Sunday, November 14, 2010

“An optimist laughs to forget, a pessimist forgets to laugh.”

Life is funny, it really is, and if you can learn to laugh at some of the small annoyances, in the great perspective of things, they become even smaller. My muse for tonight’s post is my paper wars, and I decided to share it with you because, well…because I want to. But although this post may dwell in the land of the potty, rest assured that my discussion only involves the tools used to complete the process and not the process itself.

I know you’re curious about the war I’m raging, and I know you’re wondering just what makes this annoyance funny. Within the past year, the teacher bathrooms and the teacher’s lounge have undergone a slight change-the purchase of new paper towel and toilet paper dispensers. The reason for the change, I haven’t a clue, although at first the new toilet paper dispensers seemed a logical solution. You see the one predicament that can strike fear into even the toughest bruiser is casually glancing over and seeing an empty toilet paper roll, and even though our wonderful custodial staff often kept spare rolls on a shelf above the bathroom mirror, you still had to figure out how the heck you were going to reach that shelf!

The new toilet paper dispenser seemed to solve all that. It could hold five rolls of paper, and if one roll was empty, you could turn a dial and a full roll would drop down. I remember a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs" when they put this baby in, and it did take away everyone’s biggest fear, that is until we had to use the thing. You see, now the roll didn’t spin freely on it’s holder-it had a much smaller space in which to move, so getting an adequate amount of paper was a daunting task. And for those people, such as myself, who "build a nest" prior to taking a seat, the ability to get enough paper from the roll to do this was nearly impossible. Factor in the fact that the birth of two children has adversely affected my holding ability, and now the situation of feathering my so-called nest is downright scary. There have been times that I didn’t think I could make it, but did so with only seconds to spare.

Let’s not forget that we need enough paper to finish the job. The situation goes something like this:
rip, swear, rip, and swear some more, rip, rip, rip, rip, swear, swear, and swear…
Confidence in a job well done is certainly not something I feel when I am through, but I move onto the next task at hand, washing up. It’s simple; you wet your hands, lather, rinse, and then head for the towel dispenser. Gone is the push-the-lever-down- and-the-paper-comes-out machine, and in its place is a seemingly trouble-free container where you are to grab a two-inch section of towel and pull. But you have to pull with both hands or you will get just that two-inch section of towel, and you spend another two minutes trying to retrieve the rest of the towel. It’s gotten so bad that I actually repeat a new mantra, "I will pull with both hands," over and over as I head for the towels.

Now an annoyance is still an annoyance until you share it with somebody, and after sharing my plight with my co-workers at lunch, I found I was not alone, and we all got a stress relieving chuckle over the whole thing. In fact, things took such a hilarious turn that I shouted, "I just want a piece of paper, a square to spare!"as the period bell rang, just so my point was made clear. (If you were a loyal Seinfeld junkie, that line should bring back memories of Elaine in a public bathroom begging the stall next to her for a spare square-a classic...)

I am currently raging a similar battle on the home front because I came face to face with an empty toilet paper roll on two occasions (thanks to my children) and both times were almost back-to-back. The remedy? All spare rolls are now occupying the towel basket, minus the towels of course, but I am willing to trudge out to our hall linen closet for a towel-toilet paper retrieval is another story…


  1. I love how you compared your frustration to Elaine's! I have never come across a toilet paper holder in public that I felt had it all, and I don't think I've ever built a nest. LOL

  2. blueviolet, my mother turned me into the germaphobe I am today. (I'm glad you enjoyed my reference!)

  3. I can so relate to this! I also make a nest when in public. And it irks me so to have to pull hard for a piece of toilet paper, ending up with barely anything. I'm not sure if those or the kind of paper towel dispensers you mentioned bother me more. I'm glad in the end you could laugh about it with your co-workers. :)

  4. You know it is like a gift when you go into a public establishment and that roll actually flows freely! It's so rare.
    I'm with you on the homefront. trying to figure out why there is a 15 roll, bulk store package in the storage closet but Never any on the roll!


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