Leftover Soap and Other Random Observations

This morning in the shower, I discovered that I had somehow managed to victoriously attach the previous sliver of soap to the new bar! The 2 bars are now one and I am mighty proud of myself for being able to “save” this tiny scrap of soap by making it part of the bigger bar.

You see… I don’t know if you know it or not, but this isn’t always an easy task. Sometimes the bars are too dry, or not the proper texture or shape and therefore do not fit together in a manner that is conducive to creating what I like to call: “THE-PENNY-PINCHING-BIG-BAR.”

But as I happily lathered up, all the while rejoicing in my sudsy little victory, I couldn’t help but wonder… Am I the only one who does this? And if not… then how many OTHER people do this too? I mean, it’s not as though anyone taught me to do this. It wasn’t a rule growing up that THIS was indeed the way we dealt with the leftover, sorry-looking scraps of Zest, Ivory, Irish Spring or Dial in order to save money. We just never threw any soap out. All of it got used up. So I guess I just learned it all by myself—this silent bathroom behavior—And I have a strong suspicion that I am NOT the only one.

Which also begs the question: How many other quirky “behaviors” do we humans share that we are neither taught, nor that we discuss? I have come up with a few of my own observations here…

How many other people …

  • Intentionally leave a few squares of toilet paper on the roll so that they will NOT have to be the one to change it? Is it that difficult to change a roll of toilet paper?
  • Purposefully do not entirely empty milk containers, OJ or 2-liters and put them back in the fridge for the exact same reason?
  • Race to put on your turn signal before anyone else can while waiting for a spot in a parking lot as a way of communicating to the other drivers that you have, in fact, CLAIMED this soon-to-be-empty space by silently “calling it” with your little blinking light?
  • Squeeze the empty tube of the toothpaste SO freakin’ FLAT that it could actually double as a prison shank… in order to get that last little dollop of tartar-controlling, cavity-protecting, whitening, minty-fresh, evergreen-goodness onto your toothbrush INSTEAD of just opening the new one? What do you save? Like 1/1000th of a cent?
  • Have 500 upsidedown bottles of lotion, shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, hand soap, etc. sitting around your house on various shelves or in cabinets (even though you are totally using the NEW ones) in the hopes that you WILL, one day, use them all up and therefore feel better about yourself?
  • Keep a drawer in your kitchen stuffed to overflowing with restaurant menus, expired coupons, dried-up glue sticks, misshapen paper clips, broken crayons, extra buttons, bobby pins, safety pins, hair ribbons, plastic combs with half of their teeth missing, pens with no ink in them, dull pencils, petrified erasers, empty scotch tape dispensers, the ace of spades, 1/3 of a yard stick, a handle from something, a key for some lock… somewhere, a piece of string, 10-year-old anti-itch ointment, nails, screws, nuts, bolts, hard candy, a bottle opener from 1967, inappropriate refrigerator magnets, a phillips screwdriver with some kind of unidentifiable gunk on the end of it (rendering it useless), chunks of sidewalk chalk, matchbox cars, plastic sunglasses with one lens missing, a rusty swiss army knife, smooth emery boards, cracked rubber bands, shredded twist-ties, and last but not least… crumpled business cards for individuals you have never even heard of?

Admit it. You have one of these drawers. And if you don’t… 50 bucks says your mother does. What are we hanging onto this crap for? Chances are, if your drawer is anything like mine… it is literally 3 feet away from the GARBAGE CAN! Aren’t we human beings interesting? Almost all of us do these things and yet, like I mentioned earlier, no one seemingly taught us how… we just kinda figured it out on our own.

These are just a few examples. Please feel free to add to this list. I know that THIS inquiring mind would REALLY like to know!


15 thoughts on “Leftover Soap and Other Random Observations

  1. I think I only do the toothpaste one. The liquid-type soaps are something I’m actually sort of obsessive about in a slightly different direction – I refuse to open a new thing until the old one is completely gone, even though, yes, I’m dying to open the new one.

    I do have a junk drawer, but I purge it regularly of anything I don’t/won’t use. (I do this with my clothes too.) It’s not because I’m especially organized, but that purging my junk gives me a really happy feeling of accomplishment.

    • I wish I had your discipline and sense of accomplishment when it comes to purging! I’m not afraid to throw things out and I’m certainly not a hoarder… not even close. But I just never “get around” to doing the purging that I should do to clean things up and make life easier. My biggest issue is clothing. I don’t wear it… so why am I hanging onto it? 😛

  2. Joanna, it started with your grandparents (probably even before that) because there was no such thing as disposable. They grew up during the depression. They saved EVERYTHING! It could always be used again!!! (or still). After they passed away, we found a complete dresser drawer full of small soap bars from hotels . All dried up and useless but…maybe not! (so they thought) Definitely the word for us is BALANCE. Throw away that razor that is chewing up your skin but keep that bottle until the last drop of whatever is in it is gone. Your dad cuts the top half of containers off so he can get to the rest of the cream, lotion, ointment or paste waiting in the recesses of the corners/bottom. Remember waste not, want not. Was that Ben Franklin?

  3. I can totally relate to your post. The junk drawer is like a time capsule of our lives! I know this is morbid but I try to go through the junk drawer every few months because I do not want to be remembered for the junk I keep in there – I know morbid. What about the rest of the closets right???

    A family friend would melt down broken or worn down crayons and make new crayons or candles. My dad was a collector of wood, machine parts, hangers, and hoses – never knew when you could mend something with the junk just laying around – must have been from growing up on a farm. It is crazy what we keep and sometimes end up collecting because of SOMEDAY, yes someday I will get around to using it or find a purpose for it.

    Great Post!

  4. Those are some funny observations! I sometime try but usually fail with the soap venture. I no longer bother with the stupid shampoo bottles, that’s just a waste of time and energy. Nothing come out anymore when it is down to a half an inch. I used to have a terrible messy junk drawer. It was in a cart that the microwave sat on top of. Then we got rid of cart. I threw a lot of stuff out and the rest was mixed in with the large junk stuff in the cabinest of the cart. All of that stuff is sitting in a bag in a room. Can you believe I don’t want to get rid of it?! Thats nuts. And in a few years time I have not had the time or energy to go through it. That is just crazy. I wonder if apes do this sort of thing too. With leaves and sticks and stones.

    • Haha! That’s an interesting thought! I wonder if they DO? You know… this stick is really special and important to me, I haven’t the heart to throw it out. Even though I haven’t used it in over a year, you just never know when one of the other apes will annoy me to the point of beating them to death with it… so I guess I’ll just hang onto it for safe keeping. Thanks for that thought!

  5. JT says:

    Joanna I had to laugh I would bet 90% of people have a similar drawer or some such thing, alaways with the tought that hey I may need this one day. I have to ask because this tickled my my funny bone is it a third of a yard stick or just a 12 inch ruler in there? 😀

  6. ah yes the junk drawer, full of yesterday’s leftovers that could become tomorrow’s necessity…how could you possibly throw any of it away (LOL). My mother has this dish (a portable junk drawer) which has traveled to every house we lived to. It has a mushroom design on it (to give you an idea of it’s age) and has quietly resided on top of our various fridges through the years. It’s inconspicuous home has allowed it to collect prehistoric junk, without having to confront daily scrutiny or a sense that we’re losing prime storage space to it. I shake my head at the thought of my mother packing it up in the “fragile” box every time we moved!

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