Granted, it’s probably the green thing to do, but I’m a resource glutton and have caused to deteriorate my own little sheet of the ozone layer—St. Peter will just have to add it to the list of grievances to be read at The Pearly Gates, along with my tendency to steal a sip of orange juice straight from the carton in the refrigerator.
I have serious issues with reusing my bath towels day after day. It just ain’t right. Not how I was raised.
In a house where shower-time was monitored and dishes were done with a sink of water that was about two inches in depth and more Dawn than water, we still had standards: septic system or not, a new towel was used every day. My mother drilled this into me, and quite graphically.
The woman, obsessed with cleanliness and originator of the word “cackaroni” in relation to everything below her standard of immaculacy (and whom I am bringing into this only because, well, who can argue with the deceased?), painted for me a picture of dead skin cells, dust mites, and many other organisms whose names I’m sure she invented on the spot—a picture that drove me to, as I’m sure she intended, shun a used towel almost immediately after it has served its purpose—approximately five minutes after the completion of a shower, bath, or naked run through the sprinklers.
She scrunched her sweet little nose and shuddered whenever she heard tales of people (even family members!) who reused their towels. As though it was a religion all of her own making, she sat us kids down and gave us a talking to—she would not tolerate that sort of behavior in her household. And rightfully so. Of course, she smoothed over the fact that as a little girl, all five of her sisters used the same bath water—a bath that they all took only on Saturdays, “Whether we needed it or not,” she’d say. Um, yeah, cackaroni.
I have crossed those in adulthood who were not raised so stringently nor in the throes of such arrant anal retentiveness…and I pity them so. Do they not care about the dead skin cells? Nick argues with me—as countless others have (I can think of two right off the top of my head!)—that he’s clean when he uses the towel, why not reuse it when he’s clean again? Why not!—why not!? Well, if for no other reason, unless you’ve got one of those fancy schmancy towels that clearly delineate the butt-side from the face-side, you never know when you’re matchmaking counterpointed coordinates of the body, now do you?