Diehards

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Obsessive Moi?

Yesterday I had a three O'clock appointment with my dissertation supervisor. This meant I would have to leave the house at about two in order to get there without rushing and have time time to calm down with a cup of tea and a biscuit before knocking on his door. I got up at eleven as usual, loads of time to get organised and leave the house. As long as I got myself into the shower for one o'clock it would be be no problem. So I made myself a cup of tea and switched my computer on to print out my 'bag of scraps' for the poor man to assess. Then I checked my emails, made myself another cup of tea, checked my blog...

I was just thinking of making myself another cup of tea when I realised it was ten past one. No bother, I thought, I'll just have to have a 'quick' shower. So off to the bathroom I ambled, turned the water on and cleaned my teeth as it was warming up. When I entered the shower it was quarter past one and I thought this was plenty of time for soaping, shampooing and oxter shaving before getting out and dry, and putting on some clothes to leave the house. Arriving in good time, I thought, would be a breeze. But when I got out of the shower it was five to two. I ended up blast-drying my hair so it stood up on end. Had to throw on the first pair of jeans I came across on the bedroom floor. And then in my 1.1 Polo, had to overtake everything on the road, and I was still late. What went wrong?

The answer is I have a bit of a thing about rinsing. I never know, can't seem to tell, when the soap has gone. so I rinse and rinse and then do it a bit more just to be on the safe side. And once I think 'that must be enough' I linger and let the water run over me just a little bit longer. You never know, the soap and shampoo might be hanging on in there and I wouldn't want to end up with dry, flaky or even sore skin. I wouldn't want my hair to go all limp and dull with shampoo 'build-up'. I wouldn't want to get dandruff. So until the chances of any tenacious residue clinging on have long passed, I rinse. Never quite satisfied until there is more hair in the plughole than on my head. And it's not just my own skin I'm obsessed with rinsing, it's everything: the dishes, the floors, the tortoises water dish, I'm really bad with the tortoises water dish. The thought of poisoning adorable little Rollo with detergent! But anything that requires soap (or detergent) and water, gets rinsed until it's surface is worn thin. I know this about myself, I realise it's ridiculous, but I don't know how much rinsing is enough. At my worst I've been known to rinse my hair for twenty minutes though I've endeavoured, of late, to get it down to about five. I do this by counting: one to sixty, five times.

I just wish someone who knows about these things would publish a chart: tortoise detergent one minute; shampoo three minutes; shower-gel two minutes, that sort of thing. Then I could take a timer to the sink or shower and I'd be fine.

Thank goodness I live in Scotland where the likelihood of a water shortage is negligible. Though what on earth I'll do if we start shipping water down to south-east England where it seems to have stopped raining all together I can't imagine...

14 comments:

Mary Witzl said...

Reading this, I was torn between agreeing with you and shrieking at the thought of your water bill. I lived through the Great Drought of 1977-8 in Northern California, when every person was allowed a one-minute shower per day or one (shallow) bath per week and fined drastically if they went over their limit. We also had a rather coarse mnemonic device to aid us in remembering when we could flush: 'Yellow is mellow, but brown goes down.' The campus at U.C. Berkeley actually had a color chart to show you when you ought to flush -- I kid you not. To this day, I am water-frugal, just having lived through that.

On the other hand, you are the FIRST British person I have heard of who actually rinses her dishes, and you cannot imagine how relieved I am to know that SOMEBODY I know here does that! A Japanese friend of mine living in Wales actually kept a record of how many British people he knew who rinsed their dishes. (He and I both had a thing about soapy dishes.) After five years here, he reckoned it was about 3% of the population, so consider yourself one of the precious few -- and more power to you!

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

You have quirk issues, my friend.
:)

Eryl Shields said...

Mary ~ The one way I do manage to save water and so assuage my guilt is by only flushing 'brown' when I'm alone at home.
I don't know how so many people can stand not to rinse the soap of their dishes at all!

Sam ~ I have issues? that makes me feel so Hollywood...

eg(scotland) said...

The first time I went to the States in the early 80, they had a TV advert campaign for washing fruit and veg in soappy water (using washing-up liquid) - I think it was Merly Streep that was in the ad. This was to wash away the pesticides or whatever. When I came home I then washed everything in soappy water - but then spent ages rinsing. Then came the research about the harm that washing-up liquid could do. So I still washed the veg and fruit but rinsed even more! Now I just wash them in plain water because it was as they say 'doing my head in'.

I have to rinse dishes. What's more, I have to rise a clean cup out, but not dry it, before I use it - I 'inherited' this trait from my Mum, who tells me she 'inherited' it from her father.

I shouldn't start down the OCD route. I could be here all night!

EG

Eryl Shields said...

EG ~ You beat me hands down!

Mary Witzl said...

And now I know TWO people in the U.K. who rinse their dishes, and I just wish I were still in contact with my Japanese friend in Cardiff; he'd be thrilled to be able to add to his sample.

EG, I don't dry off my tea mug either. By the time I've found a clean dish towel to do this with, my mug is already dry.

Kanani said...

Rinsing.

Well, I must admit to a thing about laundry rinsing.

I have a new washer that's a water saver, yet because I insist on a double rinse for the whites, I'm afraid any savings is gone.

And sometimes I even do a presoak.

Gosh, Eryl. People reading this must think we're crazy.

Carole said...

As a child, whenever I said something amiss, I would get my mouth washed out with dish soap. So I don't mind little soap taste here or there. And I love the smell of soap in my hair so it is almost never completely rinsed out so I guess you could say there are issues on both sides of the rinsing fence.

Eryl Shields said...

Mary ~ We're out there, I guess you just need to know where to look!

Kanani ~ I suppose we all have our crazy points...
Now I can get eco-friendly detergent for my laundry I'm happy to let the washing machine alone.

Carole ~ I had my mouth washed out with soap once or twice too, I assumed that that was why I disliked it so much.

Mary Witzl said...

Our neighbor washes her 10-year-old's mouth out with soap. Once would have been too many times for me, but this kid actually tells her that he LIKES it. As far as I'm concerned she's lost the battle with him and needs to find some other way to deal with him. I've seen the soap she uses, and it's suitably nasty stuff...

Kim Ayres said...

I don't know whether my head is just in blank mode today, but I seem to be doing the rounds of blogs where I haven't a clue what to say. I think there needs to be a word, phrase or symbol that says something like: "read this, enjoyed it, can't think what to write that would contribute to it, but didn't want to leave without saying anything"

Eryl Shields said...

Mary ~ I can't believe there a people still out there who do that.

Kim ~ I know how you feel, sometimes there just isn't anything you can say.

Pendullum said...

My husband is the bloody same... And our remedy has been for there to be a clock radio in the shower as he knows that time is indeed marching on...
and if that does not working flushing the toilet, while he is in the shower, always gets him moving....
I have a bit of a nasty streak... when he has used up all the hot water...

Eryl Shields said...

Pen ~ Your husband is obviously a very good sort...