I don’t exactly remember how old I was when this happened, but based on what house we lived in, I think I was 7…
One of my chores was to clean the tub in the family bathroom.
My mom had really boring cleaning products. Things like “bathroom cleaner” and “all-purpose cleaner”.
But I didn’t realize this until one day when I saw the commercial for those scrubbing bubbles.
They were like a racing team of tiny scrub brushes that lapped a tub leaving a wake of sparkles and shine.
Scrubbing bubbles would change my life.
But how do I get them? My mom had a very strict, “if you saw it on TV, we can’t buy it” policy. It was the reason my childhood was not filled with sugary cereal, cartoon-inspired toys or name-brand ANYTHING.
Crap. <–except I couldn’t say that either. That was swearing.
How can I bring it up in a way that doesn’t give away the source of the knowledge?
I planned out an elaborate playlet to be performed in the cleaning aisle of the grocery store on our next trip…
We would be casually pushing the shopping cart when I would spy for the first time (this is where I am thankful I am an excellent actress) the scrubbing bubble can and take it gently off the shelf and exclaim, “what is this?” I would then read the label outloud. I would then admit that I had concerns about how well I was cleaning the bathtub and declare that I could do a much better job if only I had the support of the scrubbing bubbles.
It went just as I expected.
My mom didn’t catch on.
But looking back now, I think maybe she did…and she knew me because her comment was…
You know there aren’t actually scrubbing bubbles in there, right?
Of course! I nodded enthusiastically as I put the spray can into the cart.
Visions of me and the tiny scrubbing brushes whizzing around the tub were dancing in my head. It was going to be glorious.
I couldn’t wait to get home and clean.
We got home and I tried to act naturally…helping unload the car (probably a little more than normal), supervising my brother (probably a little more than normal) and then quietly excuse myself to do my chores (definitely more enthusiastically than normal).
I admired the front of the can inspecting the little scrub brushes closer that I was about to release into our tub.
I read the instructions, I didn’t want to do it wrong and harm my new cleaning friends.
I shook the can vigorously.
Pointed it 8-12 inches away and pushed the button…
A plop of white foam attached to the tub wall and in slow motion slid down slowly progressing toward the drain.
Obviously I had done it wrong.
Read the instructions.
Maybe I got a defective can.
I mean, I totally KNEW that there wouldn’t be full-color scrub brushes racing around the bathtub…didn’t I?
I scrubbed out my disappointment with plops of white foam.
In order to save face, I had to play off that the scrubbing bubbles really did change my life.
They became a regular addition to the family’s shopping list. It became a tradition that is filled with nostalgia, excitement and a reality-check.
There are times as an adult that I wish that I could truly believe in whirly scrub brushes.
We have to encourage our kids to perform the playlet on the aisle of the grocery store.
They deserve the dream because reality in 2018 comes way faster than it did in the 1970s…