My Toothbrush

I like to wait until we are on the road an hour before remembering what I forgot.

On this trip, it was my razor and toothbrush.

I deliberately forgot my razor, so that doesn’t count. At least for me it doesn’t. For my wife, that’s a different story.

She insists I shave. I insist I don’t. She always wins that war of wills unless I forget my razor on a trip – which is why I do.

The toothbrush is another matter. I don’t like forgetting it because I can’t stand going without it.  So you would think I would remember to pack one but some things are just so much a part of life that you don’t think about them and for one reason or another, my bag is always missing a toothbrush (and a razor).

Brushing one’s teeth is a good thing. It speaks for itself. It is just part and parcel of taking care of the business of living – but there is another dimension to it.

I always eat things I shouldn’t.

I never turn down the second piece of pie, nor an offer of caramel or taffy and I am utterly devoted to the tangy sausages that one can only find at gas stations.

So my relationship with my teeth is a vicious cycle of transgression and atonement.

I worry about this.

It is always important to follow every sin with repentance and every offense with restitution – but repentance and restitution are in themselves troublesome things because they are the very things that open the door to the delights of wrong doing.

I learned this in Catholic school when after my class was marched into confession every week, we marched out plotting the sins that we would confess the next week.

Life is not worth living without the occasional walk on the wild side. In fact, most of us look forward to these jaunts and once we have partaken in our indulgences, we must make amends, if only with ourselves.

So we diet.

We put in extra time for having goofed off.

We buy flowers after staying out until dawn with the boys.

And we brush.

So in preparation for making amends with my teeth, I told my wife, “Let’s stop at the next drugstore.”

“Let me guess,” she said, “you forgot your toothbrush.”

Like a scolded dog, I lowered my head.

“And your razor?”

I lowered my head even lower – knowing full well I intended to forget about that as soon as I could.

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

42 thoughts on “My Toothbrush”

  1. I hate to forget a tooth brush and floss. The second you don’t have floss, a yummy cob of corn will come your way, or a delicious steak and now you have bits stuck. EW.

    BTW: Does your wife forget her razor too? My husband just loves when my legs are prickly. Still doesn’t keep him away though, go figure.

  2. I am NOT showing this post to my husband. We just returned from “up north,” which included hotel and cabin stays. I forgot my swimsuit. “On purpose?” he asked.

    “No,” I replied, and that was the truth. But in the back of his mind, I could see his thoughts flying over my previous comments of “I really need a new swimsuit.” As luck would have it, cool and rainy weather did not allow for lake swimming. And a closed waterpark did not allow for hotel water play. Whew!

  3. You seemed a bit down in the mouth when your wife exposed your packing omissions. I hope when you purchased a toothbrush you didn’t buy hard bristles as penance. At out age, receding gums must be handled gently and it wasn’t their fault you left your toothbrush behind. As for the razor, with your comments about your memory I feel certain you ‘forgot’ to buy one. Note to self: at next confessional, admit you are passive-aggressive.

    1. I am shocked, shocked I say, at the accusation of being passive-aggressive.

      Still shocked….

      Do you understand how shocked I am?

      Did I mention that I am still shocked?

      I will probably be shocked for days.

      For days……

      I don’t know if I will ever recover…

      🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. My husband started growing a beard when we started dating. Almost 40 years later and he still has it. I would cry if he shaved! Confession….didn’t you just make stuff up for First Penance? I mean–we were 7 years old!! I remember trying not to listen to what the kid on the other side of the confessional was saying. Those little closing doors did not block out the sound!

    1. Confession….didn’t you just make stuff up for First Penance? I mean–we were 7 years old!!

      The night before my first confession, the conversation at the dinner table went like this:

      ME: I am not sure what all I should confess.
      MY MOTHER: No worries, I made a list.
      MY OLDER BROTHER: Hand it over here, I have a few things to add.
      MY OLDER SISTER: When you are done, pass it on.
      MY FATHER: We need another sheet of paper.

  5. Oh, Catholic School – those of us who attended were damaged for life and are always saying mea culpa while beating our chest. 🙂 Forgot your toothbrush? You’ll be on your knees on hard tile floor for so many Hail Mary’s you will need the beads to keep track. 🙂

    1. I have always been fascinated with the Tibetan invention of the prayer wheel. You simply write your prayer on a wheel and spin it. It has the same spiritual effect as reciting it verbally. Now, if one could write a prayer in the computer scripting language, Python, then get a really powerful laptop…..

  6. Speaking of foods you only can get as gas stations, in your travels to Texas, have you stopped at a Buc-ee’s? If not, the next time you’re around, you have to. Buc’ee’s is the only gas station chain in the world that’s a destination all on its own. Not only can you replace that toothbrush you forgot, you can enjoy the cleanest restrooms in the world (they wouldn’t mind if you brushed your teeth) and you can purchase Beaver Nuggets: the sort of treat that you buy, eat half the bag, and then throw the rest away. It’s not that they’re so bad, they’re so good you’d finish them off in the next ten miles, and then have to go to confession twice. Imagine the old corn puffs cereal double in size, and then soaked in the most delicious sugar syrup ever. Beaver nuggets. (They do have another name, but this is a family-friendly site.)

    1. One of my most valued photos of our time in Texas is of filling up my truck in the world’s largest gas station at Buc-ees in San Antonio – and yes, I did try the treats – and yes, I am still knocking off the Hail Mary’s.

  7. This might be my fault. I have two toothbrushes in my travel bag and two razors. I thought it was in case I dropped one in the toilet, but I guess I took yours (from the law of averages) by mistake. Feel free to blame me.

    1. Dan, while I appreciate you flying cover for me on this issue, it won’t work because almost all my excuses begin with, “Stan……” and she no longer buys the buddy excuse. 🙂

  8. So, did you forget the razor at the drugstore? That would be a tough one to pull off, Greg. My husband misses the old days of being Catholic. He loved being able to do whatever he wanted and then having it all expunged with a confession – sort of like being a politician. 🙂

  9. What can I say, Greg, you are a huge sinner. I grew a small beard while out backpacking this summer. And then I had to keep it for Burning Man. I kind of like it. Wonder what my next excuse will be. Now for the toothbrush, and the floss! Don’t forget the floss. I don’t regard the toothbrush and floss as atonement, however. I do it to confound my dentist who always sees an all-expense paid vacation when he looks in my mouth. –Curt

    1. My son and a high school buddy operate a craft distillery in Northfield MN. They make fabulous whiskey, gin, vodka and liqueurs. After their first year of distilling, my son’s business partner visited the dentist and the good doctor was shocked. Sineon had the cleanest mouth he ever saw.

      “How do you do it?” he asked.

      Simeon told him. He gauges his distillation runs by taste. He takes a sip, swishes it around his mouth and spits it out. He has absolutely no bacteria in his mouth at all.

  10. Great image, of you lowering your head in shame, puppy-dog eyes, tail wagging. Bet your wife laughs. 😀
    Lol!

    Side note, “viscous cycle”, was this purposeful? I always experience my unbrushed teeth as wearing tiny sweaters…yeach!

    1. I used to wag my tail but now in my old age – that hurts.

      As for misspelling vicious, it was not my fault. My muse is channeling Freud again – it is part of her recovery process after breaking up with Discipline. She is trying to explain it all away.

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