Where is Emily Post when I need her? Recently Dan and I stayed a few nights at the Orcas Hotel on Orcas Island, Washington. Here’s the link: We stayed in the Starboard View Room. Check it out. It is a fabulous place.

The Orcas Hotel is over 100 years old and for a variety of reasons, we shared a bathroom with the guests in three other rooms. At first I thought that might be major ick factor. But aside from someone continually leaving the toilet lid up with tissue floating in the bowl, it was not a problem. Never did I have to wait to use any of the facilities.

But here is my quandary. What is the correct protocol regarding soap when you are using a shared shower? I have never seen that covered in any etiquette books. Our room was stocked with little motel bar soaps to use in the shower. Usually when I stay multiple days in a motel, I just leave the bar in the shower to use the next day. But at the Orcas hotel, in all likelihood someone who is not my husband will be using the shower before then. There was no provision made for carrying it back to our room. I suppose I could have rewrapped it in the wrapper. But have you ever used a bar of soap that has been handled in that fashion? The wrapper dries to the soap and you end up with little bits of wrapper stuck to your body. Yuck! Packing it back to the room sans wrapper didn’t seem like the way to go. besides what am I going to do with it when I get back to my room? Set it on the antique dresser? I think not. Throwing it away seems to be extremely wasteful and probably very bad for the environment. But how disgusting would it be to hop into the shower and find someone else’s soap in the soap dish! I don’t even want to think about what that soap may have touched. Without surgical gloves, I am not touching that. Eeew. Well, I finally decided to just throw it away, but I compromised. I felt guilty when I did it.


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