Digging in my hall closet this morning, I noticed that I have just way too many bath towels. My natural curiosity aroused, I quickly made a towel inventory, and found that I own sixteen serviceable bath towels, plus three more that are in poor condition and are suitable only for dusting and cleaning up greasy messes. But let’s stick with the sixteen good ones. I simply do not need that many.
My bath towel cycle is one week. I use the towel, throw it over the shower curtain rod, and it dries out. I use it again the following morning, and I rotate in a fresh one each Friday. As a man living on his own, I think this is a reasonable procedure. Were there a woman in residence, I’m certain she’d want her own towel, and she’d want to change towels more often, and we’d be sending far more detergent into the ground water and using far more fossil fuels to heat wash water, but if she were willing to perform certain services, I would overlook the damage we were doing to the environment (to tell the truth, most of the women I know would probably be stingier with laundry than I would, and they’d also probably follow me around making sure I unplugged all the power strips that I wasn’t using).
Many people keep stuff because they’ve developed some sort of emotional attachment to it, but I am not attached to my towels. They clearly come from several different stops – there are four blue ones that match, and three green ones, and three cream-colored ones with red and green stripes, and the rest are just random – I can’t even remember when I got any of them. The only towels I can recall really liking were a set of wine colored, extra large, extra thirsty ones that I bought for my new bachelor apartment after my second divorce. They were great on cold mornings, and the ladies loved them. If her hips were small enough, we could wrap one of those towels around both of us, and if they weren’t, we could have a lot of fun trying.
My brother has those towels now. He was getting ready to move to Chicago while I was moving in for the third of my four stays in my parents’ basement, and all of my belongings were packed in boxes and piled up along a wall. Mom was going through them for things my brother might be able to use, and she found those terrific, wine colored towels. In her plaintive-yet-stern mother voice, she asked, “Can your brother have these?” In a moment of unfathomable magnanimositude, I agreed. I hope he enjoyed them. That girl he was dating for so long had really slim hips.
Getting back to my present bath towel allocation, with sixteen towels and using one per week, each towel might sit in my closet, unused, for as long as four months. It is a sin to allow something useful to go unused, and as I often say, “Anything you have that’s more than you need comes at someone else’s expense.” I started to wonder what else I have sitting around the house that isn’t getting used, so I made a quick census:
- Three alarm clocks. None of them works very well. I wonder if it’s possible to take them apart and build one good one?
- Three VCR’s, and a bunch of tapes that I keep saying I’m going to put onto DVD but I never do.
- Over fifty shirts, including two I just bought last week (at the thrift store, no less).
- Two lock boxes. I have two important papers: my social security card and my car title. Do I really need a lock box for each one?
- Piles of old paperwork that are meaningless now.
- Way too much food. I should cook for myself more, but it’s not going to happen. In an occasional fit of enthusiasm, I stock up my pantry, and a few months later the food spoils and I throw most of it away. This is the worst thing I can confess, at least from my recent life.
What then must we do? Find a place for these things. That’s why Spirit directs things to us, so we can put them where they will do the most good or be of the most benefit. Starting with the towels, I’d say I need half a dozen – my laundry cycle is about one month, so that’s four or five towels at one per week, plus an extra one for emergencies. I think I’ll keep the green ones and the cream-colored ones, launder the rest to get the dust out of them, then pack them up with about twenty shirts I haven’t worn in years and haul them to Goodwill. And if I should happen to need more towels to appease some future girlfriend, I’ll make my brother buy them for us.
Copyright 2012 by Mud Toe Sasquatch – all rights reserved.