brave, fearless even. I would put my hand on the rail of an escalator, people! (My breathing is becoming labored and shallow at the memory.) Those days of tempting fate and pretending that Dengue Fever isn't lurking on that restaurant menu are over. Way over. And don't try to tell me that the ATM keypad isn't harboring the Ebola virus because I will never believe you. Once I became a mother, my whole outlook changed. It's me against the bacteria-filled world.
Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that there should be a normal co-existence of humans and germs, and some are even good for you. I do not abuse antibiotics or use anti-bacterial soap. Au contraire, mon frere. I know that these practices will only make those germs stronger, more resistant to our weapons. I am, however, a disciple in the church of Clorox. It makes your whites whiter and E.coli quiver with fear. And pink eye can kiss my lily white ass underneath my freshly starched, white capri pants. (I'm such multi-tasker!)
Please, please don't take it personally, but when I look at you, all I see are the millions of germs crawling underneath your snappy, new outfit. I'm sorry, but I also tend to question your personal hygiene and wonder if you sang the ABC Song while washing your beautifully manicured hands to ensure that they were properly cleaned. And please, whatever you do, don't put prepared food on the kitchen counter without benefit of a plate or napkin. I'm certain that the norovirus is waiting there for a one way ticket into your mouth, just hoping to ruin the next forty-eight hours of your life.
I know it sounds extreme, but I'm considering positioning hand sanitizer stations throughout the entire house, you know, umm, just to be on the safe side. That sounds reasonable...right?