Monday, July 30, 2007

B&B goes to BB&B

I just got back from a week away, my seventh flying-out-of-town trip in the past three months. The household neglect finally caught up: I crossed the apartment threshold last night and wondered what kind of animal sacrifices had been going on. Apparently the target gods rejected them all and left the slaughtered bits scattered across our living-room floor.

In despair, I cancelled my Monday evening plans and resolved to spend the night attacking the house with Pine-Sol, the dustbuster, bleach and maybe some healing crystals.

Causing me particular angst was the bathroom. Our shower curtain has long been a cleaning bane: no matter what I do to it, a week later, it's covered in a fine layer of mold and dirt. This time, the dirt looked so advanced I was pretty sure it was not just sentient but actively pursing MENSA membership.

This dirt was going to take me HOURS to fight back. I muttered dark curses and checked my supply of sponges and 409.

Then, I had a brainstorm: Our much-hated shower curtains are actually just liners. Cheap liners. The kind of cheap liners you can buy for $6 at a ritzy overpriced Manhattan homewares store (*cough* Bed Bath & Beyond *cough*) or probably for 99 cents apiece at any decent dollar shop.

Why was I going to spend two hours (seriously, that's what it took last time, to get them not even clean but relatively fit for exposure to guests) attacking with nasty chemicals liners I could just replace quite cheaply?

And so, tonight, instead of heading home early to clean, I made a Bed Bath & Beyond pilgrimage and bought new liners for $12. The environmentalist in me felt vaguely guilty for throwing out something I could have cleaned and reused. The pragmatist on me snipped that I probably wreaked more environmental havoc with the rental car I drove last week, and suggested I shut up and enjoy the quick, easy and cheap solution.

Our bathroom is now vastly improved and probably no longer a toxic threat to all surrounding life forms.

The moral of the story: Sometimes, you can solve your problems by throwing money at them.