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Janis Jaquith
janis@radioessays.com
534 words

THE PERFECT SOAPDISH

Oh, what a day I've had! Dragging myself from one end of town to the other - scouring the housewares department of every store - hunting down the perfect soapdish. It has to be shaped like a fish, and it has to be both see-through and green. I have schlepped up and down the aisles of K-mart, Wal-Mart, and all the other fine "-marts" but I have yet to snag the elusive soapdish.

Last summer, I saw this soapdish somewhere - this pale-green, fish-shaped, see-through-plastic soapdish. When I first saw it, I thought it was kind of stupid, because, who needs it? But now that decorating my bathroom has become the center of my life, I've changed my mind, and I really want it.

This is so not like me. My current soapdish is the plain white Rubbermaid thing that I picked up at the grocery store a decade ago when we moved into our house. Good enough, I figured.

Nearly ten years it is that we've lived here, and my mother keeps asking if I've put curtains up yet. I haven't - because, who has time for stuff like that? I had just one set of sheets for my bed for thirteen years because they were perfectly good, so why waste time and money on getting an extra set of sheets? Who sees them? Who cares?

But over the past several weeks, I have found myself going nuts over every little detail of my house. And I'm not getting any real work done: I haven't written anything, and the novel manuscript I was revising last summer is still on the floor where I set it down on September 10th.

(Actually, I think I kicked it under the couch a few days ago, but kicking the manuscript under the couch doesn't count as "working on my novel", I don't think.)

I have run from store to store, searching for the perfect, pale-green towels to coordinate with the perfect bathroom walls that I just painted the perfect shade of pale green. And these towels and walls will coordinate I am sure, with the perfect soapdish that I once saw in a store somewhere and that I WILL track down.

And as I go about my obsessive, domestic business, I always have the radio on - in the car, around the house as I paint and measure for curtains - always listening to the news or to talk shows.

As a result, every cell in my body is buzzing with apprehension and dread - what's next? What's going to happen to us?

There's nothing I can do to prevent the maniacs from knocking skyscrapers out of the sky and distributing germs like evil fairy dust. But, as God is my witness, I WILL control my own house, and if you think that I will give up my quest for the perfect soapdish - for that pale-green, fish-shaped, see-through-plastic soapdish for my perfect bathroom - well, think again.

I have a mission, and I will not be stopped.


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