Editor’s desk column: Best to go with flow or kick up a stink on hygiene quirks?

Headshot of Kate Campbell
Kate CampbellGeraldton Guardian
Do you shower at morning or night, or both?
Camera IconDo you shower at morning or night, or both? Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There’s been a long-running feud in my family with no resolution in sight: showering in the morning versus at night.

We’re equally divided, and it started with my parents splitting into opposite camps.

My dad likes to wash the day off him at night and my mum likes a morning shower to help her wake up. I’m on my mum’s side: sometimes I shower at night, sometimes twice a day, but more often than not it’s in the morning.

What can I say? Not being the biggest fan of mornings, I need all the help I can get to wake up and feel fresh.

Hot water from the shower head and the coffee machine is all I need.

I was bemused this week to read a tweet by a radio journalist recounting how she got blasted by her listeners after accidentally revealing on air she didn’t shower in the mornings. Horror of hygiene horrors! The sanitary shame!

You’d think she had just revealed she only showered once a week. In my family, the morning showerers get stick about why they don’t wash at night.

We all have our differing household hygiene routines, our unique ways of staying fresh as a Mintie. It got me thinking, about how I do things compared with others.

And so, I did a quick straw poll in our little newsroom.

The great shower debate

I’m outnumbered. My colleagues either shower morning AND night, or at night (with one twice-a-day showerer favouring mornings). “It’s so gross not to shower at night, you’ve got the whole day on you,” one fellow worker commented.

Are you a folder or a scruncher?
Camera IconAre you a folder or a scruncher? Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Folder or a scruncher?

This has been a question for the ages. How do you use toilet paper? In our newsroom, we favour folding rather than scrunching, although there were a couple of confessed scrunchers.

Deal with a messy job neatly, I say. However, one of our newsroom responses was a concerning: “I don’t know, I think I wrap my hand in toilet paper.”

How often do you brush your teeth?
Camera IconHow often do you brush your teeth? Credit: Getty Images

Brusha, brusha, brusha

I may be condemned for admitting this. But sometimes I only brush my teeth once a day. That got a shocked reaction from my colleagues, who brush their pearly whites at least twice a day. One of them brushes up to three times a day — in the morning, at night, and if they go out in the evening.

Does it really mattress?

How often do you change your sheets? For me, it’s one or two times a week during summer, and every three to four weeks in winter. Our newsroom reached a consensus finally — an average of twice a week. A fan of night showers remarked it keeps your sheets cleaner for longer.

Haircare and scares

I miss the days when I could get away with only washing my hair once a week. Now I need to wash it two or three times a week. That was the average among the women in the newsroom. We have two blokes, and they had wildly different answers — once a week versus twice a day (umm, hello dry scalp!)

Do you let your furry friend sleep in your bed?
Camera IconDo you let your furry friend sleep in your bed? Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pet peeves

Quite a few of us are dog parents, and it might be frowned upon by some but most of us let our fur babies sleep on the bed (except one who says she allows the dogs on the bed only when her partner is away). What can we say? Our households are ruled by those who only take baths every two or three weeks. OK, putting it that way makes it sounds gross!

Dos and deodorants

There may be a trend in some circles leaning towards more natural alternatives, but not in this newsroom. We all keep BO at bay using deodorant.

So what have I learnt? That we are creatures of different habits, and that’s OK. As long as your partner or the colleague who sits next to you doesn’t have to hold their breath or complain about the smell emanating from you, I say each to their own.

Will I change my habits?

Probably not, although I do feel shamed for missing the occasional second daily teeth brushing.

As my parents’ marriage of 47 years attests, differing hygiene habits doesn’t equal incompatibility.

It doesn’t mean it’s not material rife for stirring though.

Who knows? Having opposite showering schedules could be healthy for a relationship.

At least you don’t have to fight over the hot water.

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