If some is good…

Hawaii,_zeljkoWhen people imagine Hawaii, they don’t usually think of toilet paper hoarding.

However, in 1949, there was a 177-day shipping strike against Hawaii. Since so many of Hawaii’s consumer products are shipped there rather than manufactured there, a toilet paper shortage ensued.

People who lived in that Hawaii at that time are notorious for habitually hoarding toilet paper because, well, you just never know when another shipping strike will happen. My late mother, and many people of a certain age, hoarded toilet paper the rest of their lives, and my mother did it even when we lived on the East Coast. You buy an extra roll of toilet paper whenever you go to the store. What’s it cost, so little! It doesn’t spoil, and eventually you will use it!

This leads to a an unhealthy mental habit with all sorts of consumables, however: “If some is good, more must be better.”

114px-ToiletpaperwhitebgWhenever there is a sale of anything I use regularly, I am prone to buy more than I can use within a reasonable span of time. That is how I learned, for example, that liquid fabric softener eventually curdles to such a degree that it cannot be remixed.

Despite unpleasant discoveries of this sort, this kind of hoarding is hard to break, because you can exercise the excuse that you’re going to use it all up. The last time I got excited over a sale, I bought thirteen bottles of Mio Energy Black Cherry. I kid you not. At least it didn’t take up much space.

So when I read yesterday that the venerable house of Caswell-Massey (“America’s enlightened pharmacy since 1752”) had put its almond cold cream soap on sale marked down from $28 for three bars to $9.99, I had quite a struggle not rushing onto the website and buying more.

Almond_and_Aloe_Cold_Cream_Bath_SoapThe Eisenhowers used Caswell-Massey’s almond cold cream soap in the White House, so it has a certain cachet, and it almost never goes on deep sale. It’s one of Caswell-Massey’s most popular products, and there are reasons they’ve been making it for so long. It smells fabulous (I think, anyway), and unlike any other fancy soaps; it suds up a rich lather; and it wears down slowly.

This last point is important from a hoarding perspective, because one is prone to underestimate how long it will last.

I have enough to last more than a year, so I shouldn’t buy more. However, you should get some, especially at such a good price. And if you don’t like how it smells (inconceivable to me), it still makes a fantastic gift.

Go ahead, get some. It’s a lot more glamorous than toilet paper.

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