When my daughter was still a baby, a greeter at Wal-Mart chased me down to yell at me, “The keys! The keys! The baby has the keys! IN HER MOUTH!!!” My first reaction was a dumbfounded, “AND?” She looked at me exasperated, “Well, she’s not supposed to put them in her mouth!”
Lady, let me tell you something. I don’t care that she’s happily playing with my keys while I’m right here, and I know this is going to be shocking, but I didn’t wipe the cart down either. And I certainly didn’t use a fancy cart cover. Why? Because I’m not a germophobe.
I’m not a germophobe.
Sure, I don’t want germs, but studies have shown that trying to avoid germs as though they are the end-all enemy can be pointless at best, and at worst, harmful to our health. So here’s some proof of how I’m NOT a germophobe:
- I don’t bust out the hand sanitizer at every single opportunity.
- And excuse me, but I’m not covering the toilet seat with toilet paper before sitting down. I’m washing my hands when I’m done. And then guess what? I’M OKAY. (Research is on my side for this one, people!)
- I’m not avoiding potlucks because I don’t know how clean / dirty the people’s homes may be who prepared the food. Is it food? Is it free? Is it delicious? I’m there. I don’t really care who made it.
- I’m not freaking out that my kid just ate something that fell on the ground. Good for your immune system, baby.
- I’m letting my kid play on the playground that other kids are playing on. Other kids who have the nerve to be there spreading their “germs.”
So I’m not a germophobe. I’m proud of that fact. And yet…
- I store my toothbrush in a drawer in the bathroom because it grosses me out to think of the bacteria that go flying around the room when the toilet flushes might get on my toothbrush. Which I put IN. MY. MOUTH.
- That same bacteria? I can’t believe people take their coffee or water cups with them into a public restroom. UGH. DON’T DRINK THAT! IT’S CONTAMINATED NOW!!!
- Those pre-washed fruits and vegetables? Yeah, I’m washing those again.
- I hate taking my kid to well visits at the doctor and having to check in and walk through the sick kids’ waiting room. (In my defense, doesn’t this one apply to everybody?)