Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Hotel Soap (Evan)

Technology can be a little scary when it is better than us. I backed up my photos to Google recently, and they have gotten very good with facial recognition. It isn't turned on automatically, presumably because it will freak people out. Once you flip the switch, Google Photo sorts all your photos into folders by person, place and thing (e.g. stadiums or beaches). It's awesome. I had scanned photos for my brothers 40th, and it turned out a former dance partner of his was a former colleague and friend of mine! Despite knowing each other for 14 years, we had never connected the dots. Another colleague from that time, Evan Andreou, has a face you don't need Google Photo recognition to remember. We used to have a lot of fun doing presentations together and coming up with dots to connect to encourage people to save. Turns out, the answer is soap...

Evan and a less hairy Trev back in 2006

The Curious Case of Hotel Soap
by Evan Andreou


On one of my numerous trips around the country last week, I woke up in my hotel room and went to the shower. In the bathroom, I opened my toiletry bag and took out my razor, toothbrush and shower gel; I proceeded to shower and do the shaving bit. On completion, I repacked my bag, and also packed in all the assorted bits and pieces provided by the hotel. Thinking back on this action, I have no idea why I did it. I also tend to do it at pretty much every hotel I visit, and over time have collected a veritable pot-pourri of mass produced mini soap, shower gels and body lotions, along with the occasional sewing kit and shoe mitt.

Evan the Soap Thief/Collector

I don't like the soap, shower gel, or body lotion and yet I do it, regardless. Is it some form of kleptomania? Am I a closet soap collector? The answer, simply, is no. I cannot tell you if it is some repressed childhood memory of an aunt with a jar of collected matchbooks or teaspoons, but I do know what my rationale is for doing it. I am scared that I am going to wake up at home one day and my wife will have forgotten to buy soap with her grocery shopping, and we will be unable to bath or shower. At this point I will leap to the rescue with an assortment of soap and save the day.

In 25 years of marriage, my wife has never forgotten to buy soap, and as a result numerous char ladies and gardeners have been gifted bags full of soap and lotions over the years. It still doesn't prevent me from doing it every time though. 

I also realised that I follow a very similar methodology with regards to savings. I put away money every month, and have done for over two decades, for the one day that I don't get a paycheck. Touch wood, it hasn't happened yet, and hopefully won't happen for some time, but sadly the day will come, and when it does I will have a motley collection of unit trusts, shares, retirement funds and other bits and pieces to keep me clean.

I believe the secret is to treat savings like buying groceries; an essential practice, without which we will starve.
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