Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dos and Don'ts of Decorative Soap

I spent the day helping my mother-in-law take down her holiday decorations. Among these are two decorative soaps. I unpacked them for her in December and packed them back up today. Apparently, since these are decorative soaps, they are to be used as decorations and never as soaps. I don't get it. I understand the concept of decorative soaps, but in my world after they serve their purpose decoratively they serve their purpose practically - I use them as soap.

When I was young I had a number of relatives who had decorative soaps in their bathrooms. I never understood their purpose. Once I asked my aunt if I could use one to wash my hands and she was horrified. How dare I even suggest it? After that I never asked to use them again.

Out of curiosity I asked my mother-in-law how long she had been unpacking and packing back up these soaps. Can you guess how long? Apparently these soaps (which no longer smell interesting - they just smell old) were given to her as a gift by a good friend. Over 30 years ago.

That's right, 30 years.

I was a bit speechless. I suggested that perhaps she might want to consider letting the soaps go. She's considering it. By that I mean she packed them back up and, when she unpacks them next year, she might decide to let them go. If they weren't 30 years old I would have suggested that she just use them as soap. Now they're just trash.

Soap must be sturdy stuff, to last that long!

This situation makes me wonder about my candles. My mother-in-law gives me a holiday-appropriate candle every year (snowball, Christmas tree, candy cane.) I usually display each candle during the holiday season and burn it soon after. Isn't that what you're supposed to do with candles? Now I'm wondering if these candles were meant as permanent decorations. Little waxy statues. Lots of fun.

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