Sunday, May 21, 2006

Soap scum and impulse control, who needs it?

My husband tries to pretend as if he's immune to consumerism. He acts as if he's been vaccinated against caving in to impulse items craftily placed at checkout counters and the lure of soft-sell advertising by nature-bestowed testosterone.

The things he buys he NEEDS. He's a MAN. Men don't make purchases out of some strange super subconscious urge to feel better about themselves when they’ve had a tough day (that would be too womanly.) When men need two KING-SIZED Snickers bars and a Truck Trader magazine it’s because they have to eat and they have to have a way to get to work. Period.

Whereas I have come to embrace my irrepressible urge to fork over $80 at Target every time I just stop by to get diapers. Small things — socks, picture frames, baby clothes and paper goods — call out to me. I'm drawn in by the bright colors like a raccoon to a shiny trinket.

So it is with understanding that I laugh as my husband walks into the house with a box containing the answer to all our prayers.

Yep. He needed the Dow Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner unit as much as I needed Don Aslett's Multi-purpose Two Piece Broom Set (as seen on TV) or the Swiffer Wet Jet. Where my pet peeves are pet hair and floor gunk, his are mildew and soap scum.

After scanning the directions and assembling the apparatus, he hangs it in the shower and prepares to test it out. To me, it looks like a soap dispenser masquerading as a flea bomb.
I can’t help but giggle as I look at the package assertions: "So easy, it’s like having a maid!" As for instructions: "Touch, Spray and Clean." Simple enough.

"Says here you push the button and you have 15 seconds to close the door or pull the curtain before the sprayer goes off."

The cautionary literature is pretty entertaining as well: If you get this stuff in your eye, a light rinse is sufficient because it contains few irritants; safe for cosmetics containers and tub toys. Not toxic.

"This is good," I think to myself. "Who needs a pesky emergency room visit when house guests mistake it for a soap dispenser."

I half expect to see a recipe for a tasty salad dressing under its "safe for all kinds of tubs" advisory.

"Ok, stand back. Here we go."

Fifteen seconds later I’m piggy-backing and peering over the shower door as the 180-degree sprayer spits out a nearly invisible mist with the assistance of a deafening mechanical whirring sound. As I stand there trying not to inhale the patented Fresh Scent smell that has now filled the room, I inwardly doubt the contents of the shower bomb will live up to its promises. I make a mental note to make space for the device in the closet alongside my family of useless floor cleaners.

"Well at least my impulse buy makes a cool noise."

I swear he can read my mind.


Be Still said...


Since my husband is the neat freak in the pair of us, I'm afraid to let him know about this thing. He has yet to meet a Swiffer product release he didn't like!

I too am afflicted by Target. I actually have stopped going there because I can't control myself amid all the perfectly designed knicknacks.

supa said...

1. My husband is manly-man Defier of Consumerism, too.

2. and he, too, wants the shower bomb thing.

3. And I, too, cannot enter Target for diapers and leave without seven unplanned purchases. I don't know what they pump through the air ducts there, but man.