Kelley Baldwin: Object of my discontent
It was like trying to go through life without the use of opposable thumbs. Now I know how my dog feels.
“What the hell is wrong with this thing?!” I screamed in frustration as I stormed out of the bathroom, waving a roll of toilet paper wildly in the air. One ragged end fluttered violently behind me. “I can’t get the damn toilet paper to tear off!”
You’d think after 36 years of successful toilet training I would have had it down by now. But, no, all of the sudden I’m having trouble working one little roll of two-ply.
Well, in my defense, it was more like two-ply plus aloe plus a cotton blend plus anything else considered squeezably soft in the modern world.
The two males in the household insist on the fanciest toilet paper on the planet. It’s so expensive, I have to take out a friggin’ loan every time I buy it.
In fact, when it was on sale last time –– an extremely rare occurrence –– I bought eight packages of the damn things. Filled up an entire shopping cart. Everyone threw me weird looks as I pushed it to the checkout. Of course, the only other things in my cart were a jumbo pack of Oreo cookies and a can of cooking spray.
Do you think that looked weird? I really need to start making a list. Anyway... back to toilet paper.
My husband, ever the observant one, answered, “Finally noticed a problem, did you?”
I cocked an eyebrow, looked at the offending roll again and uttered eloquently, “Eh?”
He sighed and gently removed the object of my discontent from one clenched hand.
“Look,” he said, pointing a finger at the loose end, “it’s not perforated. They must have had a little trouble at the factory.”
I grabbed it back and took a closer look. I pulled out the loose end farther and farther and farther, until half the roll lay in a piled heap on the kitchen floor.
Environmentalist tree huggers, please stop reading now. Back to the action....
Sure enough, my better half was right.
“Son of a biscuit!” I yelled.
Through some unlucky twist of wacky fate, we had managed to secure a non-perforated roll of toilet paper. You hear horror stories about these kind of things. You just never think it’s gonna happen to you.
I slumped down into the nearest chair and moaned, “How could this happen?” I looked at my husband in desperation and reached up to wave the roll in his face, “We’re good people! We don’t deserve this!”
He tried –– unsuccessfully –– to hide the smirk on his face.
“Is it really that big of a deal?” he asked.
My mouth dropped open in utter and complete shock.
“Excuuuse me?” I said. I slammed the toilet paper onto the kitchen table, where it landed with a soft plop. “What kind of company allows this to slip through the system? What happened to quality control, people!?”
“Someone is going to get a strongly worded letter from me,” I announced.
And then another thought hit me, even more terrifying than our current predicament. There are three other bathrooms in our house. Oh. My. God.
I leapt from my chair and charged upstairs and into our son’s bathroom. With frantic desperation, I clumsily pawed at the small roll on the holder.
Shortly later, I muttered, “Oh, thank God!” I peaked out the door and hollered downstairs, “This one’s safe!”
My husband, who really isn’t shocked at my crazy behavior after 10 years, just quietly walked past the bottom of the stairs and gave me a thumb’s up. Then I was off to the master bathroom, and then the fourth “room of necessity” downstairs. Both were cleared.
I know how relieved you all are.
I meandered back into the kitchen as the last of the adrenaline seeped from my body. I sat down and dropped my head onto crossed arms.
“Do you think that’s why it was on sale?” I mumbled, rational thought trying to crack its way back into my thick skull. But that didn’t last for long.
My husband walked over, leaned down and quietly whispered in my ear, “What about all the other rolls in the closet?”
Son of a -----.
You can follow additional adventures at kelleybaldwinlifelikemine.blogspot.com. Kelley is a former editor of the Maryville (Mo.) Daily Forum.