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Germaphobes Unite!I heard a bit on the Bob & Tom Show yesterday that reminded me of just how germaphobic we are, as a society, these days. Self included, though not nearly to the extreme as others.
Particularly lately, it seems that there have been a number of reports in the news about the phenomenon of germs invading our lives and becoming most prevalent in some of the least likely places: ice cubes at fast-food chains, computer desktops and keyboards, the TV remote control, hot tubs, shopping cart handles, and of course… the whole multitude of places inside public restrooms including toilet seats, electric hand dryers, towel rollers, door handles & more!
My germy quirks, as I call them, could probably be classified more as precautionary steps rather than as a personal paranoia about germs. Regardless, they’re still germ-related, so I’m posting them here for your enjoyment.
Okay, here goes…
Let me preface this by saying: It’s common knowledge that we all need some germs in our lives in order for our bodies to be able to keep building resistance to the bad stuff.
So there really is a limit to how clean we all should want to be.
Germy Quirk #1: Bad Smells
Trust me when I say… I don’t breathe “in” when I’m walking past people I don’t know.
Weird? Maybe. But I’m just not fond of strangers’ smells — be it body odors or stale breath. That, and I tend to think I’m avoiding getting a cold, flu, or any other airborne disease if I don’t inhale in the presence of people who are “carriers”.
Besides, there’s absolutely nothing worse than B.O. that you can’t escape from… or coffee breath… or raunchy cigarette smoker’s breath! Eeeeewwwww.
Germy Quirk #2: Public Restrooms
Along the lines of bad things you can’t escape from: Public restrooms. That’s partly why I’m known as “the world’s quickest woman pee’er”. (No joke here. I can do my thing, wash my hands, dry my hands, and still get out of there quicker than a guy who enters at the same time as me!)
The reason: I can’t stand the smells. (That, and I’m holding my breath most of the time I’m in there — so there’s an added incentive to make it out quick… and alive!)
Don’t get the wrong impression. I’m not a “girly girl” or anything. I’ve done my fair share of peeing in cups (when I was a kid… long cross-country drives… Dad would stop for nothing!), squatting by trees (usually involved lots of drinking… and lots of loud music… back in the day), sh*tting in the woods (well, we won’t go there), and dripping dry (at practically every public restroom at every concert venue I’ve ever been to — they never have enough toilet paper to get through the night!).
But those were out of necessity more than anything else.
Germy Quirk #3: Pre-Touched Toilet Paper
In a public restroom, I always tear off the first square or two of toilet paper and throw it away. Cuz you know that’s the part that’s been touched by someone else and/or stepped on (…especially if it’s been left to dangle from the toilet paper holder).
Add to that, this:
At a public restroom, whenever there’s toilet paper not in the toilet paper holder but next to it and intended to be used. I never use it. I’d almost rather “drip dry”. The odds are just too great that the roll has fallen on the bathroom floor and rolled around, been kicked around, and handled by everyone who visited before me! (At least I’m not alone on this one.)
Here’s a funny story about a dog & a roll of toilet paper, plus a link to Bud Light’s “Mr. Restroom Toilet Paper Refiller“.
Germy Quirk #4: Self-Serve Buffets & Soda Machines
Whenever I’m refilling my soda, I make sure my cup never touches the lever that you push to dispense the ice. And I make sure that my cup never touches the lever that you push to dispense the soda. Just the thought of the hundreds of people who have refilled their cups there… it would be like pressing their lips up to mine if I let my cup touch where their lips had been.
At an all-u-can-eat buffet (I’ve gotta admit, I love ’em), I don’t pick from the top. Instead, I dig way down underneath the top layer (or all the way in the back) to get a piece of food that no one else has even come near. In my mind, the food items placed in the front row on a buffet are the most frequently sampled (and double-dipped) by young kids who have a habit of fingering food items before they make their selection. (Don’t laugh, I’ve seen it happen. You probably have too.)
And I’ve never made a point to do this, but after hearing Allison Janse talk about this on the Bob & Tom show yesterday, I think I’ll start: Never select a plate from the top of the stack at a food buffet. Instead, choose one from the middle, reducing your odds of selecting one that’s already been handled by people.
Here’s a bit about our favorite buffet restaurant, plus a link to Bud Light’s “Mr. All-U-Can-Eat Buffet Inventor“.
So, what other “germy” kind of OCD things do you do? (or not do?)…
Proof that things aren’t always what they seem:
Professionally, I pursued my Masters Degree in Family Therapy at Texas Tech — where I obtained invaluable expertise and experience helping people with a wide variety of physical and emotional health issues. Personally, I think it's useful when people realize that they're not the only one going through a difficult time. So any time that I think my personal health experiences would be helpful to someone else going through the same thing, I will share my story here. With health issues that I've personally experienced (like Endometriosis, Lyme Disease, Hysterectomy, Skin Cancer, Ganglion Cysts, Autism, and other topics that very few people enjoy talking about) and health products that I've found beneficial (like sleep aids, essential oils, and medications)… I do my best to provide my own raw and honest firsthand experiences that I think others would appreciate hearing about and (hopefully) find helpful. I'm grateful that I have a number of friends who have also been willing to share their very personal stories here — regarding their own physical and emotional health. When I'm not writing about health topics, you will find me sharing Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).