Bathroom Secrets, Songs and Rituals

by Kathy Tirrell

After a brief delay, thanks to Hurricane Irene, my 20-year-old son has begun his senior year of college. He lives at home, along with his older sister and brother. Now, instead of sleeping half the day, at least 2 out of 3 will be waking up earlier each morning.

That means my household is back to“Flurry Mode”in the mornings.  Yes, it starts up again--everybody making a mad dash for the bathroom as soon as they arise. Thankfully we have two of them (bathrooms, that is), just about a necessity in a house filled with five grown-ups.

But even with two bathrooms, you'll still hear the occasional,“I NEED to get in there!”

Makes me think back to my youth, growing up in a house with six people (two parents and four children) and, God help them, only ONE bathroom!

My dad always got up first so he could get in there and shave and groom himself before heading off to work.  Let's face it, the poor guy pretty much had to be the first one up, sharing living quarters with five females. Five females!

We all know girls need to do a lot of primping in the bathroom. There are legs and armpits to shave, faces to scrub and moisturize, stray face hairs to pluck, pimples to conceal, and teeth to polish, not to mention shower rituals that include shampooing, rinsing, and conditioning. So sometimes we had to double up performing our beauty routines.

My sister Rose lathered up behind the shower curtain with me stationed at the sink shaving my armpits.  Why I even came up with a catchy little song to sing while doing so: “I've got those hairy underarm, hairy underarm blues, duh duh duh duh-- da.”

Trust me, it was catchy.  You'd have to hear the melody that went with it to truly appreciate it.

But beyond sharing space, Rose and I used to chitchat, spilling secrets while we groomed.  I probably learned a whole lot more about her personal life than I needed to know. She was the youngest in the family, yet somehow much more experienced than her older sister.

She was also quite blunt when it came to her opinions.  One time I recall criticizing some of her sexual antics, to which she replied,“Well, at least I have a boyfriend.”

Ouch! Way to stick it to your older sister.

Fast forward to 2011.  Some things are different and some remain the same.  My husband, the man of the house, gets up first to shower and shave, same as my dad did years ago.  My two sons struggle to pry the bathroom away from their “gotta primp” sister and mom.

But of course, unlike the old days, nobody's sharing any secrets with Mom.

Kathy Tirrell is a wife, mother, reporter and freelance writer, not necessarily in that order.  Visit her at It Bloggles the Mind, to read some of her other thoughts on what goes on in this crazy world.

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