Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bristles and brushes and bits, oh my

Q. My husband uses my toothbrush. I've talked to my sister-in-laws and they told me he's done that since they were kids. It's so gross. How do I get him to stop?

A. Dear Bristling over brushes,
If a direct conversation and a few reminders have not curbed this habit by now, then I would go for his wallet and sensibilities.  

Buy about 15-20 toothbrushes and two cute little canisters or baskets to hold all of them. Label the toothbrush baskets "His" and "Hers" or with your names, then place them near the area the two of you brush your teeth. On the first evening of this plan, place a new, unopened, toothbrush in your basket. The next morning open and use your new toothbrush. When you are done, place the used toothbrush in his basket. Then place a new, unopened, toothbrush in your basket. Wait for him to ask you about the increasing amount of toothbrushes in his basket and why you always have an unopened one in yours. Then, with confidence and sweetness, tell him that you simply solved your problem. Now he can use your toothbrushes as much as he likes and you will always have a brand new one. When he protests, remind him that you are unwilling to share toothbrushes and will continue this routine until he agrees to leave your toothbrush alone

He'd have to be pretty committed to using your toothbrush to allow this much waste occur. So I'd be surprised if he let you fill his basket with once used brushes. But it may take that long to sink in. If he has any sense, this little routine won't last more than a day or two, you will have made your point about how unwilling you are to share teeth scrubbers and you will both be well stocked with toothbrushes for a some time to come. 

If you don't want to go with the excessive toothbrush routine, you may want to try this. Make a big show of scrubbing your feet with a toothbrush. Somewhere he has to witness it. The next time you see him using your toothbrush, feign shock and tell him that's the one you used scrub your feet. Then tell him how you have always used your toothbrush as a toe scrubber whenever he has tainted it. If that doesn't gross him out and put a bit of fear into him whenever he sees your toothbrush. Then I guess you have some one really special. Someone who is willing and perhaps even happy to jam even the tiniest of bits of you into his mouth. 

Well, come to think of it. That sounds like the kind of person I'd like to grow old with. Because WAY more stuff, bigger than the bristle swap, is sure to be in your future together. 

Hope that helps,

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