Adding Water to Soap/Lotion Bottles; Peeved About Curtains

I am about to make a suggestion that is in that awkward category of suggestions where, if you already know it, it will sound as if I’m asking if you tried turning the computer ON—and yet, at one point I did not know it, and now I do, and it has CHANGED MY LIFE: add water to the handsoap/shampoo/conditioner/bodywash/lotion when the supply gets low and is difficult to remove from the bottle. Just, add some water. Like, a tablespoon for something small like handsoap, two or three tablespoons for a larger shampoo/conditioner/bodywash bottle. Then shake vigorously. Then the next time you need some, REAP BENEFITS. Then, when it gets difficult again, add more water. It will be a matter of diminishing returns, yes. But it is really surprising how much more handsoap/shampoo/conditioner/bodywash/lotion is in there.

I am sad and mopey again today. Whenever I feel sad and mopey, I think I ought to chart it on a calendar or something so I can see if there are patterns: Mondays, foods, cycle-related, whatever. But it’s only when I’m feeling happy and energetic that I feel like shopping for multi-colored pens, working out a color/mood system, and writing things down—and that’s when I feel like I don’t really need to do any of that because I feel fine most of the time.

Here are some happy things:

1) I found the Jolly Joes I was looking for! The site has a surprisingly helpful product-finder: most product-finders basically say “Here are some stores that carry some stuff from our brands,” but then you have to go to each store to see if they carry the specific product; this one let me select Jolly Joes specifically, and then accurately told me where to find them. They were at a nearby grocery store that isn’t the one I usually go to; and the drug store in that same plaza had some of the other Mike & Ike blends, so I came home with riches.

That’s all I’ve got right now: one happy thing. I was going to say that my new green living room curtains were also a happy success, but that reminded me that I’m peeved with Paul. Remember I said the old curtains were floppy old tab-tops. That was MOSTLY true, but one window had much-newer light-blocking curtains, purchased because that window is over the TV, and the Wii remote couldn’t handle the light. I threw away the holey saggy curtains, but folded the light-blocking ones up and put them in a large labeled baggie: my thought was that we would want those for something else, like maybe a kid room window or a basement window.

This story is already getting longer than it’s worth, but I don’t have any other ideas for this post so I’m going to keep going. I put the baggie of curtains on the kitchen counter to remind me to bring it down to the basement the next time I went down. Paul moved the curtains off the counter and onto a shelf where we put things we want to take to the One Man’s Trash shack we have in town, where people can bring things they don’t want anymore but are too good to throw away, and other people can take those things for free. I said, “Wait, don’t put those there, I’m keeping them!,” and explained what I wanted them for. Paul totally agreed, and said he was only putting them there because he needed the counter, and that he wouldn’t take them.

A couple of days later, we were discussing the success of the new living room curtains, and Paul said now we needed something for the two narrow windows in the entryway, which are on the same side of the house and get the same overabundance of sunshine. I said, “Hey! I have an idea! I can put one of those light-blocking curtains on each side!” I went to get the curtains, but they were not on the shelf. I went back to Paul. He had TAKEN THEM TO THE ONE MAN’S TRASH SHACK. He said “Ug, I am an idiot!” like five times, but I am not done hearing it. They were good curtains! I told him why I wanted to save them! He said he would not take them! THEN HE TOOK THEM. THEN IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT MY URGE TO KEEP THEM WAS ABSOLUTELY JUSTIFIED. THIS MAKES ME CRAZY. DO NOT MOVE OR GET RID OF MY STUFF, PAUL. DO NOT.

I’m sorry to keep going with this, but just look at how right I am:

1. I said I didn’t want to get rid of them.
2. Paul said he would not get rid of them.
3. We discussed future uses for the curtains.
4. We agreed they should be kept.

When this happens again and again throughout the years, I don’t know how to reconcile it with all the “You can’t expect your partner to read your mind: make your needs clearly known!” school of thought. I don’t expect him to read my mind! I make my mind WELL-KNOWN! And I make sure he has a chance to tell ME about HIS mind: if he disagreed about keeping the curtains, that would have been an entirely different situation. If he had said, “But we’re trying to clear out some space in the basement; I’d rather have to buy new curtains later than keep these just in case,” I would have thought that was a valid point. Then I would have been kicking myself a few days later when I thought of a use for them, but AT LEAST I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN KICKING PAUL.

38 thoughts on “Adding Water to Soap/Lotion Bottles; Peeved About Curtains

  1. Beth

    Could I laugh more out loud at this line, “I’m sorry to keep going with this, but just look at how right I am:”? NO. NO, I COULD NOT.

  2. Ruby

    UGH, PAUL.

    I wish my town had a One Man’s Trash shack. I have a whole pile of stuff I want to get rid of but don’t want to throw away, and my local Goodwill truck is juuuuuust far enough out of my way that I have to make a special trip to get there, which I rarely get around to. I guess the solution would be to just carve out some time in my schedule and GO ALREADY, but a One Man’s Trash shack would be better.

  3. sooboo

    That is frustrating to say the least. At least he didn’t want credit for taking stuff to donate, lol!

  4. Emily Campbell

    I would scramble back to one man’s trash to perhaps reclaim them….it that a possibility?

  5. BKC

    #recommend: moodtracker. It’s an iOS app but they have similar ones for android. Just a simple phone prompt, pick a smiley face out of a line of seven or so, ecstatic to dismal. You can put more notes too, if you want, to explain why you’re feeling that way.

    I also used an app for a summer that asked me to put in the best and worst thing about each day. I didn’t feel like keeping it up, but it’s fun to look back on.

  6. Alexicographer

    Oof, I am sorry about the curtains, and of course, you could not in fact be more right about the whole situation than you are (very right indeed). But, at the same time, as someone who has done (and no doubt will again do) the kind of thing Paul did, including with, like, my own stuff, I can also feel his … pain? Or at least regret, or apology over his ineptitude. Still, frustrating (heck, when I do that kind of thing to myself it is — frustrating. Unsurprisingly.

  7. Misty

    I do the same trick with jarred/storebought pasta sauces, to help get the last dregs out. (Use milk instead of water for creamy sauces like alfredo.) Works wonders.

  8. M.Amanda

    The water trick works pretty well. My dad used to do that with his shampoo. It seems like every other time I stole his shampoo, I would flip the lid and turn it over expecting a thick shampoo to ooze into my hand, only to have soapy water trickle through my fingers. Then I’d have to use my mom’s cheap shampoo. Karma?

    With hand lotion in the pump bottles I twist off the pump and run my hand on the tube part. I’ve gotten three weeks of use out of a bottle that wouldn’t pump out any more lotion. Some people would just throw that out!

    1. yasmara

      I have replaced the tube thingy (after getting all the lotion out of it) with a regular cap, added a tiny bit of water, shaken it up, turned the bottle upside down, and gotten 2 more weeks of lotion out of my fancy body lotion. I keep a small stash of caps-to-things (SMALL) because it’s been super useful. Or when some otherwise-awesome product has a super annoying cap (like a tight flip-top that doesn’t flip easily). CAP SWITCH.

  9. Elizabeth Pletan

    So for the whole post I was reading it as “Old Man’s Trash Shack.” And I was like wow, that’s a name. One Man’s Trash makes a lot more sense.

    The soap thing! I don’t know where I learned to do that, but I do it all the time. The weird thing is my husband hates when I do it. For hand soap! You’re going to combine water with it anyway–why not combine it with the soap in the bottle, and not waste the last few pumps of soap in there? He doesn’t seem to have a good explanation for his dislike–it’s something like “my parents didn’t work hard and come to America so I’d have to combine water with my hand soap.”

  10. Nancy

    I do the adding water thing with shampoo and conditioner, but it has never occurred to me to do the same with lotion, and not being able to get the last of the lotion out of the bottle drives me crazy, so thanks for the tip.

  11. Cara

    Okay, I’m going to take a risk and side with Paul a bit here. Yes, you were right, but you need to let go. I think this goes in the “people make mistakes, show your partner some grace” school of thought. He knew what you wanted; he just screwed up. I bet next time he will put them somewhere else so they don’t get mixed in with stuff leaving the house. Or you won’t leave stuff you don’t want moved in a space that sees high use. In our house, my rule is anything you want left alone needs to be put away.

    1. Swistle Post author

      Of course I’m going to let it go! What’s the alternative, death match? We’d throw out our backs!

      But the rules at my house are different from the rules at yours: at my house, if you say you’ll leave something alone, you leave it alone—and if you don’t, you expect a blog post ribbing you about it.

      1. LeighTX

        I would think a pointed blog post would be the very least one could expect for MOVING OTHER PEOPLE’S STUFF. We just talked about this. Husbands aren’t allowed to move stuff.

  12. Shawna

    Wait, did the curtains get mixed with other stuff destined for the trash shack and Paul didn’t notice, or did he make a trip to take only the curtains, knowing that you wanted them and he’d agreed to keep them out loud, but actually wanting them out of the house?

    I will reserve my level of indignation on your behalf pending clarification…

    1. Swistle Post author

      It is unclear, but these are the sorts of questions Paul doesn’t answer—which leaves my indignation level at a bit of an uncertain place, too. There wasn’t anything else to go to the shack, but the shack is on his way to another errand, so I suppose he could have absent-mindedly grabbed them? But we’d JUST discussed it a day or two before.

      1. Shawna

        Oh, my level of indignation is rising based on the fact he “doesn’t answer” these sorts of questions! It would bug me to not know if I should just shrug at an oversight, or double down on my points so that there isn’t a miscommunication repeat.

  13. anne nahm

    Have been moody too the past week. I’ve started wondering if there is some shadow flu people get, but instead of puking or running a fever, it makes a person tired and a little low.

    1. Shawna

      Infections can totally have this effect! A few years ago my family came down with a fairly classic flu/cold bug, but I spent a week just bone-tired. At 6:00 p.m. I’d realize that there were still 3 hours before I could reasonably go to bed, and I’d feel like weeping.

      Of course, other things can have this same effect, so ymmv, but isn’t it comforting to know it at least COULD BE an external factor acting on you?

  14. Kara

    My husband grew up with a Hoarder parent, and as a result, throws out EVERYTHING because he has a physical reaction to clutter. It’s annoying and problematic.

    1. Corinne

      I have the opposite problem. My husband grew up with a (mild) hoarder parent, and it passed to him. He throws away NOTHING, and has an emotional reaction to me trying to keep our house reasonable. It’s annoying and problematic. ;)

  15. Corinne

    Swistle, we’ve had a run of these kind of incidents at my house lately too. Perhaps the spring acts on men’s minds (and attention spans) as it did when they were boys? (Totally made that up)

    The other day I said “What happens when I talk and you agree?! Are you actually just hearing bee noises?!”

    1. Ann

      Haha! This is exactly what I want to know. What do you, dear husband, (and kids for that matter) actually hear when I talk to you, and you nod in agreement? Is it like Charlie Brown – wah wah wah wah wah?

  16. Gwen

    I’ve been experiencing a really low point lately too. I realized (with some surprise) that it’s due to the fact that my children are out of school on Friday. I love my kids, but the endless bickering and complaining, not to mention the HUGE disruption to my regular (and carefully worked out routine) has given me tremendous anxiety. I spent weeks dealing with heart palipatations and general malaise, but once I realized what was triggering it all it went away.

    Any ideas to make the summer fun? Or, let’s set the bar low: tolerable?

    1. Swistle Post author

      Ooo, we could go to an adults-only resort, with unlimited drinks and a buffet! Everyone could bring their Unread Book Pile and we could get caught up and then swap for books other people were done with! That would be SO FUN.

      Oh. With the kids, during summer vacation. No, no ideas. I plan to throw popsicles at the problem and hope it goes away.

  17. Tracy

    Just a PSA regarding donations! We donate frequently to the VVA (Vietnam Veteran’s Association) by using this website to set up a pick-up at our house:

    It’s much easier than hauling stuff to the local (or not so local) donation center. I have no idea of their coverage area though, so they may not service your area.

    But yes… husbands must just hear bees buzzing at times when us wives are talking! I think it would be worth it to take a trip to the One Man’s Trash Shack to see if you can find your curtains, or who knows… something better?


  18. Alice

    What bugs me is when my husband says he’s going to do something and then doesn’t. And then when I say I’m going to do it or hire a handyman to do it, he says no, no, he’ll do it. And then still doesn’t do it. Yet if I go out and hire someone to do it or do it myself, he gets all hurt because he said he’d do it.

    There are things in this house that have been broken for years because of this. All he has to do is not say he’s going to do something in the first place.

  19. liz

    I’ve been using Pink Pad (iphone/ipad app) to track my (now) non-existent period and my (ever-present) hot flashes. It also has a mood tracker and headache tracker.

    You can email the resulting journals to yourself, too.

    And it was free.

  20. Matti

    I feel your indignation exactly. Just this weekend we had pizza for dinner and the next day one of my daughters asked us if we could have the leftovers for lunch the next day. Both of us. Standing right there together. MY HUSBAND was actually the one who told her, “No, I think that’s for dinner tonight.” He looked to me for confirmation, and yes, there was enough left over. I was planning on having that for dinner that night. I said so. Out loud. We all agreed it would be yummy for dinner and the kids would have snacky lunch instead.
    A couple of hours later I came in from doing yard work, having sent my husband inside to give the kids lunch. I bet you know what they were eating.
    When questioned my husband declared he thought I had said the pizza was for lunch!
    I had the same exact reaction as you, Swistle. I could not have made myself any more clear. We both talked about it. We agreed!
    SIGH. Bee noises.

  21. Gigi

    You have my indignation on your side, Swistle. And yes, buzzing bees must be what they hear when we speak.

  22. Thrift at Home

    ketchup stretcher! Mustard stretcher! Shampoo stretcher! That’s what my dad calls the water that he puts in anything viscous that needs to move out of the bottle. He said that when I was a kid and he still says it. He also taught me how to graft a thin sliver of soap to a new fat bar of soap. Love that connection to my dad.

    As for the curtains, hopefully it’s become a family joke now and you can laugh about it. But it does make me wonder what the heck is going on in husbands’ brains when stuff like that happens.

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