Sharing the dirt on guest towels

I’m on the fence about using a guest towel in someone else’s home.

I only mention this because my sister-in-law, one of our daughters, and several close friends routinely keep paper guest towels in their bathrooms.

It’s an identity crisis of sorts. I see the pretty paper guest towels and ask myself, “Am I a guest or am I family?”

Is family ever a guest, and is a guest ever like family?

If my good friend notices a used pretty paper guest towel in the bathroom trash, will she think we’re not close friends after all?

There I stand, water running down my arms, soaking my sleeves, pondering how to dry.

To towel or not to towel, that is the question.

Tell you what is out of the question – those air dryers in public restrooms that sound like jet engines on takeoff. They’re so deafening that nobody stays until their hands are dry.

Yes, I do know there’s a war going on, but sometimes pondering banal matters of life can extend your sanity for a few more minutes.

The whole guest towel dilemma is complicated by the pretty factor. I like looking at the pretty paper guest towels; I’m just not sure I should use them.

Why use something so lovely when you can just shake your hands over the sink (sorry about splattering the mirror) then pat them dry them on your pants? Hand towels, pants towels. I’ve learned a lot from all these grandkids.

Years ago, I bought some pretty holiday guest towels that were on clearance.  They featured a pretty little snow scene with reindeer and a sleigh. Year after year, I put them out and nobody touched them. Each year I inched them closer and closer to the sink in case the message wasn’t clear.

The grew so old the edges were curling, so I snatched one up and used it for cleaning.  Santa was working double duty– delivering presents and doing windows.

My mother kept guest towels in the bathroom. She didn’t grow up fancy, and we didn’t grow up fancy, it was just a touch of loveliness. The pretty paper towels sat in a little metal holder and, of course, whenever we went for a stay, the kids raced to the bathroom to wash their hands.

“Don’t touch those – they’re for Grandma’s guests!”

“We’re Grandma’s guests!”

“No, you’re not guests! You’re family!”

I bought some pretty guest towels this fall. Fall leaves, acorns, you get the picture.

I was about to wash my hands in the bathroom that all our grands use. I looked at my paper guest towels, then at the cotton hand towel hanging all bunched up, dripping water, smeared with dirt and grime and who knows what else.

I was suddenly feeling like a guest in my own home.

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