Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The working life: The showers are different here
You guys know how I am about showers, right? I do not like to shower in a tub that has been used by someone else and not cleaned since that use unless the other bather is my husband, my sister, or my mother. I especially don't like using used soap or being in a shower with a mildewy shower curtain. (Which is why I always provide little hotel soaps for my houseguests and which is why I keep a spray bottle with a mild bleach solution in the bathroom for when I need to zap the mildew on my shower curtain. I always assume my neuroses - is that the plural of neurosis? - are universal.)
Other things don't bother me. Food drops on the floor? So what? I washed it recently. And like I'm going to let perfectly good cake go to waste? I've used SH's toothbrush before and just shrugged when I realized it.
He, however, freaked out.
I don't get bothered by a lot of things that other people squeal over, but I don't like the used shower. Maybe it's because I have been in so many nasty showers in my life. I made it through ten weeks traveling through Latin America staying in the South American Handbook Fs and Gs. The As and Bs were the expensive hotels. The Cs and Ds were the moderate hotels. The Fs and Gs were the places where Peace Corps volunteers stayed, not because we wanted to be down with the people but because we couldn't afford anything nicer. In Panama City, Panama (not the Panama City in Florida where one recruiter really liked to go, or so he told me in my interview), Fs and Gs were also the places that rented by the hour.
Imagine the shower in an F/G. Now make it ten times worse.
Those are the showers I was using.
With bare feet.
Now you understand my squeamishness. (Fortunately, these showers were usually very poorly lighted, so the dim light combined with my myopia hid some of the horrors from me.)
Now you might also understand why I never get sick. That, and the fact that my cleaning lady in Chile used my vegetable brush to scrub the toilet.
Anyhow, now I am quite demanding about my shower. By "demanding," I mean that I get grossed out in a dirty shower.
But my squeamishness does not apply at the Y.
It has never even occurred to me to be grossed out by the showers at the Y, even though they are used by a host of strangers throughout the day.
It wasn't until I saw a woman walking into the showers today with a plastic grocery bag tied around each foot that I even thought, "Oh! Perhaps I should wear flip flops in what is essentially a public shower being used by people who are carrying who knows what diseases on their naked feet!"
And then I thought, "But then I'd have to carry flip flops in my gym bag. They would be wet after the shower. It would be inconvenient to take them back to my office."
So I've decided to make a YMCA exception. Besides, they clean those showers every day, don't they?