|The Old Soap Dish
It doesn’t look like much. And to most, it probably isn’t much. Just a soap dish, from K-Mart, one might assume. Probably purchased in the 50’s. Pink plastic with removable drainer. The gold trim of its crown nearly worn from years of scouring with Comet Cleanser. At first glance, one might easily overlook the esteemed position it held through the years.
The soap dish held court at various locations in the old Victorian home—the big yellow house—as it sustained its royal status throughout the years the family resided within.
Court was first held upstairs beside the claw foot bathtub. The woman scooped the white Ivory bar from the dish, scrubbing the children’s skinned knees and alfalfa-entangled hair before wrapping each child in blanket-sized towels and carrying them downstairs, one by one, to the warmth of the oversized heat register to dry and dress in their flannel pajamas.
At other times, court was held at the guest sink in the small bathroom, not original to the yellow house but added years later in the empty space under the stairway. The woman placed a new Dove bar (her favorite) in the clean soap dish, and the beautiful, elongated white bar, embossed with the famous dove lasted quite some time in that location.
The years passed; the children grew and left the big yellow house; and the soap dish with the Dove bar was removed from its guest sink location, being replaced by liquid soap in a sterile, aloof, pump dispenser.
From that time on, court for the stately container was held in the back room of the old house, aside the jumbo cast iron sink and the old pitcher pump. A large, green coarse bar of LAVA soap now filled the dish, and the man used the LAVA bar several times a day, faithfully scrubbing his aging hands, ridding them of the evidences of hours of labor on his land. The soap dish was often covered with the dirty, dried bubbles of the resultant purification process, thus the woman used more Comet Cleanser, more often to clean the aging dish.
More years passed until the old man and the old woman sadly left the big yellow house. The old pink, plastic, soap dish rested alone and nearly empty, filled with but a sliver of coarse soap and covered with dried pumice ~ a simple, quiet remembrance of the old man, the old woman, and the family who had once inhabited the royal surroundings.
The little girl who had years before overlooked the pink, plastic soap dish and to whom the soap dish had once seemed silly and unimportant, had grown up, and one day, while browsing the back room of the empty house she had once occupied, her eyes fell upon the seemingly useless and meaningless container. Now she perceived it unlike she had in the past, scrutinizing every detail of its surface, regarding it in different light. Suddenly she recognized its royal significance. She gently carried it from the yellow house to her own home where she carefully cleaned it and placed it at a prominent position, once again releasing the soap dish to resume its noble post and to hold court . Now, in the time of fragranced, foaming, liquid soap selections, the soap dish holds a plain, white bar of Kirk’s Castile and is regularly but delicately cleaned in an effort to maintain its royal stature.
The little girl, now grown, understands that the old pink plastic soap dish doesn’t look
like much to the visitor or to the passerby. And to most, it probably isn’t
much. But to the little girl, it’s another sweet reminder of her stately past and a true confirmation of her royal heritage.