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Tuesday, 02 October 2007

Mothballs and Throw Rugs - The Mark of a Retiree?

By kenju of Imagine What I'm Leaving Out

I found this site recently, Bitterwaitress, and sent it to a friend whom I knew would enjoy the humor in it. Here is his slightly edited response to me:

"I am saving this site. I know that retirees (not ME of course) are the cheapest of the cheapskates in tipping. They go for the earlybird dinner specials, leave two quarters and walk out with toothpicks dangling from their thin-lipped mouths.

“Awaiting them in the parking lot is their four-door, white, retiree car with mud flaps, AAA stickers and a nylon meshwad on the radio antenna. Most are from (I have erased the name of the state, so as to avoid their slings and arrows), the "moonpie face" state.

“For some reason most of them are fat and pale. They all wear old-fashioned glasses, live in a condo, trailer, etc. and have a multicolored, hand-knitted throw on the couch. Lampshades are encased in plastic. Throw rugs are everywhere. The bathroom has enough fluff crap on the toilet and floor to harbor every fatal disease known to mankind. Oh, I forgot the biggest sin of all: MOTHBALLS!"

Does this funny guy have the folks pegged, or what?

I must admit, however, that I have been to homes where the lampshades AND the couches are encased in plastic, the bathrooms are covered in fuzzy chenille stuff with crocheted toilet paper covers, and every article of clothing they wear reeks of mothballs. The trouble is, some of these people aren't even old yet. Part of it is the cultural context they grew up with (old habits die hard, I've heard).

My Mom was the throw rug queen of our state. Every floor had carpet and every carpet had throw rugs following the traffic paths. Sometimes, she laid plastic runners over the carpet and throw rugs.

It was a tripping hazard, so I finally convinced her she had to remove all the rugs before she or my dad fell. She thought she was "saving" the carpet from spots, but I am sorry to report that the carpet was still stained and spotted anyway and she just threw more rugs over the spots.

An odd side note to this is that my mom took up rug hooking in her middle years. She made five rugs, none of which ever saw the light of day while she lived. She didn't want her rugs to get dirty or worn so she rolled them up and stored them in a cabinet. What is the irony in that?! They are beautiful and I can assure you that they are used and loved in my home.

An uncle and aunt of my husband's, who lived in New York City, had couches with heavy plastic slipcovers on them (with zippers yet!). It was like sitting down on a hot plastic table cloth at a picnic. They thought the plastic was wonderful since their white damask couches were just as pristine as the day they were delivered. There's no telling how much 'back of the leg' skin was sacrificed to that plastic over the years!

I can remember homes that had so much stuff in the bathrooms: fuzzy chenille rugs, toilet covers, seat covers, lid covers, etc. Why don't people realize how much of a health hazard that is? If no one ever missed a toilet bowl, it would be fine. But since we all know that one of the two sexes seldom hits the bowl, the less fabric near it - the better!

Lastly, I will say that mothballs ought to be outlawed - or at least made to smell better than they do. We sometimes eat at a local cafeteria (but not the earlybird specials). It is not too bad in the spring and summer, but when cool weather rolls around and the winter coats come out of storage, you cannot stand in line there without being totally overcome with the fumes from moth balls.

Give it a break, people. Moths have to eat too!

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Thanks, Ronni!

I turn 66 in another week. The wife and I do well on my meager pension, supplemented with my present employment working as a helper in Special-Ed at public school. We eat out nearly seven days a week and I tip twenty percent or more most of the time. The waitresses tell me that their worst customers are usually the church crowd (of which I've been a member for over 35 years). So I'm thinking people are just "people", throw-rugs and all. My wife always bought towels to stick up in a closet so they wouldn't get worn through use. Go figure.....


Enjoyed your story and your comments.It was fun to read and look for yourself in some of the traits and habits.....

Jim, I've heard of people rescuing dogs from the pound, but do you think rescuing towels from WalMart is going beyond the call of duty?

Funny, Judy! I am currently in the process of trying to eliminate items that clutter from my home. In the years since I left my husband I've accumulated far too much stuff!

I can't believe you didn't mention plastic canvas! :) My elders had plastic canvas tissue box covers and Artex (remember that?) "paintings" on the walls...

Thanks, all, for the warm welcome and comments on my first story here.

I was guilty of the fluffy bathroom accessories when I was in my twenties. Newly married and living with hand me down furniture in a rented apt didn't give me much leeway in decor other than the bathroom. Fluffy rugs,toilet seat covers,tank top covers..what was I thinking??

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