Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Epic Battle of Cultural Neuroses

The other day I purchased a battery powered, hands-free soap pump. I had sneered at these in derision only weeks ago because I thought they were overpriced, faux-tech gizmos. Then, I needed a new hand soap container.

Yes, I know I can get a cheap Softsoap pump with soap in it. But they’re small, and we are big hand washers in our house. Even with extra large soap containers, I have to refill them once a week. (Remember my ethnic background is Dutch. Even the Pilgrims when they were living in Leiden said, “The Dutch clean things before they’re dirty.”) So, while I’m cooking, I wash my hands numerous times, especially with chicken. Cal thinks I’m a bit neurotic—he’s wrong. And as proof of this fact, no one in our house has ever had food poisoning.

The other problem is the extra large soap pumps break easily. So I found myself at WalMart (ugh) pricing new pumps. The price of a massive pump and hands-free pump were the same. So, of course, I bought the hands-free—no more pressing the pump with my elbow to avoid getting raw chicken liquids on the pump.

Everything was going along swimmingly. Until the hands-free pump got some water spots. I tried to clean it. And it dispensed soap all over me and itself.

Very carefully, I wiped the extra soap and water spots. And it dispensed soap again. At this point, Cal burst into laughter. What would win in my battle with the soap container—the need to be clean or the need to be thrifty. Cal settled in for the epic battle of cultural neuroses (it’s not neurotic though, just saying).

But then, to Cal’s chagrin, Ariel said, “Hey, just turn off the switch, and you can clean it.” So, I did. Of course, I should’ve known. I turned on the switch to begin with. 

Here's a photo. I got it for $6 at WalMart. Soap was extra.


  1. I've done things like that before. "It would be so much easier if you just turned it off..." Always followed by me doing my best cat impression, "Just wanted to make it more challenging and hone my stealth skills, you know. See if I can sneak up on it."

  2. Juturna,

    Perfect. I'm a cat-in-training. Or a stealth ninja--yeah, that's it. After all, who'd expect a mother of four to be stealth ninja? Now all I need is a black body suit and a sharp sword. Cue alter ego.

  3. I love those hands-free soap dispensers, especially the ones that sing a cheerful little "ding" every time you use it. Not likely I'll ever get one, though. I just KNOW my cats would find it to be a wonderful play toy, and all the soap would end up squirting out onto the counter.

  4. So the dispense was having some soap incontinence issues? ;)