Our upstairs hallway bathroom has a beachy-slash-nautical theme. The colors are yellow (sun), blue (sky), and seafoam green (ocean). In keeping with this theme, we have the very cute soap dispenser pictured above.

Designed to look like–what?–a little cabana or changing room on the shores of New England or Florida (I’m not sure why I get an East Coast vibe, but I do), this soap dispenser has been sitting on our bathroom counter for over a decade.

The only problem is that the surfboards that you see attached to the side keep falling off of the dad-blamed dispenser.

And of course I say “dad-blamed” because most of the time, dad is (justifiably) blamed.

It then takes a couple spots of Super Glue to reattach the surfboard, and then for weeks we dance gingerly around the soap dispenser so as not to dislodge the newly-glued board. But the touch points where the board attaches are, as you can see, quite narrow and so it’s very hard for the glue to get a good grip so they disconnect easily and frequently.

So frequently, in fact, that we’ve taken to simply keeping the Super Glue in the bathroom medicine chest.  It’s enough to drive me bananas.

Now, if it were just me, I’d just throw the damned thing out.

But it’s NOT just me and the rest of the family would never have that, so we keep reaching for the Super Glue in the medicine chest.

The thing is, it’s begun to affect me on a subconscious level. The other night I had a dream that the yellow board had fallen off again and when I woke up in the morning and went into the bathroom, I saw that it was still attached. I breathed a sigh of relief and got in the shower. Dressing afterward, I slung my pants around to step into them, and my belt buckle hit the dispenser, and the yellow board disconnected and clattered—as you see in the photo—to the bathroom counter.

Looks like I’m psychic.

I read a lot of self-help and personal development books and though I can’t remember exactly where I heard this theory—it may have been anyone from Tim Ferriss to Jen Sincero—my annoying soap dispenser reminded me of a very simple practice that one of these self-help “gurus” recommended.

To wit:

Look at your life and start to identify those day-to-day irritants—those little things that drive you crazy—and start to eliminate them one by one.

The theory, I suppose, is that for every constant little irritant you remove from you life, your stress level goes down a bit. Eliminate enough of them and you’re living a significantly less stressful existence. It’s a reasonable theory and so, family dynamics and errant soap dispensers aside, I have begun implementing it in my own life.

Maybe it seems like it’s a little thing, but identify enough of them, and the little things add up.

Fewer irritants.  Less stress.

Makes sense.

Plus, it then gives you more bandwidth to tackle the BIGGER problems in your life because you’re not spending that finite time and energy Super Gluing surfboards to soap dispensers.

Know what I’m sayin’?

So here’s my challenge to you:

Identify the little irritants in your daily life.

Then take action to remove them.


Now don’t even get me started on the oversized mashed potato handmasher that is so big it keeps jamming the kitchen drawer in a way that makes it impossible to open.

It should be noted that no one EVER uses this particular kitchen utensil and it is our SECOND one because I threw the first one away for the very same reason and then suddenly everyone was like “where’s our mashed potato hand masher?” and I’m all like, “Are you kidding me?”

So with clenched teeth, I bought another one.

And the drawer keeps jamming.

This morning, while I was emptying the dishwashwer and putting stuff away, the handmasher once again jammed the drawer and so, in preparation for writing this piece, I removed the handmasher from the drawer and put it down with the pans.

We’ll see how long it stays there.

If you see me on the evening news in cuffs, you know it made its way back into the drawer. TZT

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4 years ago

? I too have a potato masher situation!! Thanks for sharing.

4 years ago

Get a hot glue gun. It will fix the soap dispenser. 🙂