Dispensing with the nonsense

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dispenser 1Continuing on with my unintended but apparently thematic week, now it’s time to discuss my endlessly thwarted efforts to provide a stylistically and color-coordinated match for my guest bathroom in that most critical of items – the soap dispenser.

Now I, like many of my generation, was raised on soap dishes and bars of soap. Even when the liquid soap phase became more often the norm than the exception, I was equally satisfied with either format.

Each has its charms. For the liquids, you could buy colorful designs or intriguing shapes. With the bar soaps, you could get those the “arty” types, like roses or other objects, with accompanying scents.

In fact, it was probably my Halloween parties which ultimately switched me over to liquid. While picking up my usual batch of accessory decorations for the house, I noticed a display of liquid soap dispensers specifically for Halloween. I am such a sucker for anything new and Halloween.

It wasn’t long before my master bath also switched to liquid hand soap (bars still used for showers). Then came the remodeling, making over both bathrooms with granite counters.

The colors I chose were beautiful, but without thought to accessories like towels and soap dispensers. Who knew that the latter would prove the most challenging.

The master bath was a gold-hued color while the guest bathroom had a more copper cast.  Over time, I was able to find the exact color appropriate towels.

Initially, I matched the brushed nickel fixture finish with similar style dispensers.  Problem: the “brushed nickel” dispensers were not that and they developed random rust spots. Meh.

One random day shopping in Target, I noticed the perfect soap dispenser on display. Color and size and sugar and spice were all nice. It matched like a charm for my guest bathroom and I lived in peace and harmony for a time.

Until…two critical events happened.

First, the pump on the soap cracked and began leaking soap. Quite unattractive and thus not allowable in the “guest” (read: showy) bathroom. Bonus points due to the dispenser being a pudgy thing that would not match up to other pump tops.

Second, my Stepmom gave me a set of towels and encouraged me to display them. These were green and gold towels and, while I dutifully put them out in the guest bathroom, they required me to go get a green soap dispenser.

This new soap dispenser turned out to be as cheap as it cost (sorry, Wal-Mart, dem’s da facts). I vowed to return to my copper-colored accessories as soon as my green team ran out of utility (i.e., the green box of Kleenex and the remaining liquid soap in the green dispenser). I rationalized this would fulfill my duty to my Stepmom.

But I was still left with a quandary. What to do for a matching soap dispenser?

I visited malls and stand-alone stores and faced frustration at all. From Bed, Bath and Beyond to Home Goods, I could find orange or yellow or copper (metal), but not gold or copper hued (without tacky designs).

Finally, brainstorm junior hit me as I wandered through Wal-Mart. I unscrewed about a dozen soap dispensers before choosing one with a pump I felt matched the width of my original dispenser. I had to perform some minor surgery (stem reduction), but the pump and dispenser worked (it might even look better now).

In the meantime, I spent some time on everyone’s favorite web mart, Amazon, and found a reasonably close color match dispenser. This was a “foamer”, but unique in that it allowed you to “make your own foam” by mixing one part soap with 5 parts water.

I’ve not been a big “foamer” man, but I was intrigued (think of the savings!), so I ordered it and I have to say I am quite satisfied.

Most importantly, I now have two perfectly appropriate soap dispensers and can finally dispense with the search nonsense.

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