It’s amusing how much significance we place on the toothbrush.
I can’t help but think of that old Seinfeld episode “The Pothole” (there’s always a Seinfeld episode, isn’t there?) where Jerry sees his girlfriend’s toothbrush fall momentarily into the toilet bowl but doesn’t tell her before he finds her brushing her teeth. Her revenge on him was perfect, though I won’t ruin it for you, just in case you’re a very late comer to the Seinfeld party (I was.).
The toothbrush is often iconic in the secular world’s relationships: when a boyfriend or girlfriend begins leaving a toothbrush at their partner’s place, it indicates a new step in the relationship. A new level of intimacy. My wife and I had something similar, actually, though it wasn’t a precursor to us moving in together.
What’s amusing, though, is that such a step is necessary in the first place.
Think about it… Hypothetically, one could simply use his or her partner’s toothbrush.
See there? See how that made you cringe? That’s exactly what I’m talking about!
You imagined your spouse or a romantic interest using your toothbrush and it was practically sacrilege!
Why do we respond in that way? Do we not exchange saliva, germs and other cooties when we kiss? Some couples readily drink out of the same cup. For that matter, my wife let her drooling, backwashing kids eat from her spoon. I’ve even known quite a few who let their pets lick them on the lips.
Yet the toothbrush is sacred, not to be shared.
I’m not any different. My money is her money, too; my body is hers; my heart, hers; my home, hers; my dreams, hopes, love, and sex, all hers. But my toothbrush? All mine, for some reason.
Why is that?
It’s not rational germaphobia, for sure.