In which I can’t make even one more decision

3 May

Because of reasons*, we stop on the way home so that I can buy a new toothbrush. We agree that I will collect a bottle of milk as well. The promised showers are much in evidence and it is getting late. So, it is definitely dark, but not exactly stormy. The mister sits in the car with the boys. I go in.

I have been to this supermarket many times before and so I find the aisle with the toothbrushes easily.

I stand, and I look at the array. I close my eyes for a moment and then I turn away.

I return to the car, open my door, poke my head in, which leaves my bottom in the rain.

I say: ‘which toothbrush do I want?’.

The mister says, after he has rubbed at his balding head and I have wondered to myself ‘when will balding no longer be a process, and become a state of being bald’: ‘you’re serious, aren’t you?’ and I reply.


He says ‘stop wasting my time’ in the tone he very rarely applies to his words. I say ‘will you go and choose it for me?’

His silence – momentary though it is – is that particular parental silence which asks ‘what kind of precedent is this’.

‘All right,’ he says. He is gone longer than I expect him to be.

When he returns – with a toothbrush, milk and a packet of lollies which he shoves between his seat and his door before the children can see them – I say ‘you see, it was hard’ and he says ‘the toothbrush was easy, the lollies were hard’ and I say ‘why, they’re just all variations on a theme of compressed sugar’ and he says ‘oh, why didn’t I think of lolly bananas, that’s what I should have got’.

We are at the railway line by then. We are not stopped.

I say ‘time was, there was only soft, medium, hard, and the colours were only primary and maybe orange. Do you remember? They were all Tek. In the old days, choosing a toothbrush wasn’t hard.’

The mister says ‘next time, just go and pick the first one you see that says medium. There’s no difference after that.’

I say ‘yes there is’ he says ‘no, there’s not’ and by then we are home and all that is left to do is put the children to bed, eat the lollies and clean our teeth.

*oh, yes, every moment of my life is loaded with significance


17 Responses to “In which I can’t make even one more decision”

  1. Stomper Girl May 3, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    Too much choice overwhlems me as well. This is why I don’t go to Ikea.

    But which one did he buy? Was is one you were thinking of choosing?

  2. ThirdCat May 3, 2008 at 4:07 pm #

    It is purple. That is all I know. I wasn’t thinking at all. Honestly, the world began to spin. I should’ve written that bit in too.

    I’ve been to Ikea twice. Once out of curiousity and once again because I was trying to understand what it was I’d seen the first time.

  3. genevieve May 3, 2008 at 4:26 pm #

    These reasons don’t have something to do with someone else using your toothbrush for the wrong reasons/purpose, do they? that’s what usually happens to mine.

    Ikea, or Chadstone shops on Saturday? all horrible.

  4. Laura May 3, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    cheapest one that says medium which isn’t the same colour as one of the existing toothbrushes at home in the jar on the bench.

  5. Laura May 3, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    this is for you:

  6. ThirdCat May 3, 2008 at 4:46 pm #

    Genevieve, sort of – I would write about it, but it’s too gross.

    I think that’s why my toothbrush is always purple, Laura. And cool link. As they say in the classics: LOL.

  7. Kirsty May 3, 2008 at 6:05 pm #

    Ha! I loved this post. I have always maintained that one needs a science degree to make a decision about toothbrushes of the 21st Century–they never mentioned this in Buck Rogers.

    Before I went all upscale and got an electric toothbrush, the best toothbrush I ever bought was a the IGA near my sister’s. I bought a pack of two and they were really cheap, but they had spiky bristles that made my gums hurt for the first week or so I used them (just the one actually), but they cured me of any gum problems for ever.

    Now, should we discuss the higher qualifications required for choosing a toothpaste these days? The mister got off lightly. You let him know from me : D

  8. Deborah May 3, 2008 at 7:51 pm #

    I like, “for reasons”. I have been using it myself, but I think I should start saying, “for reasonsTM”, with the TM cunningly linked back to a ThirdCat original use of it.

  9. ThirdCat May 3, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    Thanks Deborah. I like it very much indeed. I wouldn’t worry about the TM though – I’m sure I’m not the only to be using those words in that order.

  10. Hilary May 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm #

    Toothbrushes pretty hard. Toothpaste, a whole nuther ballgame. Once I bought one that promised tartar control, or perhaps plaque removal – I can’t actually remember – and it stripped the lining off my teeth, made them raw and sensitive. So I tried going back to ordinary old toothpaste and DO YOU THINK IT EXISTED ANY MORE?

  11. Helen May 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    I’m sorry, but the Mister is wrong! Toothbrushes hafta be soft grade. Anything else will strip your gums off instead of massaging them.

  12. Dave May 4, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    You crack me up reading this story, picturing you do that.

    Sorry about the lack of pertinent comment….that’s all the decision as what to write as a comment I could muster.


  13. blackbird May 4, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    My toothbrush, in this situation, would have “fallen” into the toilet.

  14. drew May 6, 2008 at 12:57 pm #

    I need a soft 35. Last time I asked for one, C bought home a medium 40.
    She thought it was close enough. My gums beg to differ.

  15. JahTeh May 7, 2008 at 10:14 am #

    I agree with everything about toothbrushes and toothpaste. The price of toothbrushes is ridiculous and then I found them in packs of 3 at the $2 shop. They lasted just as long as the expensive ones and I didn’t grind the bristles down to the handle because they were expensive.
    And they’re all made in China.
    The last toothpaste I bought, Colgate I think, had fresh blue stripes and that blue stained everything it came in contact with, towells, basin, floor but not teeth.

  16. kim at allconsuming May 8, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    I’m not sure what I love more, that you actually went back to the car, that your husband actually went in for you or that he likes lolly bananas.


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