Monday, August 9, 2010

towel etiquette

I like my roommate. Really. He's a nice guy. He turns down the music when I go to bed, he makes polite conversation at the appropriate times, and he once offered me a single piece of pizza from the two dozen he had crammed in the fridge. I mean, aside from his refusal to recycle, take out the trash, or unload the dishwasher, I'd say he's a pretty grade-A roommate.

Not that I can really fault him for not unloading the dishwasher, as I think every man I've ever known refuses to unload the dishwasher, and I know at least five men (former roommates, curse their souls) who refused to use one.

Granted, he's not the best roommate I've ever had. That honor probably goes to my buddies back in college, who jointly decided to applaud anybody who ever entered the apartment. I tell you, there's nothing like walking into a room full of applauding men. You could have just failed a final, just found out your girlfriend was cheating on the man with whom she was cheating on you, or been forced to backpack a gallon of milk across campus because you don't own a car,1 but walking into a room full of clapping dudes makes you feel like a rock star. A stupid, single, car-less rock star, but a rock star nonetheless.

I've tried re-implementing that policy at work, and it really hasn't caught on. I mostly get hateful stares.

But I digress.

The only thing really problematic about my roommate is he seems to have skipped his Towel Etiquette general ed class at BYU. Now, I took it as an AP course, so my memory is a bit rusty, but I distinctly recall acing the test, mainly because it consists of but two questions:

Is it acceptable to place your towel on top of your roommate's towel?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Anybody answering Yes should be summarily waterboarded

Under what conditions is it appropriate to use your roommate's towel?
  • Any and all conditions; it doesn't matter! It's not like the towel touches and dries every square inch of your body, including those inches that should never been seen nor heard of! That's not gross at all!
  • If it prevents you from being forced to prance and skip around the bathroom to air dry, it's okay to use.
  • Nuclear war could be upon us, the British could be coming, the sum of all human knowledge and culture could be evaporating before us in a gigantic mind-melting supernova, and yet never would there exist a day in which it is appropriate to even brush against, let alone touch, let alone USE your roommate's towel.

Luckily, he got the last question right, but failed the first. But that's okay. I can keep removing my towel from underneath his every. single. day. Not a problem.

No, life has been pretty good around these parts. Why, just the other day I showered and used my towel, folding it up in the same way I always fold it, because, yes, I have serious psychological issues.

My roommate happened to have some friends in town that day. They did their business and left on their merry way. As I returned to the bathroom, there was something strange...something foreign...something wrong. I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Until I saw it.

The folds were moved. The tag stuck out. My towel was newly-wetted.

I can't quite describe what happened next, but I found myself hyperventilating on the floor several minutes later.

I don't know in what world it's considered normal to use your host's roommate's towel, especially since, as my other roommate mentioned afterwards, "it's not like there aren't six clean towels under the sink". Alas. This must be something new the young kids have picked up these days.

In related news, I've found Egyptian Cotton burns quite well.

1. I'd like to go back to the former me and suggest I not use my internal frame pack to transport groceries. That really didn't do much for my self image.


Emily said...

"host's roommate's towel"
This was my favorite part.

Josh Bingham said...

Chris, whatever your day job should quit and become a comedy writer. Such a funny post!

Marie said...

in defense of the visitors: sometimes it's hard to tell which towels are used and which you can safely wipe your hands on. maybe you are extraordinarily clean with your towels. but probably not.

Aroura said...

The question is... do you have a handtowel clearly specified for said drying of hands? If not, you are to blame. Hopefully you at least provide soap only for washing of hands (I don't know what it is about single guys and lack of handsoap, nothing is ickier than having to use the bar of soap out of the shower in desperation)

Unknown said...

I recently moved in with two male roommates. Neither of whom even KNEW what a hand towel was (they both thought it was a washcloth). 🙄