Toilet Paper

This week the window of my world has shrunk to the point of being focused on TP, but first a small digression.

When I’m walking, rather than counting steps or thinking about plots, I think about song lyrics. Generally speaking, my head is full of lyrics as opposed to … well … cotton, hay, and rags. Thank you, My Fair Lady!

Last week my walking lyrics took on a trip to Oklahoma—where the wind comes sweeping down the plain! I had no trouble at all with “I Cain’t Say No.” I sang that as a solo in the Greenway School talent show in seventh grade, and all the words to both verses are safely lodged among my little gray cells. I did fine with “Out of my Dreams,” and “Poor Judd is Dead,” but I ran into trouble with “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.” It took the better part of two days to get it to scan. It wasn’t until I finally remembered “watching them birds and see how they flutter” lined up with strutting white horses and nosy neighbors peeking out through their shutters. The birds finally pulled it all together. Whew!

And now, back to toilet paper. I have several people who send me collections of cartoons on a daily basis. This week one of them included a drawing of a roll of toilet paper and the “correct” way to install same—over rather than under.

My mother, Evie, was definitely on the under side of that debate, so when I left home, I may have over reacted to being an over. I was married to my first husband for thirteen years. I have no idea if he was an over or an under. To my knowledge he never once replaced a toilet paper roll. He set them on the floor for me to do the replacing. The man has been dead for more than forty years now, and the toilet paper issue is something that still irks me.

When I married my second husband, it was a total revelation because not only does he put the toilet seat down he always changes the toilet paper roll as needed.

So what brought all this to mind? This week our package of Charmin from Costco turns out to be defective. I don’t know if the pallet fell of a front end loader or what, but the inside cardboard rolls are mostly squashed flat. When you put them on the holder and try to roll them, they simply flop over. This is the first time that’s ever happened to me, but it’s very annoying.

So it was the combination of the flopping toilet paper roll and the cartoon that got my brain headed in this direction, but guess what came out the other side? A piece of real gratitude for my second husband, the good one, in a marriage that’s going on 39 years.

So today, when I’m getting my steps—probably inside because it’s raining at the moment—I’ll be working on remembering the words to Little Things Mean a Lot, because they do—and that includes putting down toilet seats and changing the rolls.