Monday, November 20, 2006

Am I a Freak?

I know you are all saying "yeah" or "duh" or "yeah you are, you nasty girl! I know you like it like that!" right now. Ha ha. Very funny. But while I'm waiting for your *ahem* questions (see last post if you don't know what I'm talking about), I will give you a glimpse into how weird I am.

I have a dilemma. And I'm worried that no one else in the universe worries about this. Hence the freakdom paranoia.

You know those bath sponge thingies? The ones you use for shower gel? The ones like this:

Well, you see, I am kind of a germ-o-phobe. My roommate would beg to differ, but really, in some ways, I am. And I have problems with the delivery system of shower loofahs in this country. They probably come in some big cardboard box, and are loaded into bins by the (what I imagine to be) dirty, dirty hands of the Big Box Store workers**. Not that I don't appreciate what they do. I do. But what do shoppers such as yourself do? You dig through the bin, grab the loofah that comes in your favorite color (which may or may not have been rolling around on the floor a few hours ago), put it somewhere in one of those grocery carts (you know, the ones that haven't been cleaned since you were in 3rd grade and are now covered in 17.6 billion germs, some of which came from the poopy diapers of toddlers). Then, it gets handled again by the cashier (who has been handling money all day and probably doesn't wash her hands very often**) after rolling on down the leaky-milk and bloody-ground-beef juice encrusted conveyer belt to her scanner. It is scanned and then put into a plastic bag. Then, you take it home and stick it in your shower so you can wash up with it the next morning, right?

Please tell me you don't. Because I'm getting grossed out just typing that paragraph. Please tell me you have some kind of ingenious method of avoiding all those germs. Do you sterilize your loofah?

My strategy (up until yesterday) was to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond because they sold their loofahs in enclosed packages. No one touched my loofahs other than me. Nothing disgusting leaked onto them because they were encased in a protective plastic tube of sterile joy. It made bathtime oh so fun. I could relax knowing that the only germs on my sponge were my own.

But yesterday my happy little germ-free world came crashing to the ground. BB&B has now joined the ranks of the other Big Box Stores, and now only sells the loofahs individually, out loose in the open. Like wild animals, they roam free. They are Free Range Loofahs. Free to be drooled on by grabbing toddlers when Mommy isn't looking*, free to be kicked under a shelving unit only to be found months later with dust bunnies all over it, free to be crawled on by any number of large hairy insects, free to fall on the floor, free to be handled by any number of strangers who have just picked their noses. Ugh.

So I didn't buy one yesterday, obviously. I was too grossed out. I will just use my current stranger-germ-free loofah until it falls apart. Then I will go back to washcloths. This is the only solution I've come up with.

Does anyone else think about this stuff? Or am I nuts? Can I sterilize the Free Range Loofahs somehow? Anyone know of a place where I can get un-germy loofahs?

Don't even get me started on the shampoo/conditioner/shaving cream bottles. I wipe them down with disinfectant spray when I get home. THEN I put them in the shower. Think about how many germs those things must have come into contact with. Think about it, folks. Gah, it keeps me up at night.

Somewhere, there is a treatment center for people like me....

** I am not implying anything about Big Box Store workers. I'm sure most of them lead normal and generally sanitary lifestyles and wash their hands all the time. It's just that I've never actually witnessed any of them doing anything I would describe as "sanitary behavior". I mean, come on, have you ever gotten to the front of the check-out line, only to hear the cashier say, "You know what? My hands are covered in any number of disgusting germs that may make you sick. I'm going to run to the sparkling clean public bathroom we have here at our store real quick so I can thoroughly wash my hands in hot, soapy water before I touch your stuff. K?"

* I am not implying anything about mothers in general, just the ones who aren't watching when Little Timmy grabs stuff and starts putting it into his mouth. Those Moms put the loofah right back where Timmy got it, covered in drool. Ew. I am not implying that these moms are bad mothers, just that they don't understand my germ-o-phobe mentality. Which is fine. I guess it's hard to stay germophobic when you're a mom. I'll understand one day, probably. But that day is not today.

Ok, back to waiting for your nosy questions...*taps foot impatiently*


Anne said...

You see...Im kind of the opposite of you. I just blindly believe that things are relatively clean until someone (this would be you here) points out possible.

Im throwing my Free Range Loofah away when I get home.

And I think that I will just go back to washcloths. I mean I have a hundred of them anyway and they arent doing anything.

I am so grossed out right now. Yecht.

PirateBarbaraAnn said...

Why don't you just run the loofah through a cycle in the dishwasher? If it's good enough to sterilize your dishes, it should work for your loofah. Or throw it in the washing machine on hot.

cmk said...

I DIDN'T need this to think about! I, too, am a bit of a germ-o-phobe, but this was one of those things that never occurred to me--thank you very much! (sarcasm abounds, if you couldn't figure that out!) :)

MoDigli said...

ha! Hilarious!

I get germ-freaky at the grocery store. That conveyor belt and the carts totally gross me out.

As for the loofah thingy - what if you put it on the top rack of your dishwasher and let it go through a cycle? Think it would melt or get damaged?

Or how about soaking it in warm water with some pinesol it it? Then, soaking it in clean hot water to get the pinesol residue off?

ahhhhggghh!!! I don't know!!!!

anny said...

i wouldn't say you're the only one who thinks these things, but i would say you're in the minority. me? i don't like people touching me - but that's the extent of my germ-phobia.

Random Musings Of My Life said...

ok yeah your nuts.. but in the same breath I think of some of these things too..
I have anti bac wipes in my purse for the grocery store (EWW THOSE CARTs!!!) and everywhere else IE bathrooms, doors,
I do not think to sanitize things that go into my shower... EWWW

Autumn said...

The reasons you listed, plus the fact that they never seem to come clean and always make me break out are the exact reasons I don't use those nasty things. I'm strictly a washcloth girl!

Matilda Jane said...

You're talking to someone that puts her keys in HER MOUTH every time she gets out of the car. It's the method I've developed so I don't leave them on the seat or anything...

Until I hear about a loofah-related death, I'm not gonna worry. Even if I do, I just figure "it's not gonna happen to me."
Actually, I don't use a loofah, but you get my point.

Virginia Belle said...

anne- yeah, see, if you start to think about it...

piratebarbarann -- first off, i love your blogger name. i love pirates. i love the beach boys. nuff said. i have thought about these solutions, and they are excellent ideas. however, i am worried about melting and the resulting damage to my appliances. that is what has stopped me. i think i will browse the web to find the melting point of loofahs. you think i'm kidding, but i'm really not. i am a librarian. finding useless info is my job.

cmk-- no problem. i think having PSAs on our blogs can be a good thing. germophobes unite! it's important to stay informed about possible germ-related issues.

mo-- i like the pinesol idea....i believe in the power of pinesol. that's some good stuff. you know that if it smells like that, it has to be clean! thanks for the idea....

anny-- how funny, because i love it when people touch me. especially if the people doing the touching are firemen. or other hot guys. huh. to each his own, i guess.

random-- yeah. just stop and think about how many germs could be living in your shower right now. they have dripped off all the bottles and are just sitting in a pool of water, multiplying astronomically. *shudders*

autumn-- i may soon be joining your ranks.

MJ-- dude. ew. (glad you are feeling better!)

Anonymous said...

Boil the loofah for 5 minutes. It's how you steralize bottles nipples, binkies, and other items for those delicate infants.

* meish * said...

back in the day, they used to sell toothbrushes out of a big bin, just out in the open, pick one up and rub it all over inside your mouth. yum.

Laura said...

I agree. Run it through the dishwasher. They say it will steriliza a sponge, so why not a loofah/scrubby thing?
Don't feel bad. I once watched a special on Dateline or 60 minutes on bacteria and your toothbrush. Ugh! For more things to obsess about, check out this site!

Megan said...

i would have to agree with the dishwasher comments! i am a washcloth gal, myself. however, i use a fresh washcloth each day! i am scared of germs...reading that mj puts her keys in her mouth, made me throw up a little in my mouth. money has got to be some of the germiest things out there! have you seen where strippers put that money!

RWA said...

I had never really thought about this - until now (Thanks!!!!!!!).

But it seems to me that boiling it or running it through the dishwasher would work just fine.

On another note, where do strippers put their money? I've never paid that much attention.

annie said...

Fellow germ-o-phobe here, but I'd never thought about loofah germies.

Until now. Thank you.

I tend to be more concerned about who and what's been touching food I'm going to ingest.

Like, if it bothers you that people have been touching items you use on your body in the shower, doesn't it bother you even more that people have been touching an apple you're about to eat?

Miss Fire said...

Dammit, VB! I really thought I had all my germs covered. I NEVER thought about the free range loofahs. Oh dear God.

Where's my freakin' Zoloft?????

m said...

I get freaked out by the loofahs after they have been in my shower for a month, but now I realize I have it all backwards.

The loofah in my shower is full of *my* germs. The loofah I just bought and haven't put in the shower is full of *someone* else's germs. And other people's germs are worse.

Bottom line,loofahs(lofi?) are inherently germy and full of bacteria. It is the way they are made. You can't escape it so just embrace it!!!

Matilda Jane said...

Sometimes... I chew on pennies.

Take of pic of all the melted loofahs in the dishwasher!

House Boy Steve said...

The two dirtiest and most germ infested items you touch on a day to day basis are 1. your cell phone and 2. your keyboard. They're dirtier than the floor at the Atlanta airport! You could soak your new loofahs in bleach prior to use if you're uber paranoid about it.

Stephanie A. said...

Wow, and I thought I had a lot going on in my head!

Becky said...

lol you are so cute. i love you

Petra said...

Putting a germy loofah in the dishwasher which has to clean dishes I have to eat off of...totally gross.

I use a loofah thingy with a handle, tha loofah part of it is shrink-wrapped. I get a new one from Target every couple months(or if it falls into the bath by mistake).

Petra said...

Kinda like this

NML said...

This was hilarious and yes I sometimes do think about this stuff albeit not to this extent! Happy thanksgiving x

The Dummy said...

Germs are good for you (well, most of them anyhow). And besides, with more of the body washes being acti-bacterial, wouldn't that cover it?

Anne said...

I just went to lunch with 7 girls and I grossed them all out with the Free Range Loofahs. The knowledge is spreading!

Virginia Belle said...

anonymous-- boil it...hmmm...again, i'd be worried about the issue of melting...

meish-- eww. just....ew. *shudders*

laura-- ok, you are just adding fuel to the fire! like i need a germophobe far as the dishwasher is concerned, i am worried about the melting factor...

megan-- i think soon i will be right there with ya on the new washcloth every day strategy. and hearing the money comment also made me barf a little, and now i need to brush my teeth. luckily, my toothbrush didn't come out of a bin, so it is safe to use.

rwa-- LOL you crack me up. dude, strippers put the money in their underwear. say it with me, folks: ewwwwwwwww!!!

annie-- you bring up a good point. to which i reply: no. i wash my apples and other fruits n veggies before eating them. sometimes i use soap. no joke. the thing is, your stomach has hydrochloric acid in it, so i figure germs are no match. that's what i tell myself, anyway...eek!

miss fire-- don't freak! we'll figure this out somehow. put the pills down! unless you have extras, in which case, send them my way. :)

m-- welcome to my dilemma. i refuse to accept the standard germiness of loofahs. something must be done.

MJ-- if that doesn't make Steve want to stop kissing you, i don't know what will. if the loofahs melt, i will take a pic. promise.

Steve-- *cleaning off her cell phone* Thank you for informing me of that. Ew. And the bleach idea is excellent.

Stephanie-- yeah, i'm kind of bonkers in some ways...please tell me being a mommy will take the anal-retentiveness out of me.

becky-- thanks. i love you too!! glad i can entertain you...

petra-- you just stumbled upon what stopped me from putting it into the dishwasher. although, the water in there gets to 140 degrees, which is hot enough to kill just about anything. and thank you for sharing the bit about the shrink-wrapped loofah on a stick. that might be my only recourse.

NML-- i would not wish this obsession on anyone!

Dummy-- yeah, i guess that would work. but i don't use anti-bacterial body wash. it dries my skin out. and also, i'm worried about Supergerms. it's a losing battle, really.

Anne-- please spread the word! i want a bill passed in Congress or something! some scientist needs to study this and link it to the spread of disease. That will be the only way to stop it. :)

Sam said...

You're insane. But in an utterly refreshing way. I'm going to pretend I never read this post because I have enough OCD issues of my very own to love and have and hold. I think I may steal your post, though. I'll give you credit, don't worry. "VB was the freak behind the freakishness of this post"