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Suburban Island

Tweezer Rules
Monday, Feb. 02, 2004, 10:58 p.m.

QUESTION: Magazine anyone?

WHAT I LEARNED: Bathroom breaks can be harmful to your walls.

My son stayed home from school today. He has bronchitis. My daughter is up in her bedroom watching back-to-back CSI episodes. Theyíre addictive. I had a McDonaldís fish fillet sandwich with fries and a diet coke for lunch. My son had the double cheeseburger meal. I spent an hour and a half visiting the pediatricianís office with my youngest. I worked from home all day. A kingís ransom in dry cleaning is hanging on the living room closet door handle. These clothes have been at the dry cleaners since before Christmas. Itís been so long since Iíd seen this clothing that I barely recognized them as my own. I am wondering about Janet and her Super Bowl "costume malfunction" today. Lucky for me, my clothes donít malfunction because I donít know where to buy those pasties.

Otherwise, I have finally completed my self-evaluation multi-part form for work. Of course, I think Iím doing swell. One thing about self-evaluation is that it takes 10 times more time and effort than when youíre manager just does it and tells you what they think about you and your excellent or sub-excellent self while you sit there and listen. Self-evaluation does allow you to point out your major stellar efforts and achievements and hang them out in the sunlight for all to see and marvel at. With the right manager, it just highlights the value they know you bring to the organization and reminds them of every drop of your goodness in the workplace. For the wrong manager, they just start typing their comments in the little blank spot they get to do their talking. Iíve been blessed with amazing managers the last few years.

Aside from the bronchitis, my son seems to be in pretty good form. Yesterday evening, in a spat of unforeseen boredom, he poked 5 tiny holes in the bathroom wall right above the toilet paper spinner and right below a picture of a 2 clever elephants taking a bath. My husband doesnít like little holes in the wall, as one can image. I never knew one wall could become such a family focal point Ė especially a bathroom wall. What did I know?

the real elegant elephants in tub print that graces our master bath

Now, I love a good bathroom break too but there are limits. Walls and tweezers must not be abused. Thatís why I stick to reading any National Enquirer, Star, or Globe Iíve succumbed to at the grocery checkout aisle, or stand and look at my face in a 5x mirror so I can be aware of every flaw up close, or stick to basics like brushing my teeth and such. Yes, I love the bathrooms in our house. How could I not? A bathroom is the only peaceful room in the house some days Ė a real sanctuary of sorts, a poor manís library, a beauty parlor, a spa - at least until someone starts standing outside the door calling my name as often happens to mothers in the course of their day. A bathroom is not, I repeat not, a room to poke holes in - however tiny and few those hole may be.

My lessons? Donít leave the $20 sharp-nosed tweezers I got for Christmas where a teenage boy can commandeer them during the standard bathroom break. Additionally, since kids like bathrooms as much as kitchens, as was underlined for me by the popcorn incident, it is good to have an idea how long any kid is in the bathroom enjoying the conveniences of running water, endless piles of magazines, and general bathroom ambience.

His lessons? First, people will notice when you poke the wall with tweezers even if you think they wonít. Second, reading a six-month-old copy of Family Circle or Womanís Day may be boring but it is definitely a better alternative than anything having to do with sharp tweezers.

Todayís Suburban Strategy: Diet Music...

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