In the interest of full disclosure, we got a bidet toilet seat for our wedding anniversary. My youngest could not get the name straight and initially referred to the bidet as the “Dubai,” which made sense because one of the seat’s marvelous functions (and there are many) is that the toilet seat is heated. Heated! That may not sound like much but there were many winter mornings here in NYC when the kids were looking for me – they look for me by standing rooted in one spot and shouting my name over and over again, with increasing, panicked volume – only for me to shout back, “I’m just in Dubai warming up!” (Speaking of NY winters, what is the point of a sixty degree day if it’s going to be followed by a 25 degree day? The chickens woke up to frozen water and would like to know.)
I could wax rhapsodically about this Toto toilet seat (thank you Japan!), but there are times when you just don’t use the seat and its many life affirming functions and you want to go the old fashioned toilet paper route. (Sometimes you just forget it’s there, even with a warm bum.) All that is fine until you reach for said toilet paper and your hand falls onto a roll of gritty, pulpy SINGLE PLY. I do not, for the life of me, why you would install the Cadillac of toilet seats and then adorn it with prison toilet paper. Nobody owns up to putting in the toilet paper, but it keeps coming back, even after I threw several rolls of it out into the hallway. M has now hidden the single ply in the bowels of the basement, so if it returns, there really are elves in the house.
And yes, the reason we have such toilet paper is because we are apparently celebrating our one year COVID-versary by using up all the things we bought in a panic. Every few weeks we get a small package from China with a single, squashed roll of toilet paper I bought ten months ago in a complete frenzy not fully understanding what it was that I was buying. I cannot imagine doing anything with these lonely little rolls other than taking them camping and using them to make a fire.
(Also, on the subject of things we bought in a panic, I don’t think I can eat all the dried beans. There are just too many.)
I want to know. What did YOU buy in a panic that you know find yourself staring at, full of consumerish guilt and misgiving?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a resolution, but this year I told myself I’d take one picture a week – specifically, a picture which encapsulates the kind of week I’ve had. Last week I wanted to post a cute picture of the minivan as we returned from our road trip to the Great White North, but I didn’t know which picture to post. I had a few choices:
1. The pic of the new brakes I had to put on the minivan before we left. (Not myself, but by Bruce, my well-named and flawless mechanic.)
2. The pic of the fresh dent I put in the back of the van when pulling out my driveway as we were leaving.
3. The pic of the heating vents in the ceiling of the minivan dripping onto our heads as we drove through Quebec.
4. The pic of the tire pressure light which goes on each time the temp drops below 20 degrees. That light all but imploded as we dropped to -25 in Montreal.
In the end I couldn’t bear to post a pic of the minivan – I hardly want to encourage it. Instead, this week’s pic comes from M – in yet another attempt to subtly remind me to replace the toilet paper.
As I have already made clear, I do not believe in replacing the toilet paper. Other things in which I don’t believe: those crappy little snack-size ziploc bags and the half sheets of paper towel.
Consequently, we have all thawed out from our week in the Great White North; even the minivan. It is now 30 degrees in NY and it feels like Maui. Aloha!
You could say that I lack attention to detail, or that I am easily distracted, but really it’s that I cannot see a project to its completion. I’m not talking about big projects… those I’m sort of okay with. I’m talking about the smaller things, the things that trip us all up every day.
For example, I can load a dishwasher yet just leave enough dirty cups in the sink to leave everyone wondering what the hell I was thinking. Similarly, I can unload the dishwasher but leave all the cabinets open after I put things away.
And this morning once again, I seem to have done it. You see, I see nothing wrong with this: I believe this counts. I believe I have done my job. I believe it is very clear what I intended to do, and there’s nothing wrong with someone else having to come along and finish this for me.
I’d been intending on chronicling the move, if only in pictures. But that plan derailed itself when Fiona dropped my phone into a toilet. (In a moment of weakness, I told her she could play for 15 minutes if she let me nap. I was so, so very tired and would have traded just about anything for a power rest.. maybe even her. Note to self: Do not plug your phone in next to a toilet. I will probably get this right at the same time I learn NEVER to smell underwear (or pull-ups, I did that this very morning) to see if they are clean.)
We are now in the thick of the unpack, the part of the process which has me wandering from room to room in a haze of panic and confusion. It doesn’t help matters that the tiny blue notebook I’d been using in lieu of the iPhone went and got itself lost this afternoon. (It seems the folks at ATT thought we were trying to defraud them when we changed our address and then promptly ordered a new phone, and so they have kept me just about technology free for several long days now.)
Without the phone you cannot see a picture of the dining room table that went and got itself cracked in two during the move – the very same table that did the same thing en route from LA to Seattle.
But I don’t need a phone to tell you that yesterday Sidney asked me what I was doing.
Me: I’m unpacking china.
Sidney: You know, china is an inappropriate word.
Enter Fiona (as if on cue): That’s Va-china Sidney.
Sidney: Oh. Va-china.
Speaking of the nether regions, in a giant karmic last laugh, it seems that while M has moved us with 5,632 rolls of paper towel, we have come here with nary a roll of toilet paper. In a panic I used some tissues I found in the bathroom.
Some menthol scented tissues I bought in France last summer.
Note to self: If you want a spring in your step, there are probably better ways of going about it than wiping with a minty tissue.
And now, an arts and crafts project! No, I haven’t gone all Pinterest on you (and given that I still have difficulty operating a stapler, I never shall), but I do have a quick project to suggest. If you find yourself say, at school, and you perhaps have some time to kill, here’s an idea. Pop into the bathroom, filch a roll of toilet paper, remove the inner tube and place the tube in the sink. Soak the tube until it’s revolting and soggy and then mush it up until it looks something like this:
Place the project on the kitchen counter as your mother is making dinner later that day. Things should go really well for you from there.
This would be even better if you just happened to find a tube lying around, because then you won’t be stuck with this:
While there are a myriad of fun things you can do with this, it’s likely gotten wet and soggy and no longer serves its original purpose. You can really psych your mother out and do this to every roll of toilet paper in the house.