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Strange are the ways of strangers. - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Strange are the ways of strangers. [Dec. 27th, 2013|12:39 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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We are staying in a lake house with markgritter's side of the family, as we are wont to do the last few years--it works well to rent a big house where we can all be together and read our books and watch movies and play games and cook meals and stuff. But there is a thing that puzzles me, fairly consistently, and it is this:

Where are the towel bars? Why are there not more towel bars? We do this once a year, and quite frequently there are just not places to hang bath towels when you're done using them. For people who are using a bathroom solo, I suppose I understand: they can hang their towel over the shower bar. This does not work if lots of people are showering. It would wet the towel. So is the assumption that you will wash each towel after one use? I have to confess that there are times and, uh, biological cycles that prompt me to do that. But for the most part I feel that using a towel does not make it irrevocably filthy. I hang it and use it again. Am I just dirtier than most people? Or am I cleaner, that I don't want to fling it in the corner on the floor and pick it up again to use the next day? This just...I don't know how it works, this lack of towel bars.

(I would count the horizontal handle of a shower door as a perfectly fine thing to use as a towel bar. This shower has a cloth curtain. Also I understand that there are not always places to put a towel bar in a small bathroom or one with oddly configured walls, but a) that's not the case here, and b) that still requires a solution to the essential problem--a freestanding towel rack in the bathrooms, for example.)

The people who lived in our own house before us also did not have towel bars. We had to install them. It was a 20+ year old house at the time. So confused.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cloudscudding
2013-12-27 07:37 pm (UTC)
I have this thought every time I visit my mother-in-law and shower in the guest bathroom. Maybe we're only supposed to stay one day?
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[User Picture]From: mamculuna
2013-12-27 08:09 pm (UTC)
I have a vacation rental house and my first thought when we remodeled the bathrooms was "lots of towel bars!" So in one bathroom we have four bars and two hooks--and it's still not enough. I think we need to put them on the bedroom doors.

For myself, when I'm there in the summer, swimming and doing various things that lead to many showers per day and wet bathing suits, I set up a drying rack, but don't know that renters want to do that.
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[User Picture]From: sartorias
2013-12-27 09:45 pm (UTC)
We've had to hang towel racks, too. I have discovered that some people wash their towels after every use. (Or more correctly, someone is responsible for fagging through that amount of laundry.) I was raised to hang up my towel, which would be perfectly usable for the next shower. In fact, for the next week's worth!
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[User Picture]From: brooksmoses
2013-12-28 12:01 am (UTC)
When an acquaintance of mine got engaged many years ago, there was a comment about how one of the conditions was that her fiance agreed to wash four towels a day for her -- apparently she habitually took a morning and afternoon shower, and used separate towels for her (long, red) hair and the rest of her, and preferred clean towels each time.

(They did not, in fact, get married after all.)
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[User Picture]From: sartorias
2013-12-28 02:44 am (UTC)
Four towels a day--!!!!
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[User Picture]From: deor
2013-12-27 10:36 pm (UTC)
We have towel bars but also a free-standing towel rack. Perhaps the folks who had your place before only used free-standing racks and took them with them when they left.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2013-12-28 01:07 am (UTC)
one of the complaints I have about my apartment - not enough towel racks. And like you, I do not wash my towel after every use.

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[User Picture]From: redbird
2013-12-28 03:33 am (UTC)
I can accept that some people wash their big bath towels after each use. But don't they wash and dry their hands at other times? Even a small hand towel needs to be put somewhere.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-12-28 03:47 am (UTC)
Ah. Usually there is a separate towel ring for those, too small to contain a bath towel. Is that not the case with you? Do your hand towels always go on the same rack as your bath towels?
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[User Picture]From: aamcnamara
2013-12-28 03:48 am (UTC)
Right there with you! With four people in one apartment, we barely have enough places for towels, and that is with adding a four-hook thingy over the bathroom door. Because, yeah, we re-use the towels several times between washes. As one does.

(I can kind of see it in hotel rooms--where the standard is often to wash towels daily--but even then, most hotels I've been in lately have had a thing for "if you don't want your towel washed every day, hang it up!" which requires...towel bars.)
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[User Picture]From: also_huey
2013-12-28 04:22 am (UTC)
Having spent a year or two being a single person, and then having to adjust to living with The Girl, I have noticed that one person makes one load of laundry a week, but two people make three loads of laundry a week. And this makes sense to me. There's more towels -- we both have long hair -- and there's the two added factors that a) things get dirtier and b) I want them to be cleaner when she is here.

But then (still not having finished the remodeling of the upstairs bathroom, so there's only the one) when another couple stayed here, I noticed that four people make at least a load of laundry a day, and two towel bars, three hooks, and a shower curtain rod is insufficient for four people, two of which have long hair and need two towels per shower, so that's six towels per day.

And no, it's not that you're dirtier than most people, it's that, in a drafty WWII GI-bill house, it just isn't warm and dry enough to hang-dry six towels in the same bathroom, so the towels just ain't dry enough to be useful as, y'know, dry towels. So it's easier to just wash them every day. And that's okay. I don't mind. There was nobody here to do the laundry before the rest of y'all showed up, so I'm kinda used to doing it myself anyway.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-12-28 12:38 pm (UTC)
Good solution, but we have zero extra chairs not only in this bedroom but in the entire lake house. All chairs are pressed into service around the dining room table. They do have some baby things in the room markgritter and I are in, so I have used one of those, on the theory that any baby furniture that will be ruined by damp (at a lake house!) is badly designed.
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[User Picture]From: thanate
2013-12-28 04:24 pm (UTC)
The summer I worked on a dude ranch we had little signs up about "help conserve our Colorado water" with a request for guests to leave their towels on the shower/tub floor if they absolutely couldn't stand to survive on one change of towels half-way through the week. But there still were towel racks, as that was where we put the towels out.

I made some comment to one of the other girls wondering if these people really did wash their towels every day at home, and was told that well, she did. To each their own, I guess, but I find it pretty weird (and wasteful.)
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From: sheff_dogs
2013-12-28 09:47 pm (UTC)
I think if you need to wash your towels every day then you aren't doing a very good job of washing yourself! Unless you are ill or monthly of course. We will be putting a radiator towel rail with multiple rails in our new shower room so we have warm dry towels. And we both need two towels being long haired. At the moment towels get dried over the landing bannister rail.

When I was a kid we had at least eight of us in the house, using one bathroom with towels (colour-coded) for each of us and rails for each of those towels. They dried ok, but then we opened the window after baths.
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[User Picture]From: dd_b
2013-12-30 06:50 am (UTC)
Washing towels every day is totally absurd, i.e. I didn't grow up that way.

I've put in additional towel racks here, sort of vaguely enough now I think. For a guest-house I'd want more than I have here, though, since they're usually more heavily populated.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-12-30 01:10 pm (UTC)
Just so: people will say, "Oh, Jen can share with Grandma, it's only a few days," for a lake house much more often than they will for a modern family home, and when we're looking, we look for the right number of bedrooms for the people we have sleeping, not the right number plus one or two more to serve as office and guest room in the weekend we're at the lake.

Also, I am charmed at that definition of "totally absurd," because it applies to both positive and negative things.
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[User Picture]From: one_undone
2014-01-03 01:41 am (UTC)
At our house, we have a hand towel on a rack beside the sink, and the shower door handle is our bath towel bar. We have a "move to the left" system for towel use, so the rightmost towel is cleanest. With the exception of Jason, we don't generally reuse towels for a second bath, but instead fold them in half and hang them to dry on the shower door. I put out a fresh hand towel every day, and move the previous one to the shower door beside the last bath towel used. Logan uses the hand towel on the shower door to dry his hands, because he can reach it better and I frankly do not trust his hygiene habits enough to let him use the fresh one. When I wash my face at night, I dry it on the end of the bath towel on the shower door, and after Logan brushes his teeth, he wipes his face on that towel, so in a sense we do re-use our towels a couple of times -- but then the bath towel goes down the laundry chute, and the hand towel moves to the left for reuse when I wash my face in the morning. Logan has a tendency to smear toothpaste on the bath towel, making that one quite unsuitable to use again (but this is preferable to having toothpaste on the clean hand towel, where we kept finding it before we devised this system).

I'm reluctant to reuse towels for baths anyway, after seeing an experiment demonstrating how fast yeasts and things began growing on your damp towel after use; it has creeped me out too much, thinking of rubbing yeast all over myself after I just washed myself clean. But between all of us being Aspies and two of us having OCD, we probably do most things a bit differently here.
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[User Picture]From: sam_t
2014-01-06 01:00 pm (UTC)
'Towel rail', here. And yes, I'd expect one. The only place I've seen it even suggested that you might want fresh towels every day is in hotels, where they often ask you to indicate whether you want your towels changed (usually by leaving them in the bath).

We have a freestanding towel rail, and that sort of object might explain some of the 'missing from house when bought' anecdotes. I've occasionally seen a row of hooks, but that doesn't really dry a bath towel properly. For a short-term rented cottage, though, I'd assume laziness/thoughtlessness on the part of the owner not to have provided some sort of towel-hanging widget.
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