Mine, mine and his

Three towels hang in a row on my bathroom wall. They hang there in the same order that they’ve been in for the last five years, ever since I married my second husband, the love of my life, who I recently learned, knows me a lot better than I thought he did. And that isn’t always a good thing.

The towel that hangs in the middle of the row is kind of a sage green color. I’m not sure what color it was originally, when I got it as a gift off of my bridal registry from my first wedding. That was over 15 years ago. Yes, I know that 15 years is a long time to have the same towels but they only recently started fraying. And, well, I’d rather spend money on other things. Like my children’s college educations or a week-long trip to Vegas.

The other two towels, the ones that flank old greeny, are off-white and were a gift from my parents’ friends for my second wedding. I didn’t register for them that time around. As a matter of fact, I didn’t register for anything the second time I got married. I figured I already had enough crystal, china and silver that I never used. But the towels were a thoughtful present. I mean, did I really want my second husband to dry off his ass with the same towel that my first one used?

And the towels are really nice. They’re monogrammed with mine and my husband’s first initials on either side of a big B. My husband’s last name starts with a B. Though I didn’t take his name when we got married. My kids were still young and in elementary school and I wanted to have the same last name as them. Plus my second husband’s last name isn’t better than my first husband’s. I mean if I had had some hard to spell last name with lots of vowels, maybe I would have changed it. But still, I like the monogram. It makes the towels look fancy. I never owned anything monogrammed before.

Now, this may be hard to believe but, I’m not a real neat freak. I don’t make my bed every day. I let my pots and pans dry on a dishcloth on the counter. Overnight. And I once covered a box, containing a grill that needed to be assembled, with a tablecloth and used it as a coffee table for six months.

But I like using one towel for my face and hair and one towel for my body. And I don’t like to share. Towels are kind of like toothbrushes and I don’t want anyone’s germs on mine, even the person I do all sorts of other things with where more intimate bodily fluids are shared. But I usually shower after that. And dry off with MY towels. Full cycle going on here.

For the over seven years that I was married the first time, that husband abided by the towels rule. Never once broke it. Never once wiped his face, his hands or any other part of his body on my towels. But we got divorced any way.

And a few years after that, in came husband number two. And the the new wedding gift towels. Arranged across the three hook fixture in the bathroom, left to right: My off-white hair and face towel, my sage green body towel, and his off-white do whatever he wants with it towel. I picked the green towel for my body towel because well, I’m only 45 and haven’t stopped being visited by my friend Flo on a monthly (actually 28 days to the hour) basis. Stains are less noticeable on green than off-white. And really, you can’t bleach an off-white towel.

So the other day, I put one set of towels in the wash but failed to hang up the replacement set. (I’m not the best housewife.) I happened to walk in to the bathroom after my husband had taken his shower and saw that he had pulled the back-up green towel out of the linen closet. To use on his body. And then hung it up on my hook, the middle one, like nothing was amiss. Really?

As soon as the other set came out of the dryer I high tailed it upstairs and replaced that green soiled-by-his-one-use towel with three new ones. The right colors, hanging in the right order. As I was hanging them up, he came in to the bathroom and started laughing. At me, not with me because quite frankly, there was nothing funny about it. Now I have no choice but to be a bathroom towel paranoiac. Because if he thought that was funny, who knows what else he has done? Wiped his ass with my face towel? Dried his man thing, and it’s next door neighbors, with the towel I dry my vajean off with? My perfectly manicured high temple mixed with potential dingleberries from his sphincter area?

Oh my. This is so much more than I can bear.

I didn’t even know that he knew this about me. That I was towel-anal. Now, I’m going to buy new towels. And I’m getting them monogrammed. No, not monogrammed but embroidered. His is going to have a picture of me on it. So he can rub his body against me and get as close to me as he wants. But mine? One of mine is going to be embroidered with a picture of Dave Grohl just because, well, I think he’s cute. I’ll use that one on my body. The other one, the one for my face and hair, will have a giant picture of my mother embroidered on it. That’ll teach him.

Yes, I know I have issues. But at least I’m really clean.