Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My wife, the amenity thief

(Are these items found in a hotel in Hong Kong or in my bathroom in Danby, NY?  Answer: both.)

Step into any hotel room with my wife and you will immediately notice that there is no soap, no shampoo, no body lotion, and no bath cap in the bathroom.  Nada, zilch, zero.  Because you only just checked into the room, there is no way that you already took a shower, forgot that you did so, and used up all those products.  No, the answer to the disappearing amenities in the room is that they are already in my wife's bag.  I admit, somewhat sheepishly, that my wife is an amenity slut. 

As I flip through my bathroom at home, I see shampoos from Sheraton and Radisson hotels, body lotion from the Hilton Garden Inn, and sundry products from hotels or pensions in France and Costa Rica that we visited years ago.  We almost never have to buy shampoo for our home.  In fact, my wife could open a small boutique with nice smelling lotions from around the country and the world.  Bed, Bath and Beyond watch out!  There is a major competitor coming to a town near you and her name is Robin.  Mind you, my wife is not a true thief.  She does not steal towels, or bath robes, or pillows, or the tv remote from hotel rooms.  She takes only those items that they place there for your use; it is just that in her case, she "uses" them all within minutes of hitting the room.  Nothing illegal or immoral about this, but it is damn irritating to her roomie----me.

How am I supposed to take a shower or dabble moisturizing lotions over my dried up skin if she has them stowed away?  I have learned that on the second day of our stay, I watch for the housekeeping lady.  I slip out of the room, and I tell her I will gladly carry the amenities into our bathroom to save her the trip.  But I surreptitiously slide a shampoo or two into my pant's pockets for later use.  Later in the day, I have to calm my wife when she begins complaining about housekeeping and how they skimp on bringing ample amenities to the room.  When she is about to call the front desk, I quickly draw her attention to the mattress on which we just slept: "I feel a bit itchy this morning honey.  I'm going to check the underside of this mattress for bed bugs", I say, acting as uncomfortable as I can.  I took entomology in college, so she trusts my observational skills when it comes to insects.  I spend a good 6-8 minutes examining the surface and finally conclude there is nothing there.  "I must just have dry skin", which is true for sure since I HAVEN'T SEEN BODY LOTION SINCE 1976.  My ruse works.  By the time I finish looking for the fictitious bed bugs, she has forgotten there was no daily replenishment of her sought-after booty, and we move on to the lobby to look for free newspapers or magazines.

I like traveling with my wife most of the time.  And she is generous to a fault.  We have friends who run a lodge in the Adirondacks in New York.  When they visited us last time, my wife gave them a supply of loot from her hotel visits that they will use to furnish the bathrooms in six cabins.  Not sure what those guests will think when they read "Holiday Inn" on the soap in their room.  But if cleanliness is next to godliness, does it matter from whence the cleanser came?

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