When I was very young, they had to catch me as I ran by in order to scrub the grubbiness off my face and body. There was a lot of scrubbing necessary because I was a decidedly grubby tomboy urchin.

A few years after that, I became such a total tub inhabitant that it took much banging and shouts through the bathroom door by my brothers and sister to get me out so that they could ‘use the facilities’. This did not endear me to them.

As time went by, I accumulated more and more bathroom ‘necessities’ to adorn or engulf myself in. Bubble baths, scented oil baths, bathing salts, scented talcum, Coppertone instant tan (it was orange on everyone I knew, but we kept at it anyway), sun-in for ‘natural’ blond streaks, skin cream, emollients, exfoliates, Nair hair removal (which has a much improved scent now – it used to last as long as the chemical smell of a perm—days!) and razors and shaving cream (fortunately they began selling to women so I could stop buying the ‘manly’ scented ones). Razor shaving enabled me to carve a swatch of skin a quarter inch wide and 15 inches long in a single stroke.

Sharing a family bathroom meant that I carried my personal toiletry items in and out with me in a large (and larger) basket/bag. Getting my own place meant I could keep all my bathroom stuff IN the bathroom. Decadence! There was room to accumulate more, so… I did.

Fast-forward to ‘now’.

To this growing mass of ‘necessities’ I now include anti-aging creams, gels, exfoliates, toners, and cleansers. And more talcum’s, oils, foot callus creams and shower sanders, apricot facial scrub, and orange-based shampoo and rinse (which really does help my fine, thin hair feel thicker and stronger while relieving scalp itch). I keep a supply of ‘natural feeling’ hair spray, mousse, sculpting hair gel, and de-frizz products, too.

I do not wear as much make-up as I used to. I can do a full war-paint face makeup (from moisturizer to final coat of lipstick) in about two minutes. I used to say the same about my dental care but now…

What takes up the largest footprint on my bathroom counter is not the gels, creams, make-up, or talc. The largest single toiletry section is for my teeth. I have a Oral-B electric toothbrush mounted on the wall, and under it I now have a Waterpik oral health thingamabob to shoot water at my gums. It has 6 different tips, one of which is to clean my tongue.

I blame my dentist for this imbalance in toiletry space allocation. Since I am in hock to the tooth fairy (the results are now in -literally- and I am happy with the result, so this isn’t really a complaint) the permanent implants and the gums under them need kept clean so that they stay healthy… a waterpik isn’t a luxury, it is a responsible financial purchase! No, I cannot claim it as a deductible for tax purposes. (Rats!)

Once you add dental washes, ‘sensitive teeth’ toothpaste, gum massagers, christmas-tree-shaped proxy brushes and the tooth whitening system I recently began using, my 15″x18″ bathroom counter top is FULL.

On the other (slightly wider) side, the left side of the sink, my husband has space for his toiletries. He also has an electric shaver, prescribed ointments, creams, and (recently) a counter top electric toothbrush. Although he also has the shared small bathroom wastebasket on his side of the counter, his side is nowhere near as crowded as mine.

So why do I keep finding HIS hairbrush on MY side??