I still flash on that day, not long ago, when you came home with him and all of his buddies, so triumphant.
“I cleared the shelf!” You yelled to your family while thudding a 48-pack of toilet paper into the house and then trudging into the kitchen with a dozen reusable grocery bags, beads of sweat still glistening on your forehead from battling that old man at the store for the last pack of sanitizing wipes.
Intent as they were on their screens, your kids didn’t seem to be listening, but I was, heartbroken.
It’s just…I thought we were a team. You and me, your trusty all-natural cleaning spray. We used to tackle everything together: sticky doorknobs, toilet seat misfires, your daughter’s year-long obsession with slime…
I even heard you brag to your friends about me on multiple occasions. You swore up and down that your family rarely succumbed to whatever germ was going around, and that you had me, your little plant-based stallion, to thank for it. And really, just hearing that superior tone of yours used to bring a tear to my nozzle!
“Who could even think of using those toxic chemical cleaners when there are healthier, safer options?” You’d say to your friends while looking pointedly at Karen.
Poor Karen. Does she even know you found ammonia-laden Windex under her bathroom sink the last time she hosted wine night? She is never going to live that one down, especially after having her second kid and ignoring your advice about switching to cloth diapers. Pampers end up in landfills, Karen! Small condo or no, the storing and washing of poopy diapers is a small price to pay for the planet!
So how, then, did you and I get off track? I used to be an intrinsic part of your belief system, your ride or die. Remember the organic, green, non-toxic movement you swore allegiance to a decade ago?
It’s why you only shop at Whole Foods.
It’s why you order gallons of that pricey physical sunblock even though it makes your kids look like they’ve been swallowed in chalk.
It’s why you whisper-complain to your husband every time Karen shows up at the Memorial Day barbeque with Doritos instead of Beanitos. Genetically-modified corn is the devil, Karen!
Now, one whiff of an approaching pandemic and it’s like I never meant anything, after all the ways I supported you! I even tried to understand when you abandoned your henna hair dye for that sinister drugstore version with PPD last year. I mean, of course those stubborn grays need the chemical big guns if you plan to stay 38 forever.
It’s just…I thought we had a good thing going. You and me and the reusable paper towel going after the countertops three times a day. Why’d you have to ruin it by making lovey-dovey eyes at Lysol?
Monogamy sure is dead.
Heck, he isn’t even your only new flame!
I may be relegated to the dismal dark of under the sink but I can still hear you, lusting after someone named Clorox too, frantically checking your laptop every day and then sighing to your husband about out-of-stock notices.
It’s borderline pathetic, you know, chasing after all of the no-no ingredients of a former life, after perching so vibrantly atop that pedestal the way you did.
What’s next? Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are Pop-Tarts and goldfish crackers in your children’s immediate future. But then, I’ve never been one to judge.
I must say though…you’ve changed.
Just don’t plan to come crawling back to me when this is all over. I’d rather sit under here and dry up in peace, alongside the botanical toilet bowl cleaner you also shunted to the curb without mercy. Phony.