Guest Post: A Sinking Tale of the Shared Bathroom

by Ali Corton

Call me spoiled, but I have been fortunate enough to have lived in a house with a master bathroom since PK.  That’s pre-kids in our world. Seriously, I have only had to share a bathroom with my darling children on vacation or while visiting family or friends.  I confess, I have taken this luxury for granted. It’s not just the cleanliness of my own sink, it’s the ease and convenience of having all my stuff in one place.  Nobody moves it, shares it or spills it.  It is mine.  All mine.

When we bought our “fixer-upper” nearly 8 years ago it was with the intent that we would eventually get to the master bath project sooner, rather than later.  It is the last major project in a house full of them!  So when we decided about a month ago to just “go for it” and get the bathroom done, it may not have been as well thought out as I once figured.  Yes, the design, layout, contractor, lighting, toilet, sinks and faucets were all selected but it had not crossed my mind that I would have to share my private space with so many people!

Let me rewind a bit — the old master bath had double sinks so it has been a long time since I had to deal with anyone else’s toothpaste smudges or eyelashes in my sink.  It was MY sink.  I did not have to share.  I stored MY things under it and above it and in the drawers next to it.  There was room to spare!  Suddenly, three weeks ago I packed up all my items and moved them into what we call “the kids bath”.  I could call it a lot of other names like “the yuck zone”, “land of sticky toothpaste smudge”, or the “streaked mirror palace”.  I have yet to figure out why I am the only person who can change the roll of TP.  I am trying to keep my things tidy and make sure I do not leave a trail of conditioner, moisturizer, or worse.  However, the others sharing my space have not been as considerate.  Here is the scorecard so far — and remember it is only week 3.  Let’s hope the sharing does not have to go into November!

  • Mirror wiping – 3x/day
  • Clorox wipe sink – 4x/day
  • Move step stool – 6x/day
  • Hang towels – I’ve lost track!!
  • Fill soap dispenser – 2x/week
  • Fill TP roller- ???

I am very lucky to be able to tackle this project and I am well aware that I am complaining about a frivolity but we all have our sticking points (hee hee, get it, STICKING…)  I cannot wait to go back to the seclusion of my own space, sink and smudges.  Fingers crossed it will be soon!!!

Ali Corton is Framingham Mom, Realtor, Blogger and Social Media addict. You can read her blog at www.liveinframinghamma.com

I’m a Control Freak: Resistance is (Almost) Futile

This past week’s vacation opened my eyes to the fact that I am a control freak. Not necessarily controlling of people, but very much controlling of my surroundings and the order of things. This may come as a surprise to you. Or maybe not?

The first realization came when I decided to totally disconnect from work: the definition of a vacation, surely? Handing off control of the day-to-day management of my accounts to my teams was a relatively easy step – they kick ass, after all. Every aspect of each client’s work was detailed and delegated. The stuff I could control, that is. The fact is that, working in PR, you are only ever in control of maybe 50 percent of your day. Events can take a turn in a nanosecond. So abdicating that which might happen and which I couldn’t control while lying poolside required a leap of faith. Not that I don’t trust my teams to do great work; more the realization that I wouldn’t be part of the process and, quite frankly, they could get it done with out me.

Next, pre-vacation organization, akin to a military operation. Making sure everyone is equipped with sufficient clothes, toys, sunscreen and so on was the easy part. Packing even was straightforward. It’s all the household management stuff that gets complex. Ensuring we had just enough groceries to feed us the days up to our vacation but not so much that it would spoil while we were away. And making sure there were basics in the cupboards for immediate consumption upon our we return. Ditto for laundry. Ensuring all the items needed for vacation were clean and dry in time and making sure there were sufficient clean clothes to come home to. It’s all in the details, the planning. General Patraeus would be proud of me.

Vacation travel: I must be in charge of the passports and travel documentation, always.

At the hotel: the immediate urge to unpack and arrange our stuff. Order must be established and maintained, especially if we are all sharing the same living space. And while I’m not overly OCD about hygiene, hotel bathrooms skeeve me out big time. Sharing hotel bathrooms with kids and a husband who tend to deposit damp towels and toothpaste lids on to the floor makes my skin crawl. Sand on bathroom and bedroom floors drive me nuts. Crushed chips and Cheerios on my bed push me over the edge.

And then there’s the topic of routine. I love routine. I’m addicted to routine. Just like a child, it gives me structure, predictability and yes, control. But a vacation is all about relinquishing routine, letting go, que sera sera and all that. While I’m first to admit that my main priority for this vacation was to sit my the pool and do nothing, the reality was I was not alone. We all needed feeding, clothing, bathing. entertaining. In short, we needed a vacation routine, but one much more flexible and fun than the home routine, of course. I was happy to oblige, to lay the groundwork, think ahead, plan out the details.

Coming home is, in truth, a control freak’s nirvana. Because order and routine needs re-establishing. Cases need unpacking, things need putting away, clothes need laundering, the empty fridge needs re-stocking. Ahhhh! This has been my day today and I’ve enjoyed every single second of it. Don’t tell anyone, but I was even looking forward to it.

So while I’m certainly no Christian Gray, I am self-aware and I realize that letting go and letting be is just not in my DNA. If I don’t think of and manage these things, who will?  To quote Adrian Monk, “it’s a gift …. and a curse.”

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