When The Towel-Beast Gets Your Goat

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Jen Hollidge talks towels - and monsters.

By Jen Hollidge
Not for NothingNH

It’s the towels in our house.  For some it’s the lights being left on, dishes in the sink, toys not being put away, coats that don’t get hung up.

These are the things that irk us time and again in our daily family life until we find ourselves wound round and round like a rubber band, ready to snap.

Jen Hollidge

Jen Hollidge

It doesn’t matter how many times I fill the bathroom with towels, one for each of us on our own bar or hook. Over the course of the week, they start to pull a magical disappearing act that Madam First Born and Little Miss Youngest refuse to lay claim to.

I have to conclude that there is a mystical towel-beast that creeps into our bathroom at night, slowly taking one towel at a time.  He must not have fur and must be very cold.  I imagine that he is creating a towel nest for his furless and also freezing cold beast-babies hidden in the eaves of our upper floor.

He has a method, always taking Madam First Born’s or Little Miss Youngest’s towel first. I note this by about Tuesday as I step out of the shower and see that only My Partner in Crime and I still have the towels we started the week with. He must need more than just the two for the swaddling of beast-babies because within a day or two, one of us will step out of the shower to find our towel missing as well.

This is when the rubber band comes close to snapping as I stand chilled and dripping wet on the bath mat yelling like I’m pleading for help from the bottom of a well, “Somebody?  Anybody?  Please get me a towel?”

Maybe the towel-beast does it for the laughs.  On a good day, somebody hears your cries for help and saves you by delivering a clean, new fluffy towel.

On the days when the towel-beast wins and nobody is home, you find yourself doing the wet dash of shame through the house as Big Dog follows trying to figure out exactly why we’re running.

That is, except for the days when the beast has left behind one lone, gray towel on my Partner in Crime’s hook. In which case I eye it and think, “Hey – desperate times call for desperate measures.” I grab it and shamelessly wrap it around my dripping cold shoulders.

As I pass the mirror on my way out of the bathroom, I catch a glimpse of that gray towel-beast slinking away with the last towel and can’t help but feel a little sympathy for the creature. He must really need them and after all, how hard is it to do a load of laundry?

I’m Jen Hollidge, a full-time program coordinator, full-time mother of two amazing daughters and full-time wife to my partner in crime for 18 years. We live in Concord, N.H. I have an English degree from the University of New Hampshire and I love to write.