It's not about the house.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Quicker, Picker-Upper!

I’ve never been a paper-towel user.

Not out of any sort of tree-hugging inclination (you really ought to know better by now; I drive with the windows open and the A/C on, for heaven’s sake), but just because it's not how I was raised.

I’ve said before that we were poor when I was little. Those horseback riding lessons I mentioned the other day? My mom scrimped and saved so I could have them because it was something that she always wanted, too, and never got, but we drove to a different state to do it because at Sunny Croft it only cost eight dollars for a three-hour group lesson, and I had to quit when they went up to ten. We were poor. Plastic-money poor. Welly-cheese poor. My parents pulled themselves out of it by their bootstraps – as evidenced by the fact that I am now happily ensconced in their nothing-to-sneeze at second home. But back then, we used to pass a dishrag around the kitchen table on fried-chicken night.

Paper towels. Feh.

Since we never had them when I was little, they just weren’t something that wound up on my grown-up grocery-radar. Like fabric softener. I don’t understand it. My clothes are clean, I never noticed them feeling particularly hard when they come out of the drier, so why do I need to add another item to my list? Same goes for paper towels. I can wipe up spills with a damp sponge, I can dry things with a real towel, so…


I don’t understand these commercials for them, either. I mean, seriously: if you’re scrubbing the stovetop with something and wringing it out to use again – neither of which I actually believe are possible, mind you, but if they are – then why the hell are you throwing it away? Just use a sponge! And while you’re at it, get the hell off of my lawn!

Paper towels. Feh!

Don’t go mewling to me about germs, either, okay? Just save it. Please. If you leave a little soap in your sponge and wring it good when you put it down, it’s fine. Trust me. Don’t think I don’t know from sponge-phobia, because I do.

But paper towels…

Here’s how feh I feel about the situation: this house came equipped with them, and still I couldn’t bring myself to tear one off. When I got here, there was a roll in a dispenser on the counter, a few more rolls in an open pack under the sink, and I could name for you the three I used in the first month. I won't, though, don't you fret. It's bad enough I'm writing an entire post on paper towels. I wouldn't want to cross a boring line.

But then I cleaned out the bathroom closet and found a whole unopened pack. And then Dad bought another one instead of toilet paper by mistake. So now, for the first time in my life, I am positively flush with paper towels. There are currently fifteen rolls in this house – sixteen, if you count the one on the kitchen counter. And I still have to force myself to use one, every time.

Actually, that isn’t true. I go in spurts. Sometimes I get a wild hair and start tearing them off all willy-nilly. Like, I’ll be putting away dishes and think “Oh, this one’s not dry yet, I better wipe it with a paper towel!” Or my pint-glass of iced-coffee will be sweating all over my desk like it is now, and I’ll stop writing and run downstairs to get a paper towel. Two! Folded in quarters! Work almost as good as a real coaster! Whoop-de-do!

And then I get a pang and think: “But I have real coasters. And they work better than this. I don't care what Mr. Whipple wants to squeeze.”

Yes, yes, I know: Mr. Whipple squeezes Charmin. And I know Charmin is toilet paper. And I know he doesn’t want to squeeze it. But he does. And he’s funnier than the Brawny guy. He plain old is. So let me get my ha-has out, okay?

Because this morning, for the first time since I got here back in May, I had to start a brand-new roll of paper towels.

And that’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in a week.

So feh.

That fucking Brawny guy is looking better every day, I tell you what... 


12ontheinside said...

I'm with you on this one. It really is the way you're brought up - my boyfriend uses masses of paper towels and tissues and it drives me mental. OK, more mental. Why not use a bloody cloth you freaking weirdo! (Clearly, this makes me more cross than I previously realised!)

oldgreymare said...


leave the house..
and go play with new pal.....


: - 0


HPH said...

MI Man: Your assignment if you choose it...
Write a short essay about an inanimate object. Tell how you use it or how it effects your life. Make the story entertaining or amusing.

Navin: The grades are in, the grades are in...

HPH: beep... beep... beep... (the word verify is "rversa" -- i'm backin up)

jill said...

We have one type of paper in our house that works for many things - tp. Works for tp and tissues (and I have been known to use it in lieu of a coffee filter on occasion..)