1530s, from M.Fr. porcelaine, from It. porcellana “porcelain” (13c.), lit. “cowrie shell,” the chinaware so called from resemblance to the shiny surface of the shells. The shell’s name in Italian is from porcella “young sow,” fem. of L. porcellus“young pig,” dim. of porculus “piglet,” dim. of porcus “pig.”
An over-sized porcelain tub is a beautiful thing.
And I don’t have one anymore.
Mr. Perfect and I recently moved across town.
Not because we were bored. Nope. This had to do with avoiding massive rent increases. And um, three flights of stairs.
So yes, we now live deep in the heart of suburbia in a first-floor apartment.
Blame it on the move, but I kinda hate this place.
It feels very…cave-like. The ceilings are shorter here.
And there’s zip in the way of natural light. (Which — if one was looking for a silver lining would mean our electric bill is going to be WAY lower next summer.)
The bathtubs are also 10 zillion kinds of wrong.
When we did the walk through after signing the lease, I pointed out to the staff that the tubs weren’t clean.
The 20-something manager sipped her latté while surreptitiously rolling her eyes and said she’d ask the maintenance guy to take care of it.
A week later the tubs still boasted the dull grey of old soap scum.
The official line from management is that they cleaned the tubs (“We really tried!”) but that they’re stained. The grey is permanently etched into the plastic.
I looked that little whipper snapper in the eye and said, “If I can get it clean are you going to reimburse me for my time?”
She stammered something along the lines of “I’m sure something can be worked out.”
So I Googled how to clean an acrylic bathtub. And I went out and bought bucket-sized packages of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
And a box of Magic Erasers.
But that’s as far as I got.
What you should know about me: I HATE CLEANING THE BATHROOM.
More than I love a clean tub, apparently.
So they remain…grey.
Both of them.
They’re very small.
And there’s no inner ledge to speak of. (Shampoo bottles and razors be dammed!)
Which means I can’t shave my legs unless I do it before I take a shower — sitting on the edge of the tub.
Which also means that Mr. Perfect and I can’t share a shower (sorry, TMI?).
But that’s not all.
The hot water doesn’t last more than 7 minutes.
And the shower curtain blows in and attacks me while I’m showering. Even though I’ve switched it out 3 different times and tried showering with the door open.
And the metal trim around the water knob is loose.
So my daily shower — something I used to love and adore — has turned into something I dread.
See? Ten zillion kinds of wrong.
Yes, I know this is a first world problem.
Of course there are hoards of people in other countries who’d be happy as a clam to shower in my tub.
I’m just not one of them.
On Gratitude and Blooming Where You’re Planted
We’re just one week away from Thanksgiving and everyone on Facebook is sharing what they’re grateful for and it’s making me nuts.
For some reason, I’ve allowed myself to wallow too long in a grey tub of self-pity and scorn.
If you know me at all, you know this isn’t my style.
I’m usually very up beat and optimistic. Unflappable.
But here I am. Feeling very dingy.
In fact, if I were going to name this particular shade of grey, I’d say it was “battleship.”
Generally, pretty freakin’ dissatisfied with my life.
Annoyed with my ever-widening belly and crotchety knees.
Crabby about having to scrape together the money every month to pay my bills.
Ready to quit my 20+ career in marketing because once again the dark side has reared its ugly head.
Sad and forlorn over the loss of old friends (after moving) and the lack of any new friends (because I’ve refused to get out there and meet them).
I just want to set all this heaviness down, get in my car and zoom away to the land of milk and honey.
Is that too much to ask?
Then Mom Came for a Visit
We were sitting in Panera having breakfast and somewhere between placing our order and waiting for its arrival, I spilled my guts.
Funny. I’m almost 47 years old, but I still wanted my mom to kiss it and make it all better.
She was good. She didn’t freak out. Just listened.
Put her arm around me.
And then she said, “You’ve got to bloom where you’re planted, sweet heart.”
Quit waiting for a future that might or might not ever come.
This self-imposed exile (e.g., my refusal to make new friends because I know we’re going to move again soon) does nobody any good.
Least of all me.
Time to get out of the house, meet some new people and take some baby steps toward a real life.
Mom is so smart.
Plus? She really knows how to clean a bathtub.
No, she didn’t offer to clean mine while she was here. (And I didn’t ask her.)
But I know that I get my love for sparkling white porcelain from her.
Oh, you foul acrylic beast! Thou shalt submit to me, yet!
Photo Credit: Eric Zanoni