Monday, September 15, 2008

Is There a Twelve Step Program for This?

I was unpacking from my trip and putting things away when it dawned on me that I have a problem. I was only gone for a couple of nights so I just had a small carry-on bag. After emptying it of clothes, toiletries and TSA inspected dirty underwear what was left in the bottom was the evidence that opened my eyes.


Taunting me from the bottom of that bag were the objects of my obsession. Bottles of hotel shampoo, conditioner, and skin lotion, and bars of hotel soap. The realization hit me when I brought them into the bathroom to put them away. Under the vanity resides one of those plastic laundry bags also taken from a hotel in which my booty is kept. When I picked it up it felt like it weighed about eight pounds and two thoughts hit me. The first was, damn I've been traveling alot. The second, I think I might have a problem.



Whenever I check into a hotel I immediately begin to plan my strategy to get as many as I possibly can in the time I have. I start by putting aside one bar of soap and one bottle of shampoo to use. Then the rest goes into my suitcase, completely out of sight of the maid. I try to make the bar and bottle I'm using last as long as I can and everyday when the maid leaves a fresh supply, into the suitcase it goes. I can't help myself. The stuff is like crack. If I'm walking down the hall of the hotel and there's an unattended housekeeping cart it's all I can do to keep walking. I tell myself that there's no challenge in simply raiding the cart. I must play the game with the maid for it to bring satisfaction. We must dance our little dance of supplier and addict. When the quality of the hotel and thus the quality of the merchandise goes up so too does the desire. The spa quality stuff is a huge score but it's also the hardest to get a lot of. The maids are stingy with it. The bargain level stuff is easy to get but doesn't bring as much of a high. The absolute worst are the hotels that have dispensers of liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner mounted in the shower. I have to force myself to stay. Of course in those cases (which are rare) it's also a practical matter. It gets a little frustrating having to pump the stupid button a hundred and twelve times to get enough shampoo to wash your hair. At least that's what I tell myself.

On this trip because I wasn't checking any bags the thought occurred to me that I may have a problem with TSA bringing all those little bottles through airport security. I mean, my god, I didn't have a one quart ziplock bag. And if I did would they all fit? Even that didn't stop me from taking those tiny little devils along for the ride. And the Denver airport was there for me, ready to encourage my habit. They provide free ziplock bags! And a table where you can repackage your liquids and gels. The BASTARDS!

I do try to make some good come of my obsession. When we packed up our house before moving from Florida I discovered there were two full drawers in the bathroom full of bounty. They filled at least two grocery store shopping bags. My wife could only shake her head. It turns out that women's shelters are happy to take these items as donations and that's what we did with them.

Then of course I immediately began to rebuild my supply.

They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step. I think I need help. I wonder if that place where David Duchovney is being treated for his sex addiction has any openings. And if they have free toiletries in the rooms.

14 comments:

BBC said...

Boy, I'm glad I don't live like you do. I don't even have a shower here, but that doesn't mean I'm dirty.

I've been getting in all the camping I can this year, as long as the world is going to hell anyway I may as well get out where I can find some sanity.

Peaceful paths to you. Bill

Tarot By Arwen said...

Oh dear. I am so with you on the Toiletries Anonymous. I unpacked once and discovered I had also re-appropriated the shower caps. I don't use shower caps. What was I thinking?

I judge hotels based on the smell of their soap. I have chased down maids in the hallways just to ask them if I can have more soap. The soap at the Luxor in Las Vegas still stands out in my mind.

I recently moved. I donated some (not all) of my mini soap stash to the local shelter. It was hard.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

BBC ya gotta find sanity where ya can. No shower? Well, if you need any soap let me know, I have plenty.

Hi Arwen. Yeah, it sure sounds like we could go to the same support meetings. I'm the same way about the smell of the soap too. I just have to have the really nice spa quality stuff.
Hey, as you probably read in my earlier post I was in Boulder again for a few days. This was a very hastily planned trip. Maybe the next time I'm out there for any length of time I could contact you to schedule a reading. Actually, as it turned out I had more than a few hours to kill on Saturday at the airport.

Tarot By Arwen said...

Bruce, I'd love to but I've moved to Austin (as of just under three weeks ago). Otherwise I would have loved to! If you get down this way....

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Arwen, timing is everything. I'm a day late and a dollar short. Well, if I ever get to Austin...
I hope you were far enough away that you were spared the worst of Ike.

Tarot By Arwen said...

Totally out of Ike's path. Rat didn't even spare us more than an hour's worth of a gentle rain and we needed it. 6k evacuees in Austin alone though.

Liza said...

Bruce, I'm right there with you on collecting the hotel toiletries. I don't know what it is about the little bars of soap and shampoo/lotion bottles. Good to know that I can donate them to a shelter in the future.

Hungry Mother said...

I'm right with you on that addiction. It all sounds so familiar. We have a basket in our upstairs (guest) bathroom that is filled with our booty from hotels.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Sounds like we have the makings of a support group. Or a bath and body store.

Malach the Merciless said...

The first step is admitting to the problem

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Okay. I admit it. I love getting booty in hotels. Wait a minute. That's not a problem!

Malicious Intent said...

um....I am not sure.....if I can help you with any sound advice here. Other than you could have a worse addiction. Like searching the net for the missing Sarah Palin sex video (that is Mikes) or collecting cans of creamed corn (that is my husband) or ...forget it...you are fine. Continue on...

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Collecting cans of creamed corn?

Malicious Intent said...

Did I say that outloud??? Shit.
Um, forget that...move on...nothing to see here.