Just Say “No” to Sharing Toothbrushes.
If I had not caught her doing it, my wife may never have admitted to “sharing” my toothbrush. I use quotations around sharing, because I feel that if one side has not consented to the share, then the share is null and void, and becomes borderline theft. It’s a form of deceitful borrowing; using and giving back, so technically not stealing, but still using without authorization.
The problem arose when my wife bought us matching toothbrushes. Sensing a future issue, we had used identifying markings on each brush, marked with a “permanent” pen. The thing about permanent ink is that even it is not impervious to daily moisture and friction when applied to a plastic surface. So the ink was no longer visible after a few weeks, but I could still see the indentations of the mark if I looked for it in the right light, at the proper angle. This was enough for me to sleep in peace; to know that I was still using my own brush. When I really think about it, I don’t know what’s worse: someone using your toothbrush (purposefully or not) and not telling you, or using someone else’s toothbrush and not telling them. Either way, it’s a germaphobe’s field day. That night I entered the bathroom, picked up my toothbrush, readied the toothpaste, and noticed at the last second that the bristles seemed oddly moist for having not been used since the morning. I didn’t take me long to realize that something had gone very, very, awry.
So is this absolutely insane, to be grossed out at the notion of sharing microscopic foodstuffs and saliva with your significant other? My gut tells me yes, but it’s also told me that my whole life. You’re taught at a very early age not to share beverages in any container because of the backwash potential; especially if the Sharer is a known bottle sucker (not a pourer, but a full lip-sealing, liquid siphoner). So is all that warning waived when you start kissing someone? If one’s significant other becomes ill, should they then not even put up a defence against acquiring that same infection? Should they just phone in the pending days off work they will have to take due to illness? Should the medicine cabinet be permanently stocked with Cold-FX, NyQuil, DayQuil, and every other product that seems to eradicate sickness at the same speed of natural healing?
Not limiting this story only to my wife’s devices, I have heard of, and seen, other instances of chewing gum, lollipop, and various care-free, saliva sharing methods. I’ve seen something like this go down before:
“Hey, can I have some of your gum?”
“Sorry, I’m chewing the last piece I had.”
“Oh, well that’s alright, just give me half of the piece you’re chewing now.”
“…are you serious?”
So, since I enjoy a good poll like anyone else, I am leaving this debate to the very same voting device that I subjected Lululemon to. Readers, to the Polls!