Lately I have been beating myself up a bit for a new tendency. Usually a fairly trusting person, I have suddenly become very suspicious and for no good reason. Or so it seemed until this morning, when I realized that I have indeed earned this quality. Not only that, but it can really come in handy these days.
When I woke mom for breakfast and instructed her to use the ladies room, I noticed traces of toothpaste around her mouth as she headed down the hallway afterward. This is unusual, since I only instruct her to brush her teeth at night. “Mom, did you brush your teeth?” I asked. “I don’t think so,” she answered with about 10% confidence. “Are you sure?” I asked, sort of hating myself for being such a nag. “No, I’m not sure,” she said with 100% confidence.
Inspired by last night’s viewing of The People vs. OJ Simpson, I headed into the crime scene. And, like the detectives in that story, I proceeded to touch nearly everything in sight. Mom’s toothbrush was dry. Her toothpaste dispenser was cold. My toothbrush, however, was wet. My dispenser was open on the sink. Since I shamefully live in fear of “old people” germs, my blood went cold.
“Mom, did you use my toothbrush?” I asked with trepidation. “No, I would never use your toothbrush,” mom said, insulted by the thought. Then, “Why?”
“Because it’s wet,” I said apologetically. Mom wrinkled her nose. “Oh Mary Ann, I don’t remember but I really don’t think so.”
“It’s OK, I believe you,” I said.
As soon as I ushered mom downstairs I raced to the linen closet. Against all odds in my disorganized household, a brand new unopened toothbrush awaited me. Huzzah! I wished for toothpaste, too, but that didn’t happen. I guess even the Tooth Fairy doesn’t want to visit my linen closet two times in a row.
I threw away the old toothbrush and spirited the new one away to my bedroom bureau, which is already home to hairbrushes, dental floss, nail files, and other items now known as “The Untouchables.”
As they say, it’s just another day for you and me in Paradise.