Ragged Towels and Trimmed Veggies

I was frantically calmly cleaning the bathroom this past Saturday for my husband’s and son’s birthday party on Sunday. It was ‘the family’ party, meaning that my parents & in-laws were coming. Meaning I had to up my game a little. My Mother-in-law has a spotless house; you could eat off the top of the fridge on any given day. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned the top of the fridge – I’m lucky that the outside was cleaned, well at least the parts not covered by fridge art… ya know what they say: out of sight – not gonna be cleaned.  Oh wait, that’s what I say*.  My mom – well, she’s my mom – enough said.  I typically live in a superficially clean house. Don’t bring the white glove and don’t look too closely. I find NOT wearing my glasses around the house makes it look better.

Anyway, I took down the dirty towel and searched for one that wasn’t either decrepit, worn around the edges, stained with hair dye or the size of a small island.  I was coming up rather short. I realized that all my towels were less than stellar. But I cannot bear (bare?) to get rid of a towel just because it’s a little frayed at the edges.  I feel the same about clothing. It seems so wasteful to get rid of a towel just because it’s not perfect; it still functions like it did when it was pristine. My towels are clean – does that count for anything?  I don’t know – am I cheap? I don’t think so – I think apathetic to social niceties might be more accurate.

Then later, I was trimming veggies and thinking that this is the ultimate Western World mentality. We trim off perfectly edible parts of vegetables – when in other countries around the world, people would NEVER think to trim any part of it because it didn’t ‘look perfect’.  They use every single bit of the vegetable because they do not have enough food as it is- much less any to waste on aesthetics. So how come I will not throw out a towel until it’s just a threadbare rectangle but I waste food?   I don’t know – and I don’t really know where this is going – it just occurred to me how weird my world is at times.

So when you come to my house – please don’t judge me by my tatty towels; I’m not sure what the state of my veggies will be, however. _______________________________________________________________________________

*Ok – I have to state that my kitchen is clean – I cook & bake a lot and never want anyone to feel uncomfortable eating anything that comes out of my kitchen…but it’s not spotless like a adept cleaner would keep it. The rest of the house?  Um…..superficially clean….so here’s a tip: don’t eat off my bathroom floors. 

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About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
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32 Responses to Ragged Towels and Trimmed Veggies

  1. I keep my towels forever too! As for clothes, I’ve never thrown any away (except holy undergarments, and even that takes serious willpower to get rid of!) – they always go to charity. I’ve gotten a bit better on the food wasting – I’ve started trying to do composting and whatnot. After working in a food place I became really aware of food waste. But I definitely won’t judge your tatty towels!

  2. mirkinfirkin says:

    A towel is a towel, if it does its job. Nice one are for company and the others are for everyday. Vegetables are vegetables. Provided it’s not bad, its a vegetable.

  3. mudlips says:

    Not only do I have ragged towels, but I actually eat the parts of the veggies that others might throw away. One secret: soup. Actually, two secrets, the second is an immersion blender. It’s quite remarkable how a boiling pot of water and that stick blender can turn any ugly veggie part into a delicious soup broth. And those ragged towels, yup, I know that they’re clean.

  4. Lu Mabey says:

    I have four “hand towels” that I bought for company, I got them in a dark color because when they are not being used for company I use them to wipe the dogs muddy feet, so when you come to a Mabey family party at my house be sure and hang out in the kitchen, wipe your hands on the ratty monkey towel that I love and eat out of the compost with me!

  5. unfetteredbs says:

    Laughing and enjoying this post a great deal as I was doing the same thing yesterday– had my MIL and family over for my daughter’s b-day dinner. Sometimes you just have to say screw it– love me or hate me for the way I am. I got kids, I work full time and can only do so much cleaning and prep! My kitchen is clean.. my towels look like they have been through a war. It is a trade off..When your husband uses the damn towels to clean everything.. what can you do? I am not going to throw them out either. 😉 Happy celebrating Rutabaga!

  6. It’s funny the things we notice about ourselves when we’re really not plannining to notice anything. Sometimes I catch myself arranging the clothes in my closet into a color gradient. When I realize what I’m doing, I always think “Maybe I’m subconsciously obsessive-compulsive.” Great post! I love reading your stuff!

  7. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Yes, I was going to say, composting somehow makes me feel better about the veggie trimming thing. We eat a lot of fresh veggies so it’s nice to turn the scraps into fertilizer for next year. And I’m sure your house is just fine, Denise – but I can relate to the cleaning thing when family comes to visit!

  8. rossmurray1 says:

    You are a terrible consumer, which makes you a good person. Use it ’til it dies, I say! As for food waste, compost alleviates all guilt.

  9. TAE says:

    Old towels are great for cleaning, you can often cut them up and use them for car polishing and whatnot. The food wasting I totally get. I was partly raised by my grandmother who grew up in and after WWII, when they cooked potato soup from peels. I get physically angry, when somebody doesn’t eat the pizza crust for example – these things have been engrained in me.
    But I usually look the other way…life’s too short.

  10. First world problems.
    Our house is itty bitty so it’s REAALLY clean (because if I let it get away from me even a teensy bit then it looks like a hot mess) but it can get cluttered. Read: stuff that has no home on top of my very scrubbed clean fridge. It is what it is. When my ratty towels start to bug me I rip them up and use them as cleaning rags. I actually don’t have much in the nice housewares department. I think you get all that cool crap when you get married annndd… I’m not married.

  11. haha! I would never judge you by your tatty towels. I will offer my little hint though… once a towel is deemed tatty it rotates into the bag of cleaning rags. There it will feel quite at home with all the other fraying, stained and holey cloths, which, might I add, are happy to find a new purpose and new friends. (Did you read my post on personifications? Yes, even tatty towels have feelings.)

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