Separation Anxiety – the Kit

I had a bit of a revelation this weekend. I was cleaning out the storage area in my apartment and noticed something a bit disturbing…I discovered I have an addiction to airline amenities kits. After going through a bunch of empty suitcases and carry on bags, I realize I had saved close to 10 kits from various airlines.  For no good reason.
Just a small sampling of my loot
Since you can barely get a cocktail napkin on a domestic flights these days, let alone a small bag with toothpaste and mouthwash, its clear that most of these originated from international flights.  I am guessing it must have something to do with the recycled air on the planes. After 8 hours on a flight stuck in a small space and devoid of fresh air, those kits start to seem like the holy grail.  Even though it’s doubtful that the contents of the bag cost more than $1.99 (and that’s including the cost of the bag) I feel like I need to stash away whatever products remain inside.  
I have never voluntarily placed an eye mask over my head (either on the ground or at 35,000 feet), yet I feel like it’s a vital part of a bountiful treasure when a flight attendant tosses me the bag just after takeoff. I reason that I’ll use the small tubes of toothpaste and bottles of mouthwash on my next trip, so I can avoid the inevitable last minute dash to the drug store to pick up the trial sizes just as I’m leaving for the airport.  
I can’t honestly figure out why I hung on to these things for years.
But the sad fact is that each kit I found in my storage area had an unused toothpaste and mouthwash which means that I still made that last minute dash, forgetting I had a waiting supply at hand. Same thing goes for the earplugs, tiny packet of tissues, vials of lotion and the one-use socks.   For some reason I feel I can get a lot of use out of these items on future trips and I allocate precious space in my carry on bag to tote them with me until I return home. The kit I picked up on an Etihad flight last year ended up visiting 9 countries with me until it made its way into my storage space in Los Angeles. I guess it never crossed my mind that I should use those items during the flight when I received them, instead of squirreling them away for later. 
It took quite a whole lot of will power, but as part of my cleaning this weekend, I gathered up all of the kits and *gasp!* put them into the garbage.  OK – well I did save all of the tiny ear plugs because as a light sleeper, I do use those and honestly they hardly take up any space.  I also saved the kit I got from First Class on British Airways…the leather (OK, probably pleather) case was very sturdy and the eye mask was quite plush. I swear I’ll use those items again.  Probably…if I remember that I have them.
Anyone else out there hoard the amenity kits from airlines? Which airlines have the best kits in coach and first class? I may need to plan a trip around them!

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