This week, I have been focusing on cleaning my room and bathroom. Not just a fun, dusting clean, but one of those deep-cleansing, spring-cleaning types of sprees. This time I have a reason—my best friend of seventeen years is coming into town this week and I haven’t seen her in over a year—but I am just one of those circus freaks who cleans in my spare time. Needless to say, I haven’t really had a lot of that lately, which is what called for the freak out.
What I am getting at is that I had a lot of time to reflect on objects and trinkets that really factor into our everyday lives. It hit me almost out of nowhere at about the time I was throwing away excess body washes and funny nail polishes: shower curtain rods. Intensely underappreciated object in my almost-everyday life? The rod that holds my shower curtain up!
People don’t notice shower curtain rods. They notice the curtain. Mine is zebra print and does a pretty good job of making my bathroom look totally “in” (or something like that). But the rod? It’s been there for several years. Just like any curtain or towel rod or rack, it has several simple, often overlooked, purposes. Like a blanket, the shower curtain holds the heat from the warm water in the shower so that mankind does not freeze while cleansing. If that rod were not there to hold up its shield curtain, everyone would be freezing their asses off—and no woman would ever successfully shave her legs (goose bumps, anyone?). The rod also holds the curtain up so that water doesn’t go splashing all over the bathroom, creating black mold issues that could potentially kill its inhabitants (anyone who has lived close to a beach knows what I am talking about). As an added bonus, if someone happens to walk into the bathroom while you’re showering (whether they know you’re in there or not), they don’t immediately see you. Your shower curtain rod friend has held up the block between you and the outer world. You can sing, dance (at your own risk), and daydream in the confines of this world. It has given you a place to hide in spur of the moment hide-and-seek (or when you don’t want to do chores), a place to hang your wet swimsuits on a hot summer’s day, and a place to let your cottons soak in cold water when you have spilled silly amounts of coffee on them. It has sheltered you from the incriminating stares of the world so as to provide you with a span of time just to yourself. Lucky you.
My shower curtain has held its own over the past fourteen or so-odd years. It’s been put up and then brought down for a paint job. When it was put back up, it wasn’t placed correctly and stripped the wall of some of the paint when it came crashing to the ground one night. But since that night, it has held its own. There are battle scars. It’s a little rusty near the ends because of the scorching hot showers that have been taken in it, and there are little notches in it where the curtain has been yanked with too much force. But that’s okay. My friend has been there for me for years, and I can now see that it has saved my life—and my dignity—over and over again.
Thank you, Mr. Shower Curtain Rod, for your service to your humans.
SO Note: Meredith Schneider is a Contributing Editor and pop culture diva. Follow her @MerelyGrace.