Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Toilet Paper Epiphany (from the Way-Too-Much-Information Files)

I deleted this post after realizing that today was 9/11, but after reading Karen's comment to my new-and-improved September 11th post, decided to repost the toilet-paper epiphany...

Just yesterday I had an epiphany while sitting on the porcelain throne. And lest you think I spend unwarranted amounts of time there, it was a toilet-paper related thought and thus, completely justified.

I decided that we go through toilet paper all too quickly in my home. As I sat there and replaced yet another toilet paper roll, I realized that I do that approximately once a day. Now I’m no expert on toilet paper consumption, but that seems a titch excessive.

So I considered (as I sat and thought) different ways to remedy the problem. Years ago I read a book called The Complete Tightwad Gazette that talked about how to save money and get out of debt. There was an entire section on saving toilet paper, from establishing a rationing rule that dictated how many squares were allowed per function (i.e. 4 squares for number “1” and 8 squares for number “2”) to squashing the roll so the cardboard cylinder turned more slowly, preventing wasteful unrolling. I considered what would be required to stop this waste in my home (that pun was so unintended, that is, until I got it).

So I devised a plan whereby we would stop using so much toilet paper. And by “we” I mean “me.” What? Okay, so this where I had my epiphany. Because as I sat there I realized that I’m currently the only adult residing in my home. And every time I pass the bathroom I must remind my children to a) flush the toilet and b) use toilet paper.

I am using way too much toilet paper. And as I did my bathroom math I determined that yesterday I treated myself to more than one roll of toilet paper in what may have been 7 trips to the bathroom—tops. What am I doing in there, and why is my toilet not always clogged?

After adjourning the Bathroom Summit I decided that no further action would be required. Except that from now on I will be purchasing extra-soft, two-ply, quilted toilet paper.

Because, baby, I’m worth it.


Anonymous said...

Hey Shauna, I loved your posts. both of them. And on the toilet paper, thing, I gave up that fight. Now we buy 24 double rolls on sale at Kmart by the truckload. (Twice a year this huge package goes on sale for 2 for 11 dollars.) That's one room I just don't want to have to police any more than necessary.


Candygirlflies said...

The answer to your prayers?!


I am so freakin' sick and tired of replacing spools of t.p. in my bathrooms, I can't even speak.

So IMAGINE my delight (whooping in the bulk aisle of Loblaws, actually) when I discovered that President's Choice makes gigantic packages of double-rolled toilet paper. Relatively inexpensive, and half the effort for me, since everyone else in my house is apparently challenged in the spool-changing department.

Bonus: this wondrous stuff FEELS like the luxury brand, at half the price.

Bummer (if you'll pardon the pun): you have to kind of squeeze the enormous spool onto a standard roll-holder. However, this DOES inhibit excessive paper-users, for the first little while, anyway.

And honey, if schwanky toilet paper makes you happy (isn't it amazing how it takes so VERY little to make a mother happy??!), then you just use as MUCH of that stuff as you want.

Unless the plumbing backs up, that is...

Erin said...

You just need to have your dad come to your house when Albertsons is having a TP sale. I think he got the 12 double roll pack for 2.99 or something. So now we have 6 packages filling the closet in the kids bathroom. Oh...and you are totally worth it!

Mama Zen said...

Yes, you are!

Gustogirl said...

2 ply is the only way to go.

Annie said...

Bulk buy at Sams Club!

I am the only adult in this house who knows how to change an empty toilet roll for a new one - so I feel your toilet paper woes!

suburbancorrespondent said...

Hey! I'm a Tightwad Gazette Fan from way back. I have all 3 of her books. I try not to think about toilet paper consumption - I'd go crazy. But...with 8 people in this house, I think we only go through 4 rolls a week. You need to buy the bigger rolls. Once we bought the wrong brand, and I swear I was changing the rolls 3 times a day.

It's tricky figuring out the bigger rolls - you can't go by number of sheets, because some brands make the sheets smaller. You have to set aside some time and go to the store with a calculator, really.

I sound nuts. But this is my life.

Rachel said...

I just want to know why you, like me, seem to be the only one changing the roll in your house. Why is that our special job??? Having babies wasn't poignant enough I guess? ;)
So there you have the thought that comes to me while I am enthroned!

Eileen said...

Hi Shauna! You made me laugh over this epiphany! First of all you are definately worth it, and I say if your plumbing can handle it, go for the good, soft, 2 or 3 ply toilet paper, the best they make. I feel like I am talking about sheets thread count, but along those same lines, go for the very high threat count cause you deserve that too. But, I digress, hmmmm, yes, changing the freaking rolls of toilet paper. It seems that I am the only one in my house who has ever learned how to do this. Amazing isn't it, to live with 4 other people who are perfectly capable, but just leave it for me. Nothing frustrates me more, to sit and notice just plain cardboard. Grrrr.
Ok, enough toilet paper talk. Glad you decided to post this. I definately needed a smile today. I have missed you, so it was good to catch up.
Hope you are having a good week. Take care and remember to treat yourself....in many ways.

mamacita chilena said...

I totally sympathize. I too consume huge amounts of the white stuff. I've tried to stop but I just can't! My toosh too, deserves better than just one square :)

And don't worry about posting about toilet paper on 9/11, that stuff happens. I posted about getting mugged without even thinking of what day it was. Whoops.

my minivan is faster than yours said...

2 ply at Costco or bust for the Minivan Family. Double-roll, gottan have it!!

LikeAstaR said...

I agree with Rachel.... Why are we the ones changing the roll?? My dear husband, bless his heart, get sout the new roll, and sits it on the counter when he is done.... for me, I guess!! Infuriating! But so not worth a fight.

pinks & blues girls said...

I find that there are just way too many choices for toilet paper. It's a bit overwhelming for me.

Sometimes my best epiphanies come on the toilet, too. ;)

Jane, P&B Girls

Becky said...


I too, use the most tp, replace the most tp and buy the most tp. I like the double roll too.

Our problem here...is not WHO uses the most, but rather WHO puts it on the roll incorrectly. Ya, hubby says it HAS to go with the end rolling over the top....

Me, I dont care.....whichever way fits first...works for me.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I'm incredibly cheap, but when it comes to toilet paper, I don't worry about wasting or using too much! I love me a clean heinie!

shawn said...

As the lone male voice here right now ... a couple of thing:

1) Shauna given what you've posted lately - pamper your bottom with ALL the toilet paper you want - you deserve it !!

2) I for one in a household with two daughters find MYSELF being the one who is constantly replenishing (and purchasing) rolls of TP regularly in all three bathrooms (the third bathroom baffles me because no one seems to use it yet the TP vanishes ...) It's not a MALE thing not to replace TP - it's just insensitivity.

3) Case Lot sales at non-Wal-Blot and Cost-us-all's are the way to go ... buy double roll packages in volume - fill the mini-van once a month !! (that's what I do!)

4) Blocked up plumbing is a snap - a 25 dollar drain snake can solve most problems WITHOUT calling a plumber, and as one who KNOWS - any woman can do it easily and show the men in her life just how damned Goddess-like she can be in the process !!

You go girl !!

shauna said...

Thank you, ladies. I will continue in my toilet paper indulgence and will follow everyone's advice to buy 2-ply in bulk! I'm gonna treat my heine to some happy paper!

shauna said...

Oh, I need to apologize. I said "thank you, ladies" in my comment when I really should have said "thank you, ladies and gentleman." Thanks so much for stopping by, Shawn, and I really appreciate your support in this toilet paper issue. Oh the lucky lady who lives with a man who can replace a roll of toilet paper. I'm sure we all agree with that. Bless you, Shawn! :)

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

Angel Soft makes a mega roll which is like 2.5 rolls. The problem is that they don't fit on the TP holder in one of our bathrooms, but I get that for the other bathrooms.

slackermommy said...

I'm a toilet paper snob. I only buy Charmin because every thing else, well.... leaves me feeling a little chafed. I also buy the biggest roll they have because we are a house of twice a day poopers. Five out of six of us are pooping outside of a diaper. We go through some toilet paper!

I've tried the cheap stuff but we used twice as much because it takes so much of those thin sand paper tissues to get clean.

Bananas said...

Oh I do love the fact that you did an entire post on this topic. Quite an epiphany, my friend. And yes, your bum IS worth it.