19 September 2011

True Confessions

Don't ask me why, but I was reading Town & Country not too long ago - fluff, you know, upper crust fluff - it was in the waiting room where I was getting a mammogram. I was distinctly amused to find in it an article* about stealing soap from hotels, with the subhead What is it about hotel soaps that inspires such avarice among even the most sensible of people? I mean, really, did you think that the readers of Town & Country would bother to pilfer the amenities?

I confess. I always take the soap. And the shampoo and conditioner and lotion. And sometimes the shower caps. It's like a little souvenir. And occasionally, if it's a swank hotel, it's a really nice little souvenir. Of late, I've been using conditioner from the Del Coronado - I open the bottle and the citrusy-coconuty scent wafts me back to San Diego. And I'm at the tail end of a bottle of Bulgari body lotion from the Four Seasons in New York - I slather it on my legs and think wistfully about the big suite we hung out in for my mother-in-law's birthday. Yeah, sometimes you get something truly indifferent, but the seven year old doesn't care what her conditioner smells like.

I don't travel enough for my soap acquisitions to make much of a difference. But my father? He travels all the time. And he takes the soap too. (I guess it runs in the family.) And because he travels so much, it starts to accumulate, so when I go to visit, I steal his pilfered soap from him. It's getting complicated, right?

But here's the true confession, the one I can't believe I'm about to share. I take all of the little bottles of shampoo, and I pour them all into one big one. It's some crazy Yankee frugality mixed with a bit of stick-it-to-the-man.

I can't remember the last time I bought shampoo.




*I'd link to the article, but I can't find it anywhere; Town & Country doesn't seem to have entered the digital age. USA Today summarized it, though.

16 comments:

leanne said...

I like that you steal soap from your dad.

I'll confess that I don't usually use the hotel shampoo or conditioner. I usually bring my own. I'm a creature of habit.

Quiana said...

So funny! My dad has tons of hotel toiletries too. I was alarmed last time I visited him. LOL!

susan said...

My first marriage ended in 1990. I still have 5 bars of soap in the closet that came from my former spouse's grandmother--who died in '88 or so--and who had hoarded soap from her travels across Canada. I always thought it would be a cool thing to take a trip and follow in her footsteps (although I am sure many of the hotels are closed). The soap stash got divvied up among family members and I ended up with some of it post-divorce. And it makes me happy to be still using it (even if the former-grandmother-in-law's house o' hoarding was a rather sad thing. I never saw it, but from the tales it was a bear to clean out.)

Slow Panic said...

i never thought of that. i don't usually steal the soap or shampoo but i love the little bottles of lotion.

ifbyyes said...

Something I could have lived without knowing: I have a friend whose parents run an Inn, and guess what?

When you don't finish off that little bottle of shampoo, and leave it in the room, they take it and pour it into another bottle along with other people's left overs to fill a whole new bottle.

That's why they're never sealed.

InTheFastLane said...

Oh ICK to that last comment.
I was going to comment, that wouldn't they have to throw the stuff away, if you don't take it??? But, I guess that isn't the case.... gah!

Rima said...

I always thought you were *supposed* to take the soap. My world has been turned upside down.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I definitely collect the shower caps. I'm too picky about my shampoo, but I believe you can also donate them to shelters (if your dad's supply gets overwhelming!).

Imperatrix said...

I love the shower caps! I'll take the bottles of shampoo and conditioner (not the lotion -- that I bring my own). I don't mix them up, though -- that's hard core!

kathy a. said...

i generally take all the extras, and mostly donate them to shelters.

anna ~ randomhandprints said...

love the idea of donating to shelters.

do not love the idea of getting other peoples left over shampoo - yet another reason to just go ahead and take it.

Kyla said...

I don't take it (and I usually bring my own toiletries unless it is a single night trip where I need to pack extra light), but I've always assumed that if I don't take it, it just gets tossed by the cleaning crew if it has been opened.

The Library Lady said...

I do occasionally take the shampoo and such. This summer we stayed in Hilton hotels and discovered they offer Neutrogena products, which I love, so I did take them. Plus the fancy schmancy "spa" stuff from the casino hotel at Niagara.

I'm not sure the chain hotels are retreading the toiletries. A lot of them seem to have seals, though I guess they could reseal them...

The Library Lady said...

Other reason I seldom take the stuff is that we are all curly haired (save the Man) and a lot of the stuff in hotels is crappy for our hair!

The Absence of Alternatives said...

I do too! And really, when my husband stayed at Le Meridian in Taipei and they provide L'occitane stuff? I lugged them all the way back to the US! Lately we have started using the soap we have collected over the span of many years so like you, we have not bought soap for a long time. The mini bottles are great for guests, camping trip, gym (so I was told...), etc. My company started a collection for these travel-sized toiletries for parents of children in the cancer ward. I was so excited when they did that. I brought in two giant bags that day!

julochka said...

i had a giant basket of all those pilfered shampoos and soaps in our guest bathroom, so guests could use them and feel pampered. and then we moved to a crappy old farmhouse and i don't have that anymore.

now, do tell, have you ever stolen a bathrobe from a hotel?