Not all that Glitters is Gold (and not all that is Shitty Smells)

The world is covered in shit.

I’m paraphrasing but it’s not fake news. I read it in a New York Times article.

The exact sentence is “The world is covered in a fine patina of feces.”

Poetic, no?

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It’s stayed with me ever since I read it in 2013 and it’s kind of become my mantra: The world is covered in shit.

This is what I tell myself each time I start getting too anal (pun intended) about germs and cleanliness (and bigger things too).

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Winning the Battle but Losing the War
Sometimes I try to win the war on bacteria. I have hand-san in most of my bags and carry disinfectant wipes when I travel. Sometimes I don’t hold on when using the MTR and I give people the side-eye when they leave the bathroom without washing their hands.

Sometimes I even open the door of public restrooms with a paper towel. You know, because this paper-thin paper towel will help me win my personal fight against germs.

But the world is covered in shit so guess what…I may feel better and a teensy bit superior using the paper towel but the bacteria are ultimately going to win because not only will they seep right through but, seeing as the world is covered in a fine patina of shit, it includes the surface area of the paper towel I’m using.

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Losing the Battle and the War
Remember when there was the discovery that if you nuked your dish sponge in the microwave it would kill all the bacteria? Like, you would have a completely brand-new sponge? Exciting, right!? That was a few years ago and it created a bit of a PR nightmare for the publications that forgot the caveat that if the sponge has any metal it’ll explode or, if it’s dry, maybe start a fire.

Well, fast forward to 2017 and media were reporting nuking a sponge indeed kills lots of bacteria but only the weak ones, which means there’s more space for the stronger and more resilient bacteria to take over.

So all along we were just making things worse because instead of weak shit in our sponge we’ve got strong shit. Shit….

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Taking Care of Business
My husband told me that he read an article based on a study that compared toilets. One toilet was cleaned often and the other not so much. Which, at the end of the study, had more bacteria? The toilet that was cleaned more often.

See? The more you try to get rid of shit, the more you get.

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And guess what, your smartphone has more bacteria on it than a toilet seat.

And your keyboard? The ones at the office have five times the germs of a toilet seat (but no mention of how much your personal computer may have.)

And handbags? They’re meant to stay in our hands but they end up on the floor a bit too often and that floor is definitely covered in all sorts of nastiness.

Last little factoid: Remember the five-second rule? It was proven wrong by university-level researchers who obviously had too much time on their hands and still believe in Santa Claus because obviously the five-second rule is BS. It was invented by parents who didn’t want to re-wash, re-prepare, and re-cook food that had fallen on the ground. These parents probably created the ‘no swimming right after lunch’ rule too.

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Dating Shit
You may ask yourself what does “The world is covered in a fine patina of feces” have to do with love and dating?

Well, let me tell you: Quite a bit.

You see, visible or invisible, shit is shit. Visible or invisible, they’re both just as shitty but…only one type bothers us because we see it. (Because shit out of sight, is shit out of mind.)

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Regardless if it’s visible or not, if it’s bad shit that makes you feel shitty, get rid of it. And commit to getting rid of it even if it’s not noticeable to others and especially if other people are telling you it doesn’t exist (you might want to consider getting rid of those people too if you think they might be gaslighting you).

The problem is we focus too much on the visible shit even if it’s not that bad overall. Maybe it’s a little bothersome or a little messy or a little unsightly. Yet, maybe you’re better off making some concessions and compromises and letting it stick around.

I think we too often discount people because of small details that are easy to notice. This is visible shit (being a metaphor of course) but inconsequential in the greater scheme of things.

On the other hand, we have seemingly shit-free people. So pristine. So godly. So pure. But they are the ones festering with poisonous and strong bacteria that should cleansed from your life.

We all have shit (be it emotional baggage from childhood, a propensity to talk without thinking, beer belly, mediocre credit score, etc.) but I don’t think these should be deal-breakers – especially if the person is open about it and are working on themselves.

It’s the ones who tell you they are shit free: no baggage, no scars, no problems (or if there are problems, no responsibility for them), that you need to be concerned about..

So can we please stop focusing on the easily identifiable shit? Can we stop being smitten by those who have charisma and the gift of gab but little else? Instead, let us focus on those who accept past shit, own their shit, and work to mitigate future shit.

Not all that glitters is gold and not all that is shitty smells…choose wisely.

xo Ariadna

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