When Juan and I married and blended our families we decided to remodel my two-bedroom, one bath house into a four bedroom house. There would be one office/guest room, one room for the boys and one for the girls to share. Juan and I would have our own master bedroom, which we have since learned we have to share with our dog Molly, and occasionally Diego, whenever he has a bad dream. Our house remodel also included a master spa bathroom, which we have since realized is not for our own exclusive use.
Whenever we complained to the kids about them using our bathroom, they protested that we had the good shower, more bath products, and better towels. True, I did splurge and furnish our bathroom with plush linens. I wanted to create a spa atmosphere. Maybe if the kids actually hung up their towels instead of leaving them on the floor, I would be inclined to splurge on their linens too. Last week I had to replace our bathmat. I splurged again and bought a nice plush one. It had a thick pile and matched the palette of our bathroom’s warm gold color.
This week, our Southern California weather and its endless summer finally turned to Fall. I came home from work and turned on the heater to take the chill out of the air. When I walked into my room, I smelled something musty. I shrugged it off as the heater firing up. Later that night, as I was getting ready for bed I went to my bathroom to perform my evening ritual of brushing, exfoliating, moisturizing and all manner of fighting against the aging process. Again, I smelled something odd. I noticed that the toilet seat was up and looked at Juan
accusingly suspiciously. He assured me that his aim was perfect. We complained to each other that Diego was probably using our bathroom again. He must have missed the mark. To his credit, Juan cleaned up around the toilet. Better. At least it smelled like disinfectant.
The next day, after work, I walked into our bedroom and again detected a musty odor. I looked at the pile of shoes on Juan’s side of the bed. Could it be? No, foot odor is distinctly different. That night Diego again used our bathroom for his shower. After his shower, as I trimmed his nails I smelled it again. I sniffed his hair to make sure he washed it. It was fine, like coconut. I smelled his hands. His nails were still a bit dirty, but his hands smelled fine. As I bent over to trim his toenails I smelled his feet. Musty! I sent him back into the shower since I was sure the feet of a 9 year-old soccer playing boy needed more scrubbing.
That night we fell asleep to the sound of our first Fall rain. In the morning, as I was taking a shower Juan groggily walked in and nearly slipped on our tile floor. He looked down and saw that the floor was damp. I got out of the shower and stepped onto my new bathmat. My feet felt like they were stepping into a puddle. The new bath mat felt wet, actually soggy. Hmm, that’s weird. Wet floor, damp mat. Could we have a leak in our roof? Juan and I started inspecting the ceiling to see if we could find the source of the water. No leak.
Suddenly it occurred to me that maybe the source of the leak wasn’t the ceiling. I looked down at the new bathmat. I remembered that Molly, our fox terrier, had been housebroken on pee pads. Juan grabbed some paper towels and as he cleaned up the wet floor, we discovered what he was mopping up was not water. It was yellow and had a musty smell.
I guess I will have to buy a new bath mat. Maybe this time I’ll buy one that’s not so plush.