Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bathroom Slate

So I discovered by accident that Pinterest—the main source of the human traffic I get for this blog— couldn't find images on my site, which turned out in the end to be some permissions that I had to switch in Flickr, but in the haphazard course of trying to figure out things technical, I signed up for a Pinterest account. Which you know, uh oh. Anyway I was looking at tattoos on Pinterest and this one woman turned her parents' handwriting into tattoos, and now I totally know I'm getting for my my next tattoo, haha Mom, guess what's going to forever be on my foot.

I say all this because this is a story about my mom. Ha ha.

And I say Ha ha because this is a really awful story about my mom. Most of my awful stories are about my dad, because except for forever on your record my dad was the Ahab and my mom was the ballast of our house. And really, forever on your record is an expression of ballast. She did pull ahead in awful stories, though, after she was diagnosed with lung cancer, four months after my sister was diagnosed with the same one in a million lung cancer. I mean I'm no good at math but I can count, two in five. And also the ballast of the house has cancer, how fucking scary is that and now you know how it is that hardly anything scares me anymore.

So Mom is directing everything from her hospital bed, assigning jobs. My sister is in charge of the hospital bills and health insurance, my not yet ex-husband is in charge of the mutual funds. So then it's my turn, I sit next to her bed and wait for my assigment.

She says, "You should keep your bathroom cleaner."

"Maaa," I bleat. "Are you trying to scar me for life?

My bathroom proceeds to be pretty bad for, oh, seven or eight more years.

So then I have this idea that if I clean one area of the bathroom once a week, say, Saturday before I shower—so like, sink, tub, toilet, shelves—in a month, the whole bathroom gets cleaned, and is being continually cleaned, but it's not a big production.

p: i need a picture frame.
p: i would paint the glass with chalkboard paint.
p: then i would write SINK, TUB, TOILET, SHELVES with white paint marker.
p: then every week i could cross off what got cleaned with chalk.
p: then every month i could erase the board and start over.
m: ...
p: what.
m: i just don't want the bathroom to look like a gas station bathroom.

You know, the sweetie man moved into this apartment five or six years ago, and I think in that time has expressed one opinion about home decor, this opinion.

I hate painting, anyway. I hate waiting for things to dry. I only like the idea of chalkboard paint. Truth be told I only like the idea of chalkboards, too dusty actually. I think what happens next is hexaflexagons, I want to make hexaflexagons and I have this pretty art nouveau paper that I have never touched, so I make art nouveau hexaflexagons, and then I want to make art nouveau everything, and then I think, dry erase marker writes on glass and erases. So then my idea turns into put art nouveau paper where the picture goes in a picture frame, every week write what got cleaned on the glass with a dry erase marker, and every month erase the glass and start over.

Ta da!

bathroom slate

You may be thinking, Isn't that a little bit busy to be able to read what you wrote? Yes, it barely shows up! I mean, you can see what you wrote if you look closely. Otherwise it just looks like an objet d'art, gas station bathrooms do not have objets d'art. Everybody happy!

Even though this is the easiest of projects, I was delayed for a few more weeks thinking that I needed to thrift a picture frame, and then I remembered that I've had my mom's framed artist's bio stored away that I didn't want to throw out but didn't know what to do with. So I climbed up to the crawl space and brought it down, and was happily fitting the paper to the glass thinking the bio could just stay underneath, and then I remembered what room this objet was going in. And if there were such things as magical objects—I was watching Warehouse 13 at the time—this little treasure would be a magical object that would manifest my mom... in the bathroom... which you know, I'm trying, but it's still not that good.

So that's why I stuck the mustache on. So Mom would think, oh, mustache, men's room.

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