I decided that I am truly gifted. So gifted, in fact, that I have decided to submit an application to Mensa, the association for geniuses like me. How gifted am I? In my entire family, it seems I am the only one who recognizes that when a toilet paper roll is utterly devoid of paper, it’s time to change the roll.
I told you: brilliant!
I have tried to help my less-gifted family members with this one, small task. When I find the naked cardboard roll hanging desolately on the holder, I remove a fresh roll of TP from its sneaky hiding place beneath the bathroom sink, and place it on the edge of the sink, directly above the toilet paper holder. Sometimes I even go so far as to throw out the empty roll so the glint of the stainless steel holder might catch their eye. But my family members fail to notice. The new roll will sit on the sink until a genius like me realizes it needs to actually go ON the holder.
Now, I could understand if we had one of those really complicated toilet paper holders that you have to push in on one side to free from its place. But we recently upgraded to the one-armed, slide-it-on, slide-it-off kind. It’s really almost dummy-proof in its simplicity. It is actually advertised as the “Toilet Paper Holder for the Toilet Paper Challenged.” I bought three, one for each bathroom in the house. I had them professionally installed in easy access locations. Then, I stocked each bathroom with a dozen rolls of toilet paper and pointed out the location of the replacement toilet paper to all the members of my family. I showed everyone how to slide the old roll off and the new roll on. And then I waited.
“Mom!” came a muffled yell a week later from across the house.
“I’m in the bathroom. We’re out of toilet paper.”
I was truly puzzled. I know we eat a lot of fiber, but there was no way my family went through a dozen rolls of two-ply toilet paper in a week.
“What do you mean we’re out of toilet paper?” I asked.
“The ROLL is EMPTY!”
Aha! So that was the problem. My family wasn’t toilet paper challenged: they suffered from short-term memory loss!
“There is lots more toilet paper under the sink, remember?” I coached him.
Moments later there was a flush, and then the bathroom was empty. Confidently, I entered the bathroom and peered around the corner. There was the old cardboard roll on the toilet paper holder and the new roll of toilet paper perched on top of the sink.
“Aaaaahhhhh!” I yelled in frustration.
The troops came running.
“What’s wrong honey?” asked my husband.
“What will it take for you people to change the toilet paper?!” I demanded.
The kids, immediately bored by my tirade, shrugged and walked away.
“Tell you what,” said my husband. “I’ll try to remember to change the toilet paper, if you can remember to take your half-empty coffee cups out of the car.”
Okay, so maybe he’s pretty smart, too.
This is a repeated Lost in Suburbia column, which has appeared in GateHouse Media newspapers since 2008. As Tracy Beckerman’s main column is shifting focus - her kids are grown and she has moved back to the city - we are rerunning her earlier work for readers who may have missed these the first time around. You can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage/ and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tracybeckerman.