Guests and towels

I feel sorry for you with your many irrational relatives, but I must admit that I enjoy reading about their antics especially when they are mostly harmless quirks like this one. Not that I blame you for being unhappy about the birthday present towel large enough to be a robe becoming two or more less satisfactory towels.

But see that towel was ironed maybe even drycleaned! One smudge to the quilted seahorse will totally ruin the drama of the perfectly appointed seafoam green guest bath.
Daily use towels have no business being seen in a bathroom decorated out of house beautiful. Behold the splendor that is a guest bath, festooned with silk flowers, glass bowls, graceful prints of some watercolory euro scene backed by textured wallpaper and shower curtains with rope tassels. No mere soap dish, there is a gilt edged dispenser with matching water glass (glass in the bathroom!) and the wastebasket is empty unlined unsullied, do not put anything in it. Expect that the extra TP rolls are artfully concealed and may be out of reach when you need one.

In fact one must erase all traces of your being from the guest bath. Anything you bring in will be out of place, even water droplets. During your visit do not leave your toiletry bag on the counter, use an old towel from the underneath the sink to dry off with, wipe off everything with that one towel, hide it so that none will know that you actually bathed in the guest bath

Leave no trace, that’s my motto.

I’ve picked that I use the ones provided, but I also generally bring with me my own towel, because I might crash at someone’s house who might not have many towels, or clean ones.

**chela **- your post cracked me up!!! :smiley:

Honestly, anyone who’s been to my house (feel free to chime in, snowbunny) knows that I do not live like a Martha-Stewart wannabe. Our house is comfortable and made to be lived in. We’re not big on knick-knacks or “good china” or things that we’re afraid to use. So while our newly-redecorated bathroom looks really nice, especially compared to what it was, there’s nothing about it that screams “DON’T TOUCH!!!”

No matter. The guests left today. Our house is our own again. Life is good.

But I will wash the towels, just in case they used them to wipe their hands or something.

Oh gosh! Fancy hand towels.

My aunt is the worst when it comes to fancy hand towels–not just because she has them out, but because she gets annoyed when people don’t use them.

She has this little row of perfectly starched and ironed hand-embroidered antique linen towels. She says “I don’t know why people don’t use them! That’s what they’re there for! Are they using my bath towel or something?” (She has an apt. with one bathroom)

Yes! They’re using your bath towel! Because they don’t want to make you do an hour’s worth of hand-washing and ironing just because they’d like to dry their hands.

Little do they know that my aunt actually enjoys that stuff. Then again, I know, and I still won’t use the damn things. Because they suck at drying hands.

Well, the thing about my crazy relatives is, they’re a collective PITA a lot of the time, but so long as you look at them like Groucho is about to burst out of the table, a lot of their stuff is so out there it’s quite laughable. Sometimes I think the reason absurdist humor is so popular in Spain is that there’s too many families as crazy as mine or worse.

Is having a glass to use as a toothbrush holder and rinsing aid scary? Does that apply only to Real Glass, or is it ok if it’s a cheap-o glass with a print of a pig holding a ham, courtesy of some publicity promotion or other? Oh boy I do hope my piggy cup isn’t too posh! Will it be the beginning of a horribly slippery slope leading to embroidered napkins and macramé napkin-holders? The angst! I can feel it start already, and I haven’t even called my decorator yet! :smack:<— angsty smiley

Is it 1976 again?

If you look at my shiny new sink, there is no toothbrush holder. Because I ran out of time last week so I only looked in 2 stores and I didn’t like any of their offerings. We did provide a stack of throw-away cups, but I still need a few accessories.

Incidentally, theseare the towels that inspired this thread. They’re not fussy, are they??

They don’t look like fussy towels to me. I’d have used them, or the cat.

I keed, I keed. I’d never be able to catch the cat, I’m certain.

Here you go.

Another vote for using the towels the host provided. Unless it’s a handtowel so embroidered and fancy that it won’t, in fact, dry my hands. Like the ones many people seem to put out when having a Christmas party.

The problem I have is, “Are those the usual, personal towels or were they put there just for guests?”

If you are expected, like going to a party, it seems logical that towels were put out for guest use. It’s even more obvious if they are guest-type towels and placed next to a sink instead of on a rack. But if you stop by a friend’s house without prior planning, maybe those towels weren’t intended for you? I’d hate to offend someone by using something they thought was personal, so in that case, I use a handy shirttail. Safer all around.

OTOH, at a party, are we all expected to use the same set of guest towels? That doesn’t make sense, either, for hygenic reasons. My shirttail is cleaner.

As a host your first duty is to always make guest feel comfortable in your home. This means even if they use your fancy towels or eat off your finest china, your duty is NOT to make the guest feel uncomfortable. After all things are thing and people are always more important than things, and a good host realizes this.

Some people consider what they do in the bathroom to be invisible and exempt from all rules. I once had a guest who I told in no uncertain terms to not smoke in my house. Some time later, I smelled cig smoke and traced the residual smell to the bathroom (which did not have an exhaust fan). Somehow he must have thought that if I didn’t see him smoke, it didn’t happen, which is pretty stupid. In a small bathroom, a single cigarette gets concentrated quite wonderfully.

I shoulda checked the towels.

IME, it’s less of a problem with overnight guests, who recognize that they need a full set of towels, and generally use the bath towel/hand towel/washcloth set that you set out for them.

The problem is with party or dinner guests. We’ve got a bunch of fluffy but attractive guest towels, and when we’ve got company coming, we remove the towels we’ve been using from the hall bathroom and toss them in the wash, and put six or seven of the guest towels on the towel racks. At the end of the evening, maybe one of them looks like it’s been used, and I know the bathroom’s been used much more often than that.

On the flip side, I wonder what to do when we go to dinner or a party at someone else’s house, and the towels in the hall bathroom appear to be their everyday towels. (Sometimes there’s just bath towels and washcloths - not a hand towel in sight.) I always wonder if they really want us to use the towels that they’ve been using, and are presumably going to use.

So I use their towels - but I look for the most unused corner of a towel that I can find.

Oh sweet Jesus.

People really honestly bring their own towels to people’s houses? What kind of luggage are you hauling around with you? What else do you have in there?

If this had been about those rose-shaped soaps, my answer would have been completely different. Those remain untouched, as far as I can tell.

You can tell because they’re always a little dusty.

Same here–it would also be a bit annoying. What if you just showered and had to leave. Damp towels, gross.

I don’t have too many guests but I go out of my way to show them the towel and all that. Granted, I’m in a studio with one bathroom, so…yeah, not exactly the “guest suite” here. But it’s a towel. It doesn’t need to be preserved. I bet your guests, OP, are the same kind of people who don’t tear open wrapping paper because it’s just so pretty. :slight_smile:

I voted #1, but I always know where my towel is.

I usually bring a beach towel in case any swimming is likely (even in winter sometimes people stay in a pool equipped hotel)