One evening last week after I returned home from work, Mama told me that she threw out my toothbrush.
She said it in a very casual manner, the way you might tell someone that they are out of cumin and may want to pick some up the next time they are at the market. You can get away with that where spices are concerned, but toothbrushes are a different story. Especially outside of Appalachia.
“Why would you do that?” I asked. I was annoyed because now instead of devoting myself to an evening of Bible Study, I’d have to go out to buy a new toothbrush. And frankly, at the end of a long three-day week, I had no energy for all the sales pitches that the toothbrush man would be hauling my way.
“A toothbrush,” I would say. “With bristles!” And because I’m a lady toothbrusher, he’d try to unload all the bells and whistles on me. I was exhausted just thinking about it.
“Because it looked old,” Mama said, smoothing out the wrinkles on her forehead.
“So brushing with old toothbrush is worse than not brushing at all.”
“I don’t know-” I started.
“Well, I do,: she told me with finality, “that’s why I threw it out.”
I knew that I should just let it go because I’m 0 for 8,765,988 where disputes with Mama are concerned, but I was starting to think that my luck was going to turn.
“I just think it would be better if you didn’t throw out things that belong to me,” I tried gently.
“Fine,” she conceded. “I just didn’t think you’d want the toothbrush after I used it to clean a corner of the litter box. But next time I’ll leave it.”
And that’s why I am now spearheading the Take Your Toothbrush to Work and Never Leave It Out of Your Sight Campaign.