Masking the Toilet: Self-care & Tidying Up

Self-care has become an industry, and ways of organizing and cleaning have been one even longer. I can’t fault those who find success or comfort in either, and I’m even more admiring of those that take these concepts past the trendy and into the opportunity for meaningful self examination and growth. But neither industry or lifestyle has made much lasting headway in my home.

From Netflix shows based on other shows like Queer Eye to books – turned into Netflix shows – like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I’m impressed by the beautiful lifestyles encouraged and even heartened when individuals are actually helped by keeping what’s important or unique about them central. I’m definitely a weakling for anything that says it’s going to make my life better or easier, and the product graveyard is a very real and expanding thing in my cabinets, attic, and basement. And this is from someone who makes her own laundry detergent.

All of that is to set up today’s story.

I work from my home in a guestroom-turned-office (if you visit me, you’ll now be staying in the smallest room in the house). This means my morning routine, while well, routine, can get fudged in the timing rather easily.

Today, I thought I’d take a few extra minutes to take care of my skin, which has been trying to get rid of all the extra candy and treats from the holidays that my body didn’t take care of in…other ways. Look, I thought, here’s a chance to use one of those products you always fall for and scour your face. I pulled out the face mask that I have sitting around for these rare occasions.

The packaging of this face mask was constructed much like a tube of toothpaste with a flat (and useless) spatula where the nozzle was. The general idea was to squeeze product out of tube through spatula and smear it on face. This is what I attempted to do. Alas, the size of nozzle and viscosity of mask were not in the least compatible. As I got more frustrated, I set the tube down on the sink to provide additional pressure squeezing. Perhaps you can see where this is going. Not only was the nozzle not compatible with the mask, neither was the tube itself. The rear seal of the tube violently burst and out shot charcoal-y goop. Away it went across the sink, down the cabinet, across the (also gray) floor, onto a bath towel, and finally splattering in large streaks up, over, and down the toilet. Insert pause of awkwardness and aghast expression.

Cue the start of time again to realize, but of course, there was still some mask in the tube, and I had already smeared about half my face at this point. Knowing that any remaining goo would go to waste as there wasn’t a practical means of storing it for the countless weeks until I remembered once again that I had it, I did the only thing I could think of. I doused myself in mask. At least, now, it was much easier to get out of the back of the tube. I then proceeded to – tried to, anyway – clean my bathroom. Dripping face mask as I went.

Y’all, this stuff did not go quietly. I did not add much quiet to the situation myself either. There was the layer I could scoop up and discard, but then there’s the part that stays behind, mockingly, so that it becomes mud when forced to be washed away. I found several puddles only by stepping in them. And how, by all that is holy, did it get under the far side of the toilet seat?

Tidying up was just the beginning though. I was still coated, my long hair matting itself into the hardening mask. Long story short, the shower got cleaned too.

This was not how I envisioned spending the morning and certainly not the style of minimal, trendy self-care that I had intended. Instead of a few minutes spent on clean skin, it’s now hours later, and I’m frazzled, drinking coffee and eating a bowl of croutons as a snack.

On the plus side, my toilet’s pores are clear…


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