Wait mom, don’t panic yet! This is not a confession. There’s no need for an intervention. I am addicted, not to Vicodin, cocaine, crystal meth or those oh-so-glamorous prescription drugs, but rather to toiletry kits. Toiletry kits, cosmetic kits, kikay kits, travel bags, call them what you will – I just love them. I know how odd that must sound, but I do.
When I travel, even on overnight trips to the beach, my friends laugh out loud when I start to unpack. That’s because my suitcase is usually filled with toiletry kits. There’s a kit for my bathroom supplies, one for feminine hygiene products (which I bring along, just in case), one for my tanning products, another for the after-sun stuff, then yet another for my cell phone and iPod chargers. And then I wonder why I always have the biggest bag in the group. Sometimes, there are even smaller cosmetic kits inside the larger ones. For longer trips, I tote along a bag for my medication, one for my make-up and a separate pouch for the make-up brushes. Can you imagine how much space I occupy on the bathroom counter?
In my everyday purse, you’ll also find three cosmetic bags filled with my everyday emergency items. One bag contains my make-up, pillbox, sewing kit, nail file and baby wipes. Another contains my iPod, extra batteries, flash drive and digital voice recorder. The third kit contains my anti-mosquito patches, insect repellant and bug bite creams (after my bout with dengue a few years ago, I’ve been very paranoid about mosquito bites).
At home, I have two kits pre-packed with shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, bath soap, cologne and deodorant, a larger bag for longer trips and one small kit for overnighters. These are checked and re-stocked regularly so that they’re ready anytime.
At work, I had three kits in my desk drawer. One contains my toothbrush, toothpaste, facial soap, toner and baby powder. Another one had my emergency make-up, in case I needed a quick retouch, and the third packed my make-up brushes (yes the brushes always have to be separate from the make-up).
I also have strict requirements when I buy kits. They all have to be water resistant or lined with water resistant fabric. There has to be a separate compartment where I can put my toothbrush and toothpaste. The toiletry kit with my bathroom supplies has to have that hook so I can hang it in the shower. The bag for the suntan products has to have a zipper and it can’t be black, because I usually carry this bag to the beach, so black would make it absorb more heat (if that even makes any sense).
I really don’t know how this addiction or obsession started. I didn’t even notice until a friend pointed it out to me. Every time I’d go shopping, she’d ask me what I bought and I’d say a toiletry kit. These days, I don’t even admit to buying them anymore. But of course, when she sees the new kits in my purse, she knows.
A friend and I went shopping a couple of days ago and I was so excited when she said that she needed new toiletry kits. I promptly helped her buy a few and was really tempted to buy new ones for myself. But she was watching me so I resisted the urge. Of course, this means that I will be heading back to the store when my friend isn’t looking because that pink striped bag is just too cute to resist. (Hopefully, she doesn’t read this article when it comes out.)
Maybe this thing runs in the family; after all, my mother also buys a new toiletry kit whenever she goes shopping. She’s always on the lookout for the perfect one for her purse. When I’m low on shopping money, I just go shopping in her closet and take the bags that haven’t passed her “let me see if this one works” test.
I could look for a deep, psychological reason for this obsession. Was there some childhood incident that prompted this need for so many kits? In my past life, did I lose some small item in my purse, so now feel the need to put all my things in small, organized pouches? Is this yet another sign that I really do have OCD? And then again, maybe I just like toiletry kits.