I take two buses to work every morning. When I get off the bus I use my teeth to pull a cigarette out of the pack and suck it back quickly before heading to my floor. When I get there I run to the bathroom (I normally drink about three bottles of water in the morning before I leave so I always have to piss like a racehorse). I do my business, wash my hands, and leave.
I go to my office, grab whatever I’m planning to eat for breakfast and head to the kitchen. The first thing I do is re-wash my hands because I don’t trust the bathroom soap to get my hands really clean. The soap in there is self-lathering and I don’t believe in that. In the kitchen I scrub the shit out of my hands; making sure I get under my nails and under my rings to wash all the TTC filth off me. Then I make my breakfast, then I wash my hands again, and then I take a dry paper towel and head back to my office.
When I get there I use the paper towel to open the door, then press the power button on my monitor through the paper towel to turn the screen back on. I have trouble using the mouse through a paper towel so I use it bare-handed to open a blog post to read while I eat. I hit a squirt of hand sanitizer, then rub my hands with a cleansing wipe, then I eat. Then I wash my hands again and go on with my day.
As you can see – and as anyone who has ever eaten with me can attest – I am super anal about the cleanliness of my hands when it comes to them touching anything I’m about to put in my mouth. Once I wash my hands, if I so much as graze anything that is not also freshly-washed I have to start the process all over again. I cannot dry my hands with a hand towel because I cannot absolutely vouch for its cleanliness; even if it’s fresh from the laundry. As you can imagine, I go through an assload of paper towels in a day.
But let’s go back to the TTC for a moment because I did not give that justice at all. I am absurdly squeamish about being on our transit system. I have heard too many stories about fecal matter being found on the poles and the seats to ever feel comfortable on there. Under no circumstances will I eat on a transit vehicle because that is disgusting. I won’t even go on there with a cup of coffee from Starbucks or any of those places where the lid has a hole in it because I can just feel the filth from the air drifting into that tiny hole and poisoning my coffee. I know this is extreme, but I cannot help it.
But as squeamish as I am about eating and transit, I am astonishingly lax about other things. I kill bugs with my bare hands without giving it a second thought. I have no problem taking a wad of gum from your mouth and throwing it in the garbage – in fact I’ve been known to pick at the lumps of gum stuck under the conference room table when I’m bored in a meeting. I never look at park benches to make sure they’re clean before I sit on them (unless I’m wearing white pants) and although I often think about how filthy my yoga mat must be, I press my face against it on a daily basis.
I won’t rest my hair on it though. That’s nasty.
I’m beyond squeamish about teeth-brushing. I will not watch anyone do that – not even in a movie – and no way in hell will I allow anyone to watch me brush mine. I’d sooner sit ringside while someone drops a deuce than witness tooth-brushing. But I’m not squeamish at all about renting apparel; I know bowling shoes are disgusting but I happily rent them anywhere and I confess that I’ve actually borrowed a bathing suit from a friend in a pinch, even though that is fucking nasty when you think about it.
If I make toast and so much as a corner of it slips off the plate and touches the counter – even if I just cleaned it – I throw it out. And yet – I do not squat over toilet seats and cannot be bothered to use those paper seat covers. Even at the McDonald’s on the 401 which everyone who lives in Ontario knows is the nastiest bathroom on earth.
I will not buy glasses or plates from Goodwill but I have bought cooking appliances from there on more than one occasion. I won’t use plastic cutlery that is inside the plastic bag when I get take out because I’m not sure the inside of the bag is clean. I will lick the lid of a container of Swiss Chalet sauce though. With gusto.
I will not under any circumstances walk barefoot in any public place – including the hallways of my building – but I will drink water from those jugs they leave on the bar sometimes after last call.
And there is no such thing as a 5-second rule in my world. If I drop it I am not picking it up.
As ultra-squeamish as I am about some seemingly-innocuous things, I am completely unconcerned by other things that gross out normal human beings. I have no real explanation for this other than the fact that I’m a fucking weirdo. But what about you guys? Are any of you randomly squeamish or are you the type who either doesn’t give a fuck about anything or cares deeply about everything? What random things are you squeamish about? Speak on it in the comments.
And please don’t forget to vote for me to win a Black Weblog Award or four. Easy instructions and shit are right here.