Monday, 28 April 2008

My Mother's Brown Sugar Collection



In the safe and certain knowledge that my mother still isn't at all sure what a 'blog' is, and emboldened by Mrs G's recent maternal posting, I thought I would take the liberty of sharing with you a small selection from my mother's brown sugar heist, her hotel toiletry haul and her complimentary pen collection.

My mother you see, has always had this embarrassing propensity to strip any hotel room, airline or bank of its 'compliments'. And did I mention her 'Marmalade' collection? All through my life she has shamelessly stuffed individual marmalade and jam pots and butter pats (and serviettes and spoons) into her bag in restaurants - even helping herself to extra ones from the counter - in full view of diners and waiting staff whilst I sat opposite, fervantly wishing the floor would swallow me up.

Or her.

She claims this is all harmless and that she is being 'green' as 'they would only throw it all away otherwise.' Except that she sort of undercuts her argument by the fact that all these items are still to be found unused in kitchen and bathroom cupboards years later - somewhat to the detriment of the perishables - it has to be said.

I only wish I hadn't chucked her priceless Pan Am sugar and marmalade out on the grounds of Environmental Health during my last visit, not being a blogger and thus regarding the world with a mercenary blogger's eye view, at the time. :-)

21 comments:

lucyfishwife said...

My mother does exactly the same thing and I seem to have inherited it. I even joined a FaceBook group called "I steal ketchup sachets everywhere I go"...

Rol said...

But if there's a war or a massive brown sugar shortage, your mum will be laughing!

Not so sure this applies to the pens though.

Dan said...

Its not quite as bad as I thought it would be... more amusing than shocking! The Buck Rogers wallpaper should have come with a warning though....

And there are FaceBook groups like that? I've barely scratched the surface of that time vortex!

lucyfishwife said...

FaceBook is exactly like decorating your bedroom (no Buck Rogers wallpaper though, sorry Laura) AND being nagged by your mother to write a thank you letter, but how else can one play Scrabble with one's cousins while pretending to order books?? I also collect packets of sugar, despite the fact that I don't take it in anything..

Bela said...

My mother used to do the same thing and now I do too. I rate the success of the London Book Fair, for instance, according to the number of pens and other complimentary goodies I've managed to snaffle (this year's was pathetic - something to do with the 'credit crunch', no doubt). I haven't bought a ballpoint pen for years - or Post-It-Notes... I don't get to stay in posh hotels so I feel deprived in the toiletry department.

Just a bit of fun. :-)

laureline said...

Laura, I'm so glad you visited my blog or I'd never have found you! Just one post into reading your blog and I feel a lift to my spirits. I had to clean out my mother's fridge last week, btw, and tossed several dozen hoary packets ( or was it hundreds?)of prefab salad dressing into the circular file. I won't describe the other hoarish artifacts I discovered and I'll accept in advance your thanks for my restraint. You've got a new fan, can you tell?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I admit to taking lotion and shower caps--and I actually do use them. Otherwise, who needs more junk and clutter?

teeni said...

LOL. I was cured of the habit when I found an unused pat of butter in my winter coat pocket from last season. Ewww. ;)

Mrs. G. said...

I have to love that she considers her sticky fingers as helping the environment. She sounds sweet.

Steve said...

Stealing is wrong but hotel confined kleptomania is perfectly fine... soap, towels, bed linen, drinks cabinet - all fair game in my opinion. Good for your mum. I'm sure all that stuff is factored into the room price anyway.

The Sagittarian said...

Oh gawd, I'm related to your mother!!! With all my travels lately I have a drawer full of tea, coffee and sugar plus coffee chrystals and the bathroom has heaps of conditioning shampoo.
What shall I do now????

lucyfishwife said...

Laura - I've just tagged you. Because I have no idea how to put a link in my blog, this is about as high tech as it gets.. Consider yourself tagged..

Reluctant Blogger said...

haha my MIL is just like that. She takes everything - spoons, all sorts. But - she gives them away as presents! She gives my daughter a little bag (nicked from an aeroplane) full of sachets and stuff nicked from hotel rooms. I guess it is environmentally friendly in a way and it certainly gives us a laugh when she is not around. You can't actually laugh when the MIL is there - that is strictly forbidden.

I do have a bit of a pen fetish myself - but perhaps I won't go into that.

dougalfish said...

when my grandmother died we found no less than 10 handbags stuffed full of Sweet and Low!

Having said that on a recent trip I took all of the hotel toiletries (even hiding some on the first day so I got replacements) to send to a friend who was collecting items for washbags for an ICU.

It's always handy to have a pen (though the free ones usually don't have much ink in!).

Rosa said...

I love it!!! I have to admit to keeping my hotel rooms "well stocked" (wink wink) and then bring it all home to use at a later date. I've even been known to give it all away to retirement homes--they love the stuff! I had to snicker at this post. It's precious! My mom used to hoard grocery receipts and mailing boxes. You can't imagine what I found when we had to clean out her house when we moved her in with us. Ooooof!

The Troll said...

Grrrrherhahahahaha. I'm laughing but I do the EXACT same thing as your mom.

P.S. The New Meme where you can use WORDS starts on Friday!

scott said...

obama says, "i did not know that man, rev. wright."

MarkF said...

One day you will be presented with the biggest ever creme brulee topped with all that sugar....

Wisewebwoman said...

Gee Laura:
I was just stroking my brand new stash of shampoos, conditioners, and skin cream minis (I'm on a road trip) and counting the swiped shower caps.
I can so relate to your mother tho I do draw the line at foodstuffs as they get so beaten up looking...
XO
WWW

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Lucyfishwife, if only my mother knew what Facebook was, she could join that kleptomaniac Ketchup support group!

Rol, never a truer word spoken. Except it will all be well past its 'best before' date!

Dan, you haven't lived. Evidently.

Bela, you have shamed me into realising what a hypocrite I am. At work. I have a Pyrotec mouse mat, a Pyrotec mug, a scaffolding company calendar, a Reed agency paperclip pyramid and now recall a joking attempt to start a chocolate advent calendar turf war between all my suppliers last Autumn. As for the complimentary pads and pens from them all... But this is all work stuff so that doesn't count. And how much guilt can you feel accepting gifts from companies your employer spends megabucks with anyway? And at least I don't steal sugar sachets, self-justify, self-justify.

Laureline, your out-of-date salad cream blitzing works do you credit. I enjoyed your site too. Am always obscenely jealous of anyone who can draw or paint. And so well! You can be sure I will visit again.

Jen, at least you use them! And presumably juggle with them too!

Teeni, what a disgraceful admission! Naughty girl.

Mrs G - sadly I don't think hoarding complimentary condiments until they rot can in way be excused as 'green'! By the way, would you like to swap mothers for a day? At least we could get to sample different varieties of embarrassment?

Steve, not bed linen or anything that a hotel will launder/re-use surely?

The Sagittarian - confession is good for the soul - reparation - give them all to your nearest homeless shelter. Now.

RB - I share your pen fetish - but not for most of the freebies, which tend to be rubbish anyway. Your MIL sounds like she needs help. Badly! And what a cheapskate giving her ill-gotten swag away as presents! I bet the grandchildren don't love her as much as their other nana.

Dougalfish, since it was for a good cause, you're off the hook. As for Sweet and Low - perhaps you can't actually waste something that is inedible in the first place! You are right about minimal ink in the free pens though.

Rosa, you naughty girl! But I guess as long as you actually use the stuff, you can at least call yourself (pale) green!

Troll - you naughty boy! Is this why you brand yourself 'Troll'? Look forward to checking out your new blog innovation on Friday.

Scott, I didn't quite get it, I'll have to read that one again.

Mark F - I do hope not. Creme Brulee is my idea of hell - let alone a monster-sized one. However I've heard it's very good for pasting wallpaper with.

Wisewebwoman, again at least you use your ill-gotten gains and draw the line at perishables. Perhaps how guilty you should feel should be in direct proportion to how many hotels have closed down shortly after your visit.... Though perhaps Steve bears the brunt of guilt for bankrupt hospitality premises, with his love of hotel linen!

Anonymous said...

viagra online uk cialis v s viagra negative effects of viagra buy viagra without prescription generic viagra india viagra rrp australia cost women taking viagra buy sublingual viagra online how to get viagra what does viagra do viagra manufacturer viagra soft tabs viagra over the counter cheap viagra nz