Beware of venturing beyond the Shire…

4 12 2008

Oh, she would come unglued if I intimated that she was a women’s libber. That would not do. In many ways she was on the cutting edge and never even knew it.  I suppose it was financial necessity that got her back to the work place when I was in third grade or so…do the math, that would have around 1963.  

For the most part, she still did 90% of the housework.  I know from talking to my sister that it was her task to get things started for supper before Mom got home from work.  We had things to do on Saturday…I remember dusting and ironing pillowcases, handkerchiefs, and anything else that was small and square.

But one of the natural divisions of labor was that she NEVER did the grocery shopping.  That was Billy’s job.  Saturday’s were magical for me, because I got to tag along.  I don’t know why I thought that was such a treat because I hate going to the grocery store now.  It was probably the unknown factor…maybe a stop by the hot dog stand, maybe a donut, maybe…it was the “maybes” that made the magic or it was just time alone with BIlly.

I remember a time standing in the toilet paper aisle when he took out his pocket calculator and showed me how to figure price per unit and we always ended up with the Scott 1000 sheet roll.  Not the softest, not the one from the cute commericals, not the multiple rolls all in one huge plastic bag…no, it would not do.  It could have been because he instinctively went for the word “Scott” being a Scotsman in every stereotypic sense of the word.  We had to take the ones individually wrapped, near the weight of a brick, with the consistency of something between sandpaper and burlap.

I think it was about 20 years into my own marriage that I began the toilet paper rebellion.  I can blame my working girl experience for the seeds of change that were planted in my head. See this uprising doesn’t just have to do with the kind of paper you buy but ultimately how it is hung once it is back in the house.

By example, I was taught that the paper should exit from the bottom of the roll.  It’s not like there was a discussion around the house as to why, I just imitated. Carelessly replaced rolls hung wrong would bring recrimination.  I grew up to believe that is THE way it was done. Until I worked in hoity toity, wanna-be-five-star hotel world and saw how the maids were taught to have the paper exit from the top so that it could be fancy folded into a little point that was easily grasped and looked “finished”, I never knew that I could have the freedom to change things up.  Other people in the world had a different way of doing things.  Imagine my surprise!

It didn’t take long until I realized that the economical brand just didn’t hold the fold. Too thin, too plain-pig, too utilitarian this toilet paper.  Imagine the sense of freedom when I took that tentative first step and didn’t buy THAT brand.  I could get any one I wanted!  No more brand loyality.  No more POS (parent over shoulder).

Now I have a new problem.  Too many choices.  Is it just me or is everyone confused by the new 12=24 or ultra vs. big vs. ultra strong vs. ultra soft dilema?  Now we have toilet paper that won’t roll unless I knock more space out of the wall between the studs.  

Regardless of my own moral dilema here, give each of your Holiday guests the special treatment they deserve and study up on toilet paper origami.  It’s a gift that keeps on giving and giving…

I never should have left the Shire.img_3822_2