Thursday, February 25

beloved scrubby

Anyone who has traveled with a ministry type team for any length of time and stayed with families who (very generously) open their homes to overnight guests will be able to identify with this: there are things that will remain a great mystery about the host homes.

I traveled 2 summers during my college years - one was a 10 week tour, the other 8. Two summers with at least 7 other people in a 15 passenger van, traveling from church to church. It was a GREAT experience, one I wouldn't trade for anything. I LOVED IT, I learned a lot, mostly about myself and areas that really needed to change, but I also was able to learn a lot about churches and geographical differences and inner workings and about individuals and their fabulous differences. Many, many blessings, and many, many mysteries.

For me, one in particular was this: shower mysteries.

Now, I have kids, our family is busy, and I understand - sometimes, there are just things that need to be cleaned that totally escape our notice. And right now if you came to my house for an overnight visit you would find many, many things that need attention. Including a ceiling fan that I may or may not need a spatula to help remove the dust from.

It's been almost 10 years since I traveled, and I still hesitate to write this, but I truly do think it's kind of funny, so I hope you will understand.

It is a mystery to me why people would invite college students to stay at their home as overnight guests and then *not* clean the shower. I'm not talking about "there was a little lint on the shelves up high" or"someone forgot to get their hair out of the drain" or "there was soap scum on the walls" and then I'm sitting there whining about it. Ohhhh, no. I'm talking about "there is a 1/4 inch thick brown scum on the bottom 6 inches of the tub and enough hair to make a rug." If you think I exaggerate, please, ask my teammates. They will validate my stories.

So after a few of these scary showers, my trusty companion was a bottle of rubbing alcohol (for germs) and a nylon mesh scrubby with a handle (for scum). I scrubbed a lot of showers for 2 summers, and you know what? I still use the same style of scrub brush. I LOVE it.

One of the adult sponsors found out I was scrubbing showers and came to talk to me about it. I reasoned that if the people didn't notice the shower was dirty, would they really notice it was clean?? And aren't we supposed to leave things better than when we arrived?

I'm really not obsessive about showers, I promise. In fact, I'm writing this because just this morning, I got out my Comet and my beloved scrubby (for the first time in a very long time) and, after some minutes, realized that the little textured ovals on the floor of our bathtub really DO come clean, and they really don't need to be a pale beige color; instead they can be the same greyish white they were when said tub was new.

And seeing my bathtub sparkly from a little elbow grease (okay, a lot) and my beloved scrubby (although you might be glad to know it is not the same one from 2001) brought back some great memories of summers gone by, and I thought that you would want to know.

I do still have nightmares of that one particular shower.


Mary Ann said...

Hilarious! Isn't it amazing how some people notice these things & others just don't even seem to see the dirt. I definitely see it :-)
Did you see my post about our ceiling fan? I chuckled when I read how you might need a spatula to get the dust off of yours...that's one cleaning trick I haven't tried!

Karen said...

NO.WAY. Really??? Oh, gross. My shower curtain liner gets quite the mildew buildup from time to time, but you'd better believe I scrub that sucker before allowing folks to use the shower!
Ahh, memories...

KColas said...

Oh yes....I remember the way you trembled when you saw the shower. You got a determined look on your face and went immediately to work. :) Oh yes Jenny, I think of you everytime I clean my shower and shall do so henceforth and forevermore.

ruth said...

Ah yes, I can vouch for your memory, Jenny! I didn't know you got a "talking to" by one of the sponsors, though. Those were definitely good times. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to travel with you. Wouldn't trade the experience for all the sparkly showers in the world. :)

Shelley said...

I have visited homes with dirty showers and tubs and hotels believe it or not.

I've been known to clean a shower or tub if I'm staying for a while.

I remember visiting one daughter who's shower was so dirty when she moved into an apartment.

It was disgusting it took an entire can of cleanser to clean it and a couple of scrubbies.

It's funny when I visit her she nows I like a clean shower. So she cleans it before I come.

Leah (Parrish) Millan said...

Ha ha ha! I remember taking many a showers on my tippie toes =)

ertlnet said...

Jenny Muth is a super hero! I bought one of these after seeing your post. I LOVE it! I could not get my shower clean. was clean, but you could still feel the gunk. Tried all kinds of homemade cleaners (including baking soda, which usually works well for grime!) and was about to resort to chemicals. Bought a 98 cent scrubbie and WOW! What a difference it made!

And I also thank you for introducing me via your blog to the neti pot (pretty sure it was you). I feel so much better when I use it!

TwoMuths said...

Ha ha, superhero. Good one! :-) Glad you tried the scrubby. I love those things. And yay for the neti pot! (I need to get mine out again)