Dear Shower Curtain Liner,
I am so very sorry. I thought I was doing you a favor--removing roughly three months' worth of soap scum from your lovely, once-transparent, now-somewhat-scummy surface. In the past I dealt frequently with one of your cousins (apparently from a tougher branch of your family tree, it seems). I frequently tossed said cousin in the clothes washer with some laundry detergent and hung him back up--sparkling, see-through, and utterly soap-scum free, ready to protect a pretty shower curtain from the perils of daily use by a cleanliness-obsessed American family.
Not so yourself. It would seem, my friend, that not all shower curtain liners are created equal. You were one of my frantic purchases in the week before my wedding. That crazy week wherein we closed on our condo on a Friday afternoon, after 4pm, and that evening while I had my bachelorette party, Mr. Loverman and a bunch of our guy friends moved all of my stuff (at Point A) and all of his stuff (at Point B) to our condo (Point C). I spent the following Saturday and Sunday making the condo inhabitable, and it was at this point that I realized I didn't have a shower curtain. Or a shower curtain liner. Or a shower curtain rod. Or shower curtain hooks. And, um, I should probably mention that this whole close-on-the-condo thing happened late in the day on July 10, and our wedding was on July 18. I'd spent the past two weeks living in the spare room in a friends' house, with all my stuff crammed in their basement, because the lease on the house where I'd been living before (with three roommates) ended on June 30. So, in addition to being in the last stages of planning a wedding, I found myself essentially home-less with no guarantee that the home we were trying to purchase would close before our wedding. It was clearly an act of God that the condo closed at the eleventh hour, one whole week before the wedding, and that Mike and our friends were able to move me in that same day. And you, dear Shower Curtain Liner, were the cheapest money could buy at Target. (When you're first-time homebuyers and footing the bill for your own wedding, there isn't much, ahem, spare change. And besides, it's six days till your wedding and the last thing you want to be doing with all that spare time you have is making another trip to the store to buy a shower curtain liner so you can wash your hair, dangnabit! A shower curtain liner is a shower curtain liner, right?)
Wrong. When I pulled you out of the clothes washer this afternoon, little friend, you looked like you had been in an altercation with Tyrannosaurus Rex and lost. You were literally shredded. I had no idea that you were such a wimp. I hung you up anyway, the better to survey the damage, and as it turns out, the shreddage was mostly along one side and the bottom of that same side. So, as long as I hang you up with that side far from the shower head, and as long as I don't get too splashy, I can still use you tomorrow morning. Because I'm not going to have a chance to get your replacement tonight.
But seriously?? You couldn't handle one little go-round in the washing machine? Please don't tell me that I'm the only OCD person who doesn't like slimy shower curtain liners. I know I can't be the only person who launders them. And I really truly wasn't dreaming all those years that I washed another liner--in the washing machine--and it was none the worse for wear. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure it got stronger.
The point is, when I go to a Place of Commerce tomorrow, I'm not going to buy the cheapest liner they offer. I'm going to buy one with suction cups, the better to adhere liner to wall (because wet shower curtains really bother me too), and I'm going to scrutinize it through the packaging and do whatever one does to determine toughness and hold-up-ability prior to purchase. Because I know that, a few months down the road, I will once again be overwhelmed with the urge to rid my shower curtain liner of soap scum. And I'm not going to wash it by hand.