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 Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"
A Home of My Own
by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Thatís it! I am done, finished, kaput. It is over. I have put up with it for years and years and years and I am not going to put up with it anymore. I am getting my own apartment. My very own apartment. There will be one key. My key. There will be absolutely nothing crusty and/or unidentifiable on any of the furniture in my apartment. The dark wood will gleam richly. Delicate, precious objects díart will be placed tastefully and to their best advantage here and there with no fear that they will meet violently with any unexpected flying object of any kind Ė not a football, not a shoe, not a cat. Nothing will fly in my apartment but my hopes and dreams.

All my dishes will match and none of them will be from Taco Bell. They will be lovely, delicate bone china. Hand-painted. Antique. I will never find them in the backyard. I wonít have a backyard, but if I did have one, I would never find my dishes back there being used as a pill bug nursery.

I will have a brand new toothbrush which I will know with absolute certainty has never been used for anything but my own teeth. Because sometimes I am not so sure about my current toothbrush. Everybody always denies using it with wide-eyed innocense and then just when I start to believe them and relax a little somebody will pipe up with, "Wait a minute! I thought I was green! I was green last time! Then who has the purple one?" I hate that conversation.

After I get my apartment I am going to go shopping. I am going to buy a pair of nail clippers, tweezers, scotch tape, pens. No! One really good pen. Some eyeshadow which will never, ever, ever, be used as camouflage paint, NO MATTER WHAT! I am going to buy special apartment clothes. They will never be worn by anybody else. These apartment clothes will be mine and they will be laundered appropriately. The clothes I have now? Well, just let me try to buy something "nice." The minute my back is turned someone in this house is bound to root it out Ė ignoring the huge pile of dirty laundry which is a permanent fixture in the floor in front of our washer Ė root it out, I tell you, and throw it into the washer with a load of dishtowels and a quart of bleach and then into the dryer set on "nuclear holocaust" for FOUR HOURS. And then whoever has done all this most recently will get their feelings hurt if I complain. "I was just trying to help!" No, you wretched torturer of fine fabrics, you were trying to assure that you would be grounded from using the washing machine. What a twisted joke! You know you have sunk to the very depths, the slimy, lightless chasm of motherhood when you hear yourself saying, "Thatís it, young lady/man! No more laundry for you! Donít even think of it!" Oh, theyíre wily, they are!

I will glide through my apartment admiring it. Barefoot. Because there will never have been a Leggo in that apartment, ever. Then I will take a very long hot bath. It will be long because nobody will be there to bang on the door and yell, "What are you doing in there? Do you know where my other GI Joe sock is? How come they say itís hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk because I tried it TWELVE TIMES and nothing fried? Can Johnny come in and see your appendix scar? Do we have anything good to eat?" It will be hot because I will be the first, last and only person to use the hot water. When I am finished, who knows? The sky is the limit! I will tweeze if I want to tweeze because my tweezers will be where I put them, where they belong. And they will catch and pluck each tiny hair no matter how wispy and fine with exquisite precision because they will never have been used as a screwdriver, or a bug immobilizer or a brother pincher. They will only be what they were meant to be. And they will be mine! And my tweezers and I will live the whole of our secret lives together happily ever after.

Huh? Nothing honey, just dozing. The tweezers? I donít know. Did you look in your tackle box?
© Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything" - January 16, 2005 Column
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This page last modified: January 16, 2005