50/50: The slippery soap slope
Blame it on the weight loss. Blame it on the self-reflection and goal-setting. I don't know. I wanted to see exactly how many bars of soap we had in the house. Don't even try to find the logic - there is none. I just wanted to know.
Blame it on the weight loss. Blame it on the self-reflection and goal-setting. I don’t know. I wanted to see exactly how many bars of soap we had in the house. Don’t even try to find the logic – there is none. I just wanted to know.
Suffice it to say we have a lot (not counting the soap at our lake or any of the industrial sized bottles of liquid soap). I love competition, so I decided to name 2015 as the year of not buying soap. I’m trying to go the entire year. I told Hubby my plans. He didn’t look very excited.
So in the spirit of no new soap time, I rounded up all of the soap that just happened to be lying around the house. I found a big bar on my daughter’s dresser. I think it was from Christmas two years ago. I decided to use it.
Hubby walks downstairs the next morning and our conversation goes a little like this:
Hubby: “What IS that soap upstairs? It’s so great!”
Me: “I’m pretty sure it’s from Barnes & Noble. You like it?”
Hubby: “I just love it!”
Me: “Are you kidding me?”
He didn’t look like he was kidding me. I think he really liked the soap.
We magically found ourselves at Barnes & Noble the next day, and as we’re walking to the checkout line Hubby wanders over to the soap section.
“Is this the soap?” He asks rather excitedly.
“Yes, I think it is,” I answer, my voice calm and quiet, neutral.
“We should probably buy about 10 bars, don’t you think?”
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” My voice is not so calm or quiet.
“No,” Hubby replies, his voice now calm and quiet.
“Here’s the deal,” I say (never a good start to any of our conversations). “YOU can buy 10 bars of soap if you want to – I’m not buying any soap in 2015.”
We walked out of Barnes & Noble sans soap, but Hubby did look a little crestfallen. He really loved that soap. But I’m pretty sure if it was there two years ago and it’s still there today that it’s going to be there in 2016. I’m resolute. I’m determined. I’m pretty proud of myself.
I was standing in the middle of T. J. Maxx with my daughter and son-in-law last night, and she’s found a super cute blue and white scarf and he’s found a great argyle sweater. We were walking toward the front of the store, we were almost there – then I saw it. The display of soap.
Only $2 a bar? Cranberry Spice. Sparkling Cedar. Festive Figberry Pudding. I pick one up. I open the lid and breathe deeply. This soap is a full $6 cheaper per bar than at Barnes & Noble – if I bought ten I would SAVE $60! And isn’t that what I’m trying to do ultimately? Save money? Hubby would be so proud of me, being so frugal, saving so much money.
Then I stop. I slowly put the soap back. This is how it all starts. Once I announce that I’m going to do something (or not do something) I’m faced with that very thing. The soap seems to mock me, just sitting there. It’s almost a dare. A double-dog dare, if you will. I can feel the tug in my chest. It makes sense. It does. And what would it really hurt?
But maybe the reason I’m drawn to the soap is because I’ve drawn my own attention to the “soap issue” in my life, and this is the universe letting me see that yes, I seem to have a soap problem.
I’m proud to say no soap has been bought and brought into the Risher household since I’ve made my soap decision, but apparently it’s a day-by-day thing. Can we do it? Can we make it the entire year? Probably not.
We’ll probably run out sometime in July, but it’s a noble thought, and I’m excited to keep walking down the no-soap path, taking care not to slide down that slippery soap slope. Because in the end, no part of this has ever had anything to do with soap.
Susie Ekberg Risher is a writer living in Fargo. Her column started as a yearlong project to lose 50 pounds in 50 weeks, but she’s continuing her wellness journey, with half the focus on food and exercise and the other half on mindfulness. Readers can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org .