Peasant blood flows through me. I like simple food, simple clothes, and a simple home. Even my mind is simple. I am a plodder and a hard worker – show me the broom, hand me the rag, and I will get to work and make it shine. Get me started; I will finish.
That is fancy talk for: I am a neurotic. I feel compelled to finish what I start, no matter how unpleasant it is, and I’ve convinced myself that there is something noble about doing so.
I also must take anything that is free. Two packets of artificial sugar are served with my coffee? I must take them home. Do I use artificial sugar? No. Have I ever used it? No. Does anyone in my family use it? (Note to self: Please stop asking questions you know the answer to.) But you never know, smarty-pants self. Occasionally, someone visits, asks for some, and I win.
When we travel I must take the toiletries placed in my room. If I don’t, the hotel will buy fewer products, which leads to a lower demand for products, fewer jobs, higher unemployment, and societal breakdown. So I do it for your sake, friend. I am noble that way.
I also ask others for their free toiletries, so I have bags of stuff. A number of years ago, I reached into one of those bags and pulled out a small, silver tube of toothpaste. I put all of it on my toothbrush and nearly gagged when I started brushing. Ack, I thought, this is disgusting. I continued brushing, gagging and sputtering the entire time, but finally completed the task I started out to do. After rinsing my mouth several times to get the taste out of my mouth, I looked at the little tube more closely. In tiny letters, it read: Shaving Cream.
Yes, I carefully brushed all of my teeth with shaving cream, starting at the back with my molars, working in a clockwise direction on each tooth, brushing both sides, and remembering to brush the tops of my molars. Did I brush my tongue? Probably. My neurosis goes to the dentist with me, so it knows the drill. (Gag alert: gratuitous pun.)
If this neurosis had a blog, the comment section would be closed. So I’ve learned to live with it and call it being frugal or noble, but if you read the fine print, you’ll see what it really is.