I really can’t remember when the first time was but this anecdote is in the top 10.
Back in college, I cleaned the whole bathroom.
For the record, I didn’t do it because it was chore. In our dorm room, no one assigned chores. So it was basically a dump. Stained floor, clothes everywhere, table disappeared under a ton of mess—not to mention the tell-tale mounds of ashes from cigarettes and other stuff that you could only associate with a guy’s room.
Given enough time and motivation, anyone in our room could clean the area. Or at least their own area. But not everyone would dare volunteer for the bathroom. Why would anyone?
Have you seen what a guy’s bathroom is like? Have you smelled one? Touched one?
Even the mere memory of it makes me want to throw up.
Here’s the cliche. Someone has to do the dirty job. Two weeks in and it already looks like a decade passed with a hundred guys using it repeatedly. If the toilet was pitiful, you should’ve seen the walls. It used to be sea green. With us using it, it was coated with something like ambergris, only disgusting and smothered. If you looked long enough, you could swear that it moves.
So with some of my own money, I bought bleach, detergent, and a big brush. Plus a big bag of chips.
For the first fifteen minutes, I was practically breathless. And I wouldn’t dare open my mouth while working at the tiles. That was quite a workout though—channeling all that frustration and aggression at the mildew. Poor mildew. But they come back.
My actual reward for cleaning the toilet, besides eating the chips later, was I was the first to take a shower in a clean bathroom. That was the first time I reveled in smell of cleaning agents. And my best bath then. That was the moment I realized what my mother feels like when she cleans the bathroom of our house.
Relieved is the word I’d go with.