Allow me to give you a little glimpse into our marriage. Perhaps you will be able to relate, and if not, at least you'll be able to point and laugh and congratulate yourself on having the sense to remain single.
Any couple will tell you that there are little things that just ARE about the other person. If you think for a moment you can change them, you're wrong. So wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. Did I mention wrong? Because if you can think you can change them, you're wrong. Really. Wrong.
Now, back in the early days I would have nodded politely at you and agreed. Sure! Of course no one can change anyone else! Internally, however, I'd be composing a list of reasons why in my particular case this would not be true. I could change people. I am clever. I have plans. They'll hardly even notice they're changing! And then, then, it'll be a happier world for everyone! My (yes MY!) genius and somewhat devious plan will have rid them of whatever annoying habit or idiosyncrasy they possesed. Naturally, it follows that I would be happier and then they would be happier as a result. See? Win win win!
Wrong wrong wrong. Are you listening yet?
You'll be happy to learn I no longer think I can change Superman (though believe you me there are times I really really really really really want to.) However, he sometimes insists, all on his own, that he will change, he won't do x, y or z anymore, really! It's OK, he's sorry, I really don't have to worry about it ever again. Oftentimes this does not prove to be the case, much to my dismay. My hopes are dashed as he unconsciously returns to doing whatever it was. I should know better by now but in this case I really wanted to have the upper towel rod. And for that reason I really wanted to believe him when he said he wouldn't use it.
Now, this towel thing is not new. When he installed the towel rods and asked me (he is a gentleman) which one I wanted I told him my preference for the higher one. I wash my face twice a day and the height is convenient for me to turn and dry off my face. As far as I knew he only uses his towel to dry off after a shower and so therefore the location wouldn't matter as much. When we have people over I lay out a hand towel but that gets in the way since we don't have a hand towel holder installed. When it's just us I expected us to use our respective towels to dry our hands after using the bathroom. Seems agreeable, yes? And he agreed.
So. On we went. Then a few times I caught him drying his hands on MY towel. Then I saw him drying his toothbrush on my towel (drying a toothbrush? Does anyone else engage in such craziness?!?!) And he still would use my towel to dry his hands. Ew! Even though he's not a builder any more (except for what's necessary to finish our house!) his hands are always dirtier than mine. Ew! Ew! Smelly dirt on my nice clean girly towel! Each time I noticed him using my towel I said something about it and each time he replied, "Oops, I normally don't do this; I guess I just forgot this time. Sorry. I'll stop." And since I really preferred the higher towel rack, I wanted to believe him.
I stopped believing him this morning, when, as I buried my fresh and clean face in my towel after washing my face - I inhaled the distinct, unmistakable smell of HIS body. Like, deodorant and everything. And it wasn't the "oh I miss him so I'll wear his sweatshirt to smell like him" kind of scent. It was more like a gag-inducing, "oh my GOSH this towel reeks, do I need to start washing them more often? And who does he think he is, anyhow, using MY TOWEL!?!?!" kind of scent.
Later on in the day I remembered to tell him about it.
Superman: OK I'm going to take my shower now.
Me: Oh hey, that reminds me, from now on your towel will be on top and mine will be on the lower rod.
Superman: Oh, ok. Why? I thought you liked the upper rod.
Me: Well, I do. It's just that this morning after I washed my face my towel definitely smelled like you'd been using it. It's no big deal. I can do the bottom. I just want to be the only one who uses my towel.
Superman: *matter of fact* Oh. I think that's because I used it to dry off my sweaty armpits the other day.
Me: *stares in utter shock and horror* You WHAT?!?!?!?!?!
Superman: *laughing his head off between words as he explains* Yeah. The other day I got out of the shower and put on my deodorant and then as I was getting ready it got really hot in the bathroom and I was sweating so I just dabbed my armpits with your towel.
Me: *spluttering* You... you...
Superman: *continues laughing at my reaction and tries to give me a hug and kiss despite my utter disgust* I love you!
Me: *unable to reconcile my realities* So. You're saying that this morning I plunged my FRESHLY CLEANED FACE into YOUR SWEATY ARMPIT?!?!?! AND THEN DRIED OFF MY FACE WITH IT?!?!?! I need to go wash my face.
We were both laughing pretty hard at that point and instead of marching off in an indignant huff to wash my face again, I sat down to write this post and he went off to take his shower (I don't care WHICH towel he uses at this point - they ALL go in the washer the second he's done.)
I now know and fully agree with the statement: the only person I have the power to change is me (and the location of my towel). Which is why my towel will be located on the lower rod from this day forward. It'll probably get half as much use.