Kendra Rahmann has 15 spare bar soaps and 7 dispensers of liquid soap in her bathroom closet. The varieties range from small batch goat’s milk to meyer lemon to an ocean-scented foaming soap. Her large collection is impressive, but Rahmann is convinced it isn’t enough.
“If I really want to achieve the sense of peace I think these soaps should give me, I just need one more. Then it’ll all be perfect.”
Rahmann, who self-describes as “not addicted,” tends to buy a new soap each time she craves a little pick-me-up—a frequent occurrence. As she lives alone, Rahmann has been using her time in quarantine to invest her energy in the process of nesting. In her modest 1-bed/1-bath apartment, Rahmann estimates it will take her approximately 6 years to rotate through all the soap she currently has in stock.
“Even with all the mandatory hand-washing I’ve been doing every time I return from the outside…I’m still just one person. I mean, this is a lot of soap.”
But she’s positive the habit is worth it.
“Soaps just make me happy!” proclaims Rahmann, when asked why she has three identical bars of glittery soap from Lush. “Or at least, they will. After this next one. Then I’ll finally be able to give it a rest.”
At any given time, Rahmann’s Etsy cart contains anywhere between 1 and 4 soaps.
“I just like to know what’s out there,” she explains. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to pull the trigger on all of them.”
In a post-interview email, she amended her statement, saying, “But if you happen to stumble across a honey-scented bar soap in a cool color, please send me the link. That one, I absolutely would buy—price is no object.”
Quarantine is draining Rahmann’s energy, and the monetary cost of her habit has certainly been adding up, compounding onto the stress of the situation. But Rahmann, who suffers from bouts of depression, is not concerned about her mental health, not really. As she explains, “You see, that’s what my next soap is for.”
UPDATE: The day after this article was published, Rahmann received her next soap and reported zero increase in happiness.
UPDATE 2: The following day, she placed two more soaps in her Etsy cart, vowing that these would do the trick.
Image: Orlando Sentinel