I almost title this "Unexpected Booty", as in pirate booty, but then all I could think of were sex jokes. Shane's gone and I'm not getting any for two weeks, so please forgive me if I take a turn to dirty-mindedness now and again. Or, you know, most of the time now. (Earlier my boss, referring to putting more paper in the printer, said she needed "to put in a bigger wad" and all I could think was, "That's what he said!" Cue 14-year-old boy laughter.)
So with the family gone, I took a look around my apartment last night to see what destruction they've rained upon us in the form of gifts and unwanted leftovers. My MIL can't ever see us without giving us gifts--which were fairly mild this time. A few things from their trip to Hawaii, and a giant bag of walnuts. I'm excited by the walnuts. I eat those things all. The. Time. Mostly paired with dried fruit after a run, but also thrown into brownies when I make them. (And BOY do I want to make some brownies right now!) It was a full gallon-sized bag of them, so I put them in the freezer to ensure they won't go rancid before I get around to eating them. (I already had a jar of walnuts and a jar of almonds I need to eat first.)
My brother-in-law's dorm was one favored by grad students and upperclassmen, because the rules are relaxed and you don't have to buy a meal plan. So he and his roommate cooked a lot, and bought most of their stuff in bulk from Sam's Club. I made the horrendous mistake of telling him that he could bring over whatever he didn't want to our place, to make his packing up and moving easier. So now I have tons of (mostly crappy) food that I don't know what to do with. I'd never even heard of Peter Pan brand peanut butter, but now I have a giant jar of it. I used it yesterday to fill the dog's Kong toy. And what on earth am I supposed to do with roughly 30 lbs of rice? That's more rice than we eat in a year! It won't go bad, so we'll keep it (obviously) and use it as we can.
We have two giant jugs of (non-organic) olive oil. A (newer) microwave, which we will probably trade out for ours, and take ours to VV. Roughly 12 unopened packets of saltines. Candy bars, which I took to softball to give away. I already gave away a giant box of Bisquick, and an unopened bag of (non-organic) sugar. (I kept the open one.) We have two large boxes of plastic storage tubs, bowls, a mixer, and assorted glassware and such which will probably just go to VV. Toilet paper and paper towels, which I'm keeping. Another CrockPot, which I'm not sure about yet.
And hand soap. Several years ago I bought a large jug of hand soap so that I could simply refill the small container and use a bit less plastic packaging. Well, I figured that an even better choice would be to ditch the plastic altogether and simply use bar soap, which comes in a paper box. (Much easier to recycle, and far less packaging.) Well, at the rate we go through hand soap, the large jug hasn't even been emptied yet. There's still at least one refill left, and the soap dispenser is mostly full. Roughly 3 years of hand soap from one big jug. And now I've been given two more, one unopened and the other mostly full. Do I really want to keep them? Or do I want to get rid of them? That much hand soap would take us into the next decade, probably. We do already have an opened (but unused) bar of soap kicking around our bathroom, which we got for free when someone left it at our place last summer. (Opened only because the dog, in a fit of mischief, tore the box to shreds.) So I will probably get rid of the hand soap.
Mind you, these are just the things I can think of off the top of my head, and the boxes I've already explored. I'm sure there's more hidden around my house. I haven't looked in the spare bedroom yet, so there might be horrors waiting for me there.
In addition to all this, there are the things Shane brought home. Trying to be sweet, he brought home some Vitamin Waters for me, because they give them out for free at the work site. I *used* to love these, which he remembered, but I guess he hasn't noticed that I haven't drunk one in years. Once I figured out that they're just glorified sugar water, I stopped drinking them. So now I have a bunch of Vitamin Water, and I don't know what to do with it.
It's amazing how tastes can change in a fairly short time. For the graduation, Shane and I packed a little bag with some snacks, a Vitamin Water, and our books. He opened the Water and since I was incredibly thirsty I took a sip. And nearly gagged. Granted, it had never been my favorite flavor anyway, but it was one that I would regularly drink. Now it feels like an assault on my tastebuds to drink such artificial flavors. It was disgusting! I realized that since I made the switch to more natural foods, I don't crave overly processed foods, or enjoy them when I do eat them. There are still some things which I would happily eat if they weren't so bad for me (boxed mac & cheese!) but for the most part, I just don't like them anymore.
Scents are the same way, now that I've stopped wearing them. I really can't stand most scented soaps and lotions, not to mention perfumes, and the smells that don't totally repulse me tend to be more natural. Coconut or vanilla. Light scents. There's a *fancy* soap someone brought into the bathroom at work, and I ended up using it yesterday (the other soap dispenser was blocked by someone else using it, so I figured it wouldn't kill me to use the *fancy* soap). It made my hands reek (like "Winter Wreath", according to the packaging) and I hated it. I eventually went back to the bathroom simply to wash my hands with something that wouldn't smell.
I really notice it when someone else is wearing a scent, too. Perfumes used to be highly prized because, in the days when most people didn't bathe regularly, people of course smelled bad. But in an age where most people bathe on a daily or almost-daily basis, there's really no need for perfumes. And yet they're so cheap and ubiquitous now that they're manufactured, so scents are put into everything. And people keep buying them.
I wish I could make them stop. My nose doesn't like it.