Guest Snooping

During the holidays, there are plenty of opportunities to see how you measure up to everyone else what with parties, potluck dinners and gift buying. Even if you don’t celebrate a particular holiday, you may still have occasions when you visit a friend or family member’s house and you need to use the facilities.

I think it’s pretty normal to use someone’s bathroom when you’re visiting and take a peek into their medicine cabinet. Just to see what’s what. If you restrain yourself, congratulations, because that’s the right thing to do. But when you’re locked in that little room, haven’t you been given carte blanche? If they had something they didn’t want seen, shouldn’t they have taken care of it before they invited a bunch of people over? And how else will you know how you measure up?

I may or may not have ever done this in my life. Temptation probably did get the best of me when I was younger, but now, meh, who cares?

But what if you are visiting overnight? Over the Thanksgiving vacation, my husband and I were invited to stay at our son-in-law’s dad’s house. We accepted the invitation because they are great people, I wouldn’t have to cook and our new grandbaby would be there and if we wanted to see her, well, we had to get to Tennessee.

Thomas’ dad is a bachelor who lives in a rambling two-story house with four unused bedrooms, three of them with attached bathrooms, on the second floor. It’s like a bed and breakfast where you hardly see the owner and breakfast is a pop tart and coffee.

Roland and I are assigned the bedroom with no windows because we have proven that we are able to wake up in a room without any signs of daylight creeping in as the signal for a new day. It’s pitch black. Probably illegal as a bedroom since there is no second exit, but never mind that. The attached bathroom is accessed down two dangerous looking tile steps and in the middle of the night, can only be located with a flashlight.

What’s that? Leave the bathroom light on? That ruins the pitch black atmosphere that one really almost never experiences. Two nights of sensory deprivation can be therapeutic and restful.

When you are staying overnight, the no looking in the cabinet rule can be broken for two reasons. Looking for that extra roll of toilet paper. You could be in a compromising situation and are not expected to search out the host to ask where he or she keeps it (unless of course you don’t find any under the sink or linen closet). The second exception is to look for a hair dryer. Now that I’m thinking about it, there might be more reasons. You need a band-aid or Tylenol. Really, just snoop away.

Another feature of this bathroom is the wide array of toiletries, despite the minimal use of said room. Face cleansers, shampoos and other hair care products, body washes found on both the sink counter and inside the shower. These items were out in view, so no snooping necessary and I brought my own preferred stuff so I left them alone other than noting the sheer quantity.


bighairExcept on the counter stood the tall red can with the black top. You, too, can have Big, Sexy Hair this product proclaimed. You know what I’m talking about. Hair products that give you big, sexy hair. Now, I’m from Texas, so I know me some big, sexy hair, but it’s never happened to my own straight, fine hair. Alas, that’s the second reason people don’t believe me when I say I’m from Texas, the first being that I allegedly have no accent.

Nevertheless, I was alone on Thanksgiving morning getting dressed when I decided that would be my day for big, sexy hair. I grabbed the can and went into the bedroom so I could more easily bend over at the waist to apply the hair spray to the underneath layer of my hair. Everyone who has ever tried to achieve big hair knows that’s how you do it.

I shook the can, bent over, flipped my hair and began to spray liberally. There was no hiss of hair spray, rather the spitting and spurting of … something else. I stood up and opened my eyes to see that I had been spraying volumizing mousse which had mostly missed my hair and had landed like splats of snow all over a cabinet, my open suitcase and Roland’s leather briefcase. The windowless guest room took on the feel of a panic room as I grabbed a hand towel and began to wipe up the mess, hoping the dots on the briefcase would fade.

After the frantic wiping, I returned the red can to the counter, put my blouse on and went downstairs no one the wiser because … no big, sexy hair.

11 thoughts on “Guest Snooping

  1. Cool ending that your lack of big hair helped keep your secret safe. Your story made me remember a cartoon I saw once where the host had set up hundreds of marbles in the medicine cabinet that came loudly spilling out everywhere when someone snooped. Maybe that’s why I never have the urge?


  2. Oh, we should swap stories of panic room moments. I have many. I like the piece tremendously. You are able to show us a great deal with very simple language and the piece moves. You drop hints we should know and the whole hair thing is freaking brilliant — especially since you are a Texan and should always have big hair.

    Two things I’d consider working on.

    First, this snippet pulled me out of the action: I may or may not have ever done this in my life. Temptation probably did get the best of me when I was younger, but now, meh, who cares?

    I felt shamed. Because I thought we were conspiring as bathroom cabinet snoopers. Okay, so shamed is my attempt at humor. But I felt like it was a sharp left turn from where you had been.

    Second, and this is just a pondering: could you create two pieces? I feel like the snooping and the hair could be separate and that there is potential for some great storytelling there.

    Well written, fun, and a reminder that we have all been there… thank you for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s