I Wanted The Red One!
Red Is Everybody's Favorite
Is nothing sacred anymore? Growing up, I was under the impression that one’s toothbrush was just that, one’s own. Somewhere along the pathway into adulthood the rules seemed to change.
The first indication that all wasn’t as it should be was shortly after my marriage when I began noticing my toothbrush was damp when I reached for it. I thought maybe I was imagining it; perhaps I had already brushed my teeth and just forgotten. I didn’t really think that was the case, but surely my new husband would not dare to touch my toothbrush! Little did I know; that was just the beginning.
For those of you who have children, it would suffice to simply say, “Then the children arrived.” For the others amongst you, just so you can’t claim you were never warned, I will explain. Children think everything in the house belongs to them. This includes your toothbrush. The worst case scenario is having two or more children who want the same toothbrush. This usually has to do with color of the toothbrush. Red is everybody’s favorite. If you have any qualms about sharing, for goodness sake, do not buy a red one!
As an example of what desire for a red toothbrush will lead you to do, I will tell you about my cousins who came to live with us after their mother passed away. There were two boys, ages 8 and 13, who stayed with their dad and two girls, ages 4 and 11, who came to live with us. David, the younger boy was the proud owner of a red toothbrush. When his baby sister arrived at our house the older sister discovered David’s red toothbrush tucked away in baby sister’s shoe. When asked why she took it, her only explanation was “I wanted the red one!”
My own child succumbed to the lure of a red toothbrush after I foolishly thought that just for once I could have the red one. I used it twice and it suddenly disappeared. I relocated it quite by chance one day as I happened to be sorting through some bottles of lotion and other items in the bathroom cupboard. Lo and behold, there was my red toothbrush, tucked neatly amongst the bottles. It appeared to be well used by that time. In answer to my question as to why he took my toothbrush, the culprit replied, “Because I wanted the red one.” The discovery of that brush caused irritation because the reason behind the purchase in the first place was that this same child had misused another toothbrush of mine. The incident involved darling son’s muddy shoes. I asked him to try cleaning them himself for a change and he agreed without comment. I went in a few minutes later to make sure he was managing okay and the sight that greeted me was the boy scrubbing away at his muddy shoes with a toothbrush; my toothbrush to be exact. I asked “Why my toothbrush?” and his reply was “Well it was ugly and I didn’t think anyone would use it anyway. You didn’t want me to use my toothbrush! Did you?” His comment helped in making my decision to buy the red one. They wouldn’t leave my ugly toothbrush alone, so perhaps if it was pretty at least no one would clean their shoes with it.
Deciding to solve the dilemma concerning toothbrushes at our house once and for all, I went shopping for new ones. Thinking it would surely take care of anymore unauthorized brush swapping, I splurged on the battery operated brushes that rotate. Choosing four bright colors, I took them home for the children to select their preference. They went for purple and blue to my surprise. That left green, and of course red, which Dad promptly snatched from my hand. Putting my new green brush in its usual place, beside the children’s, I watched as Dad put his out of reach on the top shelf. It appeared he was taking no chances. Two weeks passed and I thought the problem was solved until I happened by the restroom as a fight ensued. “That’s my toothbrush!” my daughter yelled. “It is not! This is the one I’ve been using all the time!” her brother answered. The sight that greeted me was a pile of purple and blue toothbrushes lying amidst battery covers and a gob of batteries while the children fought over my, still intact, green toothbrush. I stopped the fight and stood by as they brushed their teeth with their respective brushes (sans batteries). As soon as everyone cleared out of the restroom, I reached for the toothbrush on the top shelf. It was the one I had been using anyway. Why, you ask? Well, because I wanted the red one!