Everyone knows about the cat-lady stereotype. The one where a woman just hoards cats because…well…cats are cool.
Well, I’m about to tell you about the Napkin lady…or Napkin Hoarding Syndrome (NHS).
See, napkin hoarding syndrome is a disease (this is probably not a disease) and it has no cure (probably has no cure because it is not a disease). But it affects thousands of women every year (false statistic, it’s just me).
I suffer from NHS.
I don’t remember when NHS started, but I can tell you factors that lead me to developing NHS.
As a child, I had horrible allergies. Like, horrible, dreadful, super inconvenient allergies. Since I had such severe allergies, to basically everything, my nose was very sensitive. The slightest exposure to one of my allergens caused an almost instantaneous runny nose. I don’t know how many kids you enjoy interacting with whose nose holes are constantly dripping liquids, but I can tell you that I personally avoid these kinds of children.
So, in an attempt to maintain human social interactions with people, I constantly carried tissues in my pocket. This way, I could flip out my fibrous saviors and stuff them up my nose to plug up my nasal faucets.
As I became a young adult, I no longer had access to free tissues from my parents…I had to buy them. Now, I can tell you’re thinking to yourself, “tissues are cheap, so what’s the big deal?” – I’ll tell you what the big deal is. You can get free napkins from any food-producing business!
And free is always better than not free.
Thus, my love affair with napkins and hoarding them began.
Anytime I would visit a restaurant, I would take a handful of napkins and stuff them into my purse. If I ordered fast food, I would keep the extra napkins that came in the bag.
There are several different types of napkins, all with varying quality.
Let me break it down for you.
1) Cardboard – napkins that feel like cardboard are of the worst quality. They feel like sandpaper on your nose, you’re lucky if you don’t scrape off the entire superficial layer of your skin. Granted, napkins were never meant to be used for nose-blowing…but I mean, when in
Rome McDonalds, do as Ronald would do.
2) Recycled – fibrous, but manageable. Also environmentally friendly, so, how can you hate it? These can be found everywhere, and they are generally the most abundant in my purse collection. They’re also surprisingly absorbent.
3) Thickened – thick napkins usually have fancy embossed decorations. As the title suggests, they are thicker and usually sturdier as well. I call these “old reliable,” because no matter what the issue, these work just as good as tissues (see what I did there?).
4) Royal – I’ve only seen these in high-scale restaurants, you know, the ones where the bathrooms have marble floors and there’s like a person sitting there for any bathroom assistance – usually waiting to help you out for a tip (thanks, but no thanks, I’ve got this lady). This is like the holy grail of napkin quality, it doesn’t get any better than this. They’re basically linen, like, I’m pretty sure some of those napkins come with a 600 cotton thread count. I’d sleep like a baby on a bed covered in Royal napkins.
Now, I go through phases of purse full-ness, meaning there will be times when there are only three napkins in my purse and then there will be times when there are thirty napkins in my purse. I usually hoard them until I use the majority of my stash, unless something happens – like I stored food in my purse and now all my napkins have crumbs in them. Then I discard them…but I’m quick to restock.
There is a silver-lining to my NHS, and that is when my napkins make me a hero.
Hero? Yes, hero.
I am a swift spill-solver. Spiderman has his spidey-sense, and I have my Spill-sense. When my spill-sense tingles, I know that there is a spill near by. I quickly take out my
utility belt napkins and attack the culprit before it spreads over materials that could be damaged. Like a fucking ninja.
More realistic reenactment:
Actually, I’m sure on-lookers must think I’m some kind of napkin-dealer…
Spills and nose-blowing are the only reasons why I keep a stack of napkins in my car. I cannot tell you the number of times I spill something in my car. It’s like the universe gets offended by my ability to drink things, so it curses me when my car goes over speed bumps or badly-paved roads.
The other time that I look like a hero with my napkins is when someone needs paper and there’s none around.
I just pop open my purse and hand a napkin over.
NAPKIN RESCUE, SCENARIO 1:
NAPKIN RESCUE SCENARIO 2:
And when I am done helping those in need…
Sometimes I’m my own hero… like, for example, when I enter a bathroom and I see that there is no toilet paper.
Having no toilet paper in a bathroom is quite possibly the most annoying thing ever… it leaves you totally helpless.
But I digress.
My NHS does get pretty out of control when I’m too busy to clean out my purse… they have a tenancy to spill out onto the floor. It kind of makes me look like I’m trying to keep track of where I’m going by leaving myself napkin clues. It also makes me unintentionally litter.
At home, I may put some napkins in my kitchen, but they always somehow make their way into my room…so then I’ve got napkins all over my already messy bedroom.
The point when I have to start throwing things away is when I wake up to the sight of a napkin on my pillow…
I know I have made progress with my disease…but it’s still got a strong grip on me. any time I get rid of napkins…a strong, burning urge to attain more floods through my body.
One day, when there is no more pollen, freshly cut grass, dogs, cats, dust, or allergens in general, I will finally be free of NHS. Until then…my purse will forever be twice as large thanks to my fluffy paper friends.
November 13, 2013 at 11:15 am
LOL, I love all your doodles. Especially the one with the nervous tick. NHS kind of reminds me of all the billions of kleenexes that were always stuffed into the pockets of my nana’s coats and sweaters. If you used it already then just throw it out, crazy old woman.
November 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm
LMAO!!! Aw, my grandmother did this as well!!! Maybe I inherited NHS…
Yeah, if the tissues or napkins already have some “usage” on them…its time for some fresh ones…lol
November 13, 2013 at 11:26 am
AMAZING!! LOVE THIS! You always make me laugh!
November 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm
LOL!!! I’m glad you liked it Marry :)
November 13, 2013 at 11:40 am
Too funny! This is great. :)
November 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm
Oh hey Rebecca! Lol, welcome to my weird blog, glad you enjoyed the post :)
November 13, 2013 at 11:54 am
Oh my butt!!! This is so cute, I can’t even!!!!
The trenchcoat Mich did it for me, I DIED!!!!! LOLZ to the freaking LOLSTER
I think this was also inspiring, I’m going to collect napkins from now on as well!
I always have Kleenex cuz of my sinuses, but napkins are a super helpful idea too.
This could be an addition to the list of super hero Napkin moments:
When you get the urge to pee peez or poo pooz, and you happen to be at a lame ass place (like my work), or strolling around Miami streets and shops, and then sprint into a bathroom cuz you’re about to burst–you do your thing, you relieve all tension, and THEN you realize THERE’S NO PAPER PRODUCTS OF ANY KIND.
(This happened Sunday, my Kleenex saved me–but napkins would’ve been more thorough and sturdy). Note taken.
November 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm
OMG YOU’RE SO RIGHT!!!
I have done this before!!! Several times actually. Especially at like gas station bathrooms or department store bathrooms on the weekends… Why is it that people don’t say anything to you before you go into their stall – like, hey, by the way, there’s nothing to wipe your butt with in there… I always tell people when I leave a stall if there’s no paper.
LOLLL I don’t know why I didn’t think of adding it to usefulness of napkins.
I’ll add it when I get home today, lol!!!!!
November 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm
I haven’t bought napkins in a very long time. I usually hoard and grab the most napkins at Starbucks, Chipotle, and any fast food restaurant. I think it started from my parents because I think they are the reason why McDonald’s now has those napkin dispensers where you grab one at a time. LOL! They work in all those situations you mentioned, and I loved the J.K. Rowling reference! So true!!! <3
November 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm
LOL! My grandparents did the same with McDonald’s napkins!!!!
I also grab a lot of napkins from starbucks, cause they come in these tiny squares that are much more space reducing for purse storage, lol.
I heard that’s how she came up with Harry Potter (wrote the idea on a napkin)- no idea if its true though!
November 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm
LOL! Gotta love old people =)
I heard the same thing about J.K. Rowling, it sounds true! Pretty awesome if she did, too!
November 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm
Haha! Damn you’re funny. Crazy… but very, very funny. I laughed the whole way through. In fact, I think I woke up the neighbours. I laughed loud. It was that funny.
Thanks for the entertainment and laughs. I’d be miserable without your blog! Love it! :)
November 13, 2013 at 1:52 pm
LOL, aw glad you liked it Ewen!
I am also glad people enjoy my weird-ness…it helps to make me feel like less of a weird-o.
November 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm
Your blog is so creative! What a joy to read! Fabulous!
November 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm
LOL! Thank you Gwen!
November 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm
Oh my gosh, you kill me. You have this unreal ability to tell stories about the most “normal” and seemingly remarkable things in a way that makes me just die laughing and nod my head because once again you are ALL UP IN MY BRAINS.
I always feel so bad when I eat at this particular fast food place with my coworker because she always tries to return my overly ambitious stack of napkins to the napkin holder. It never works but she always tries. And I just sit there like “oops, how did I accidentally grab so many napkins? hmmm.”
November 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm
LOL, I’m really happy to hear people relating to these weird things I do…cause…yeah. Also, our mental link continues!!! Pretty sure we were separated at birth or something…just play it cool…it was probably because if we were to ever meet we would ignite some kind of galactic power.
Tell your friend to back off man!!! Napkin territory is napkin territory! If you touched it, you keep it. There’s no turning back with napkins!
November 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm
Exactly! No turning back! And I might punch a hole in the bottom of a milk shake whilst driving and I will need 95 napkins, dammit!
November 13, 2013 at 5:58 pm
I have a similar approach, except I’m a colossal nose-snob. I only use Aloe Vera Kleenex, because I blow my nose so often that using anything else (even Royal Napkins©®) shears off several layers of skin upon application, and leaves me gibbering and sloughing blood around like some kind of effluvia sprinkler.
…I apologise for the above sentiment. MOVING ON
The take away here is I store tons of excess tissues in every pocket I have. I enjoy jackets with extra packets because OH LOOK MORE TISSUES. But! Here’s the core difference. I never, ever share them. They are MINE.
Plus everyone I know thinks they’re gross, and I’m gross, and ew get that shit away from me.
November 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm
Soooo, full disclosure…when I’m sick – I mean like can’t get out of bed, people think I’m dying, sick – I do shell out the two or three bucks for those aloe infused heavily clouds. Cause, fuck, I totally know the feeling of your nose bleeding from the outside in…
I also love jackets. I do the same. I pack some high quality napkins in my jacket, and I get really excited when I find a dress or skirt that has pockets, cause then I can carry them around in those as well. Pockets…the best invention since…flushable toilets.
I don’t judge anyone for their nose-gross-ness. When you need to keep your sinuses in check, you need to keep your sinuses in check. Real talk.
November 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm
Too funny. I can’t stop laughing.
November 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm
Glad you liked it man!
November 13, 2013 at 8:29 pm
I also want to have napkins or tissues with me all the time, just in case. When I don’t have them, I feel less confident. Anyway, compared to your NHS, my reduced confidence is nothing :D
November 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm
Right? I feel like I know something bad is going to happen if I don’t bring napkins with me. Like, I can sense that either I, or someone around me, will all of a sudden desperately need napkins some time that day. It’s the worst. I might as well have left the house without pants. I NEED THOSE!
November 14, 2013 at 3:53 am
Not that I have anything against blogs as an art- form, but I wish this blog was a cartoon I could watch on TV… your drawings are so cute, and the “voice-overs” so funny, it would be a sure-fire ratings winner! Also, the world owes you a great debt for saving Ms. Rowling in her hour of napkin-need. :)
November 14, 2013 at 11:34 pm
Lol, my doodles as a show would be so crazy. I don’t know if they’d make any sense…although…all those years of watching cartoons would suddenly have value as hours of “research” about my “craft” XD
I know right,?J.K. owes me a couple thousand bucks I think. At least.
November 15, 2013 at 3:39 am
You’d also be able to claim napkins as a business expense… so long as you listed them as “idea absorbers”.
November 14, 2013 at 11:50 am
Fellow napkin hoarder present! Mine are all sitting on top of my microwave, and the pile is looking pathetic and weak. Taco Bell across the street put in a new device that only lets me grab a few at a time, but at least Chipotle still gives me easy access to get tons of them. I’d probably be putting them in a purse if I had a one, but until then the microwave top will suffice. I did however keep a huge pile in my car, but that has dwindled down to nothing. ;_;
November 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm
SVEN – WE UNITE AS NAPKIN HOARDERS!
Stacks on stacks on stacks man.
I have yet to see these devices that limit the number of napkins taken…and I hope I never do. Sounds terrible. I get poop tons from Dunkin Doughnuts.
Yeah, the napkins in my car always run out the fastest…and usually I forget to restock that area the least…cause it always slips my mind…
November 14, 2013 at 6:26 pm
Someday I’d like to be an NHS hero but my wallet just doesn’t have enough room for as many napkins as you have.
November 14, 2013 at 11:38 pm
My advice Ben, get the little tiny napkin squares they have at starbucks or barnes and noble. Those little suckers can fit anywhere :)
November 15, 2013 at 3:17 am
Who knew you could find smaller napkins. My road to superherodom has just overcome one new obstacle.
November 14, 2013 at 11:25 pm
Thanks for making me smile. Your articles are like watching a short movie. Thanks for the entertainment.
November 14, 2013 at 11:40 pm
Hey man, thanks! Glad you liked it!
November 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm
I love super napkin lady.
Once…years ago..I got yelled at by a Wendy’s employee for taking a stack of napkins. In my defense..I was poor…and I really wanted the napkins.
November 14, 2013 at 11:40 pm
Yoooo, who yells at people about napkins? Those don’t come out of that guy’s paycheck! That sucks.
P.S. I’m super damn broke, so I feel your pain. Why do you think I skimp out on two dollar tissues??? :D FREE NAPKINS!
That way I can buy extra ramen and oatmeal during the week. I’m a fucking genius.
November 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm
This is brilliant.. As I started reading, and enjoying, I was wondering if that horror of all possible horrors would come up – the empty toilet-roll holder… And it did!!!! *That* is the reason I hoard napkins… And the reason I now follow this blog lol…
November 16, 2013 at 8:26 am
Aw, well thank you Sara!!!!! The empty toilet-roll holder is a hella important (and super valid) reason to carry napkins!!!!!
Thanks for following <3
November 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm
you are such a dork. i love it. i too suffer from NHS and because of the same reason. Lilies fuck me up real bad.
i’m surprised you didn’t wrap pizza tables in napkins.
November 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm
Bro, fuck lilies, I had no idea they wanted to fight you on the daily.
Yeah, when I was younger my parents gave me tissues (like a normal person), its only when I became broke that I developed NHS. So…I had tissues and pizza tables :)
November 17, 2013 at 10:06 am
You know your napkin hoarding comes to good use when you are virtually immune from the horrors of encountering a toilet-paper-less stall. Hilarious doodles.
I could learn from this, because I tend to bring just enough for going out and about. The thing I do hoard, for some reason, are plastic bags. Whenever I find myself with a plastic bag, I fold it up and keep it “just in case I need it in the future”. However, this thought process is repeated so many times that I end up with drawers full of them.
November 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm
Napkins are my swiss army knife, they can do anything and fix just about everything.
GO FORTH MARIA, AND EXPLORE THIS WORLD WITH A POCKET FULL OF NAPKINS!
November 17, 2013 at 11:53 am
Love your humour shining through this post! As a huge allergy sufferer, I can relate to your problem haha. Thanks for sharing :-)
November 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm
Aw, it upsets me that there are so many of us allergy-suffer-ers out there…but I’m glad you enjoyed it :)
November 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm
Yep this is so me but plus the cats as well.
November 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm
LOL, if I weren’t allergic and broke…I would have to assume I would also be the same…plus cats.
November 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm
You know, this isn’t just a girl thing. My boyfriend HOARDS napkins in the back pocket of every pair of pants he owns. I mean, it’s convenient, and I end up using one (or three) almost every time I see him but.. it’s still something I tease him about! Now that I know it’s not just him, maybe I’ll lay off the teasing.. maybe…
November 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm
Meredith, I have guy friends who do the same! You’ll take a ride in their car or see their kitchen at their place – napkintopia.
You probably won’t stop teasing him, lol, I know this because people have a lot of fun teasing me. BUT ITS A DISEASE YOU GUYS, SO LIKE, I’M SUFFERING…ALMOST.
November 18, 2013 at 4:18 am
your doodles are soo funny! Can I know how you make them? or is it magic?
November 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm
It’s magic. Bear-shark magic. I talk about posting in the giant illustration in this post here: https://imjustsupersaiyan.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/blog-achievement-unlocked/
November 18, 2013 at 11:22 am
Oh my gosh, this cracked me up! Love your blog, looking forward to more posts!
November 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm
Well thank you pepper…minting. LOL, I’m not sure what pepper minting is, you’ll have to explain it to me. But, I am very glad you enjoyed the post :)
November 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm
I’m so glad you asked :) Haha, I’m sure you have a sister or best friend that completely understands you, no matter how crazy we are, napkin lady :)
November 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm
LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL I LOVE THAT DEFINITION OF THE WORD.
November 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm
This is aaamazing and guess what? I spoke to opinionated man and gave him your link, he told me to give you his E-mail here it is, firstname.lastname@example.org and he wants to give you an application, just send him your email, and yes you can use pictures too!!! Yayyy I am so happy for you, it is such a good opportunity for you, I think that you can make money from this, in the near future, You need as many people as possible to see what you are doing, Who knows? T.V. show? E- book? T-shirts? the possibilities are endless!! O.M. that’s what he likes to be called, has a huge following, and I just believe in you and PAPRIKA lol!!! xoxox Go for it girl!!! LOVIE YOU!!!
November 22, 2013 at 12:54 am
I sent him an email, lol, we shall see how it goes. Also, you are so crazy with all these compliments, but I will take all the motivation I can get from you! Cause I’m running low on that as of starting my nightshift job :(
Plus I love you so I pretty much do whatever you say :) <3
November 22, 2013 at 11:22 am
Yayyy!! I am so happy for you!!! O.M. is a cool guy, and his followers are great too!! they are going to love you, I know that you have a lot going on with school and work, but I feel this is a good opportunity for you, I really feel in my heart that you could do great things with this, I remember seeing your very first post, I hit the follow button and thought to myself this blog is my favorite, and then post after post, I was amazed and thought this is something special!!! Do it for the pizza table, do it for the tissues of the world , the wizards and Guild Wars!!! but most of all do it for PAPRIKA!!!! I can’t wait to see what you will do!!! I lovie you so very much!!! I will be the first to buy something!!! Hee- Hee !!! Annie
November 21, 2013 at 2:36 am
OMG!!! One of the best posts I’ve read! I should be your side-kick, Napkin Hoarder! I literally have Starbucks napkins stashed in EVERY purse I own—and that’s saying a lot because I also suffer from a handbag fetish. Napkins are like my security blanket for any emergencies:))))) LOVE YOUR BLOG!
November 22, 2013 at 12:45 am
Starbucks Napkin Girl, the perfect sidekick.
Napkins are also my safety blankets, I’m glad I’m not alone!
Glad you enjoyed the blog :)
November 21, 2013 at 8:21 am
Hahaha : D I love your posts so much. I do this, too. The hubbie says I have to many napkins but if the glove box in my car can lock than it’s fine : P I’ve lost to many DD coffees to speed bumps! Love your art & adventures. : )
November 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm
ME TOO! Omg, I love that you abbreviated Dunkin Doughnuts as DD…fucking…mind blowing. Why did I not come up with that? I am so stealing it for future usage. I wonder why their coffee spills so easily in our cars…
Also I love you.
November 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm
I’ve learned to abstain from the habit because it irritates my wife. But I can’t resist when I’m at Mortons or the St Regis…
December 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm
Yooo, they’ve got those fancy napkins!!!!!! I wouldn’t be able to resist either.
November 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm
Okay, I’m not on your level but I’m not far off… I collect napkins everywhere I go and its a subconscious thing. Probably because of my hay-fever suffering… So now, all my pockets are always filled with tissues and napkins. You should see the face my mom makes when she finds all her washing covered in bits of tissue… If you’re going to hoard napkins, the most important rule is to empty your pockets before you throw your clothes in to the washing machine.
December 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm
Yeah, that’s a problem that I often encounter as well. I usually just rewash my clothes if I see that I have tissue confetti all over the place.
December 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm
That’s not such a problem if there’s no urgency. It becomes a real problem when its a school night and you need to get your uniform ready for the next morning. Those were the days. xD
December 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm
Replace “school uniform” with “scrubs” and
school night” with “back to back night shifts” and it’s got the same urgency.
December 2, 2013 at 6:06 pm
Ah… In that case. You do understand where I’m coming from…
But yeah, I’ve got an addiction and I don’t think it’s ever going to go away any time soon.
So allergies, you’ll never get the best of me.
January 2, 2014 at 10:21 pm
Do you ever find really cool novelty napkins, like from theme parks or tourist places, and keep a bunch of those? Because if I just had a bunch of novelty napkins laying around, I’d be half tempted to make some kind of weird napkin scrapbook just so I can be all like, “And this is from Disneyworld….and this one is from Graceland.”
January 30, 2015 at 12:20 am
I loved reading your post on Napkin Hoarding….My 96 Year old WWII veteran “Stanley G Grizzle”, Canada’s first Black Citizenship Judge, Order of Canada recipient, Order of Ontario recipient and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient is a napkin hoarder. I will share your stoory with him. It will make him smile to know that he is not strange.. :)