Thursday, January 8, 2009

Guest Towels: Why They Count

There's something about guest towels. Some guests use them and many still don't. It's as if they think they don't deserve to wipe their hands on a nice piece of cloth, better to use their host's personal towel.

To use guest towels or not to use them depends on your own family's bathroom traditions. In many families, nice towels were just for 'show'. They were a way to create or complete the color scheme of the bathroom. Often, they took up valuable real estate and sent guests guessing. Is this for me? Is this for show? There's always toilet paper. But those little wet bits and pieces are so annoying and picking them off your hands is time consuming. 

Using 'show' towels, depending how close you were to the resident interior designer aka the woman of the house could earn you a scolding or calling out. "Who used my towel? It was for show." Should they have used your towel? No one wins when a guest uses a personal towel to wipe their hands. The host gets to do more laundry (their towels are larger than guest towels) and guests get who knows what.

"I didn't want to use your nice towel, so I used the one hanging on the wider rack." A well meaning guest said recently. That towel, apparently not as nice ended up in the hamper and was replaced by a fresh one. Meanwhile the guest towel was still fresh. The intention was thoughtful and kind but guest towels are called that for good reason. In trying to do the right thing, they have done the wrong thing.

Yvette takes her towels out of the bathroom when she entertains and places towels on the racks and a tray of paper napkins near the sink.

I take my chances. I leave my towels in the bathroom, cover one with a sheer guest towel hoping that someone will get the hint, 'Use this, not MY terrycloth towel underneath.' I then place a couple on the sink. 

Our mother has come up with a solution that we strongly don't recommend. She has three guest towels. Pinned to one of them is a little note, 'Please use paper guest towels.' While we share many genes with her, the show towel one skipped us.  We prefer thank you notes.






6 comments:

Parody & Son said...

TRUE STORY...
We had guest neatly folded guest towels in our bathroom. A friend came over and used the bathroom. I noticed the towels were still perfectly folded, so I made fun of himabout not using a towel, or more likely, not using a towel. His confession was even worse. He admitted he in fact did use the toilet to urinate, and that he "splashed" on the seat, so he took off his shoe and wiped the seat with is sock!!!
Is that proper etiquette?

Anonymous said...

Did he wash his hands?

CA Council said...

My mom puts out guest towels, and has a seperate towel holder filled with decorative hand paper towelson the sink. She's had guests use the paper towel and put them back in the holder AND hang them on top of the guests towels after using them.

vee said...

I'm with you Yvette. I remove my personal towel from the bathroom always, but I leave my usual decorative guest towels up for show. For guest I leave a roll of soft and thirsty plain white paper towels on a decorative stand up dispenser very near the waste basket. So far so good it looks nice it's clean and considerate and I haven't had to cuss anyone out (lol)

Anonymous said...

I have a guest here RIGHT NOW and we just got into it because when she first arrived, I showed her were the guest towels are. There is a basket of towels (shower, hand and wash cloths) to use. While I did not expressly say not to use the terrycloth towels hanging on the towel rack, I thought it was common knowledge that they ARE FOR SHOW.

So she used them. No big deal - Even if I had gone over all this when she arrived. BUT.... then she wanted to wash and use the same towels again, after I told her to just use any of the 15 other towels I had set aside for her. She likes my "show" towels. So when I said expressly "no"; that I would wash them and to use the other towels, she decided not to wash them (after two weeks of use) because she is a "creature of habit" and did not want new towels. Frustrating. I guess my mother was right -- Guest are like fish. Both start stinking after 3 days!

Anonymous said...

I keep a wooden-type basket next to the sink with a stack of industrial paper towels (the type that fold in three places and are made for a dispenser). I don't have any decorative towels but even if I did, guests would know to use the disposable. The fact that they're not pretty won't give any excuse not to use a pretty towel. As for overnight guests, I never have any...