Friday, January 25, 2008

You Can Never Have Too Much Toilet Paper

Since I was on the subject earlier of irrational fears, I thought I'd share another one with you. I think I have a fear of being completely out of toilet paper. It's not a conscious fear. I don't find myself rocking in a corner worrying about my supply getting low. It's other behavior which makes me wonder if this fear truly exists.

As I was hoisting this week's purchase of toilet paper onto the top shelf of my utility room tonight, I stopped to ponder why I buy so much. I go to the store weekly like clock work. It's my one outing a week. It's the only time I'm ever alone. I have a standing appointment with my mother to take care of the kids. Every Thursday morning you can find me at Wal-Mart. Contain yourself. I know I'm the envy of everyone.

The thing is, despite the fact that I know I will be at the store in another week, I still buy a huge pack of toilet paper. I buy a 12 pack. And not only is it a 12 pack, but it's a 12 pack of double rolls, so basically I'm buying 24 rolls of toilet paper to last me a week. That's like a lot of rolls to go through per day.

Let's just assume I'm using a majority of this product since my children use wet wipes and my husband is at work all day. If I'm ill enough to be going through at least 3 rolls of toilet paper a day, don't you think someone will feel sorry enough for me to keep my kids so that I can run to the store for more toilet paper? I bet family members would even bring me some if I'm not already in the hospital suffering from dehydration!

Yet I still buy it. I'm such a creature of habit that I have a very specific trail I make through Wal-Mart, and it just so happens the toilet paper aisle marks the half way mark of my purchases. Twelve double rolls of quality toilet paper take up a lot of room in my cart. If I run out of room, I just have to skimp on the fresh fruit and vegetables for the kids because I'm not going to walk all the way to the back of the store to exchange my toilet paper for a smaller pack. That would take energy that I do not have. The fruit always goes bad anyways, so you could say it saves me money when I buy toilet paper.

I don't buy toilet paper weekly. I buy a lot at once and then gamble that the second week isn't the week my two year old will unroll an entire roll into the toilet and that Ironman won't steal three rolls to take to work. Yes, he has to provide his own toilet paper. It's a porta-potty thing.

It's weird. Did anyone see that episode of Dr. Phil where he interviewed a woman deathly afraid of feathers? I used to watch Dr. Phil because I thought he gave sound advice. Now his show is a freak fest, he's lost all my respect, but it's a train wreck I can't look away from. Keep following me. I promise this has something to do with toilet paper. Just let it come full circle.

So Dr. Phil was interviewing a lady so scared of feathers that she humiliated her family during the Christmas season by trampling people in a store in attempt to get away from a Christmas tree that was decorated with feathers. She could never have a pillow or comforter stuffed with feathers. Boas are scary! She thinks birds can sense her fear, so they intentionally fly near her. Yes, she thinks the birds are antagonistic.

Dr. Phil sends her backstage to have someone deprogram her and help her get rid of her irrational fear of feathers. When they bring her back out, he wants to test her even though she's on the verge of a panic attack just at the thought of having to see a bird.

On a ginormous screen behind her head, they have a live feed rolling of a trainer with one of those birds that can talk--like they couldn't avoid the creepiest bird on the entire planet to test this woman with. A parakeet would have her retching, but they chose some big @ss bird that could say her name and totally make an obscene phone call given the right instruction.

Anyway, back to the ginormous screen behind her head. There's the shot of the trainer with the bird, and Dr. Phil makes her look over her shoulder to see the bird. She shudders, but she keeps her lunch down. The camera gets closer to the bird, and he makes her turn around as he says something like, "What about now? Are you okay now?" The woman is visibly shaken, but she's trying to be a good sport on national television. As Dr. Phil talks to the poor woman, the camera man keeps getting closer and closer to the bird so that eventually there's nothing but a close-up of a 20 foot bird behind her head. And then the guy closes in on just the face so that there's a bird head over her shoulder that would scare the crap out of anyone if they unexpectedly glanced over their shoulder and saw it glaring at them. Meanwhile, I'm all clinched and practically yelling at the t.v., "Lady! Don't turn around!"

The other part of the bird exercise was that they brought the bird into the studio and had it far away from her. He'd have the trainer bring it a little closer and a little closer, all the while asking, "How do you feel with it this close? What about now?" The bird never got very close to her because the lady was about to bolt, but you could tell she was proud of herself for not hurling or shrieking during the entire experience.

I told you there would be a point to this story, so stay with me as I bring it full circle.

I don't want to be the next guest on The Dr. Phil Show. I can see him telling me that Cottonelle has just donated a lifetime supply of toilet paper to me, but first I have to be broken of my irrational fear of running out it. I assume I'd only be allowed to have one roll of toilet paper in my house for an entire week. And I can see him dangling that one roll in front of me as he says, "How do you feel when I take your only roll of toilet paper and move it waaaay over here? What about now? What if I move it another five feet? What about now?"

That would suck. I need to get a grip on this toilet paper thing before I'm holding hands back stage with some chick who fears measuring cups or something. My life just can't turn out like that. I have to do something before it gets out of control. This is serious stuff.


  • So good to have you back! I wish I had seen this giant bird head you describe, Or Dr. Phil unraveling a toliet paper roll in front of you while you get the willies.
    But I am way too busy on the laptop to deal with the TV, lately, so you'll just have to get a clip on youtube for me. The beauty of youtube is, you only have to see Dr. Phil for about 2 minutes.

    By Blogger d. chedwick bryant, at Sat Jan 26, 12:40:00 AM  

  • A Christmas tree decorated with feathers?

    That would scare me too.

    At least your fear is based in reality. I have ran out of toilet paper. It's scary.

    By Blogger Julia, at Sat Jan 26, 06:56:00 AM  

  • My friend Lulu has an entire closet stuffed with toilet paper. She hordes it. Toilet paper was the one thing that would set my mother off after her divorce. Running out of tp, to her, was the ultimate in defeat. She'd bawl and wring her hands. I'm surprised I don't have issues with the stuff.

    By Blogger Mahala, at Sat Jan 26, 08:06:00 AM  

  • I am SO glad you are blogging again!

    By Blogger Erin, at Sat Jan 26, 08:55:00 AM  

  • Is it wrong that I'm laughing? Not AT you, though. I? Am a toilet paper FREAK!! My standing date with Wal-Mart is Wednesday afternoons and EVERY week I buy the 12 roll pack (but, double rolls) and EVERY week I have to move things around in the laundry room to make room for another package. Same with paper towels.

    Dr. Phil makes me twitch. He's a freak.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jan 26, 09:05:00 AM  

  • I get twitchy when we're down to two 9 packs (the double rolls). I make J run to SAM'S and stock us back up. It's a real phobia that stems from being stuck in my parents' upstairs bathroom w/out any TP and NO ONE could hear me screaming. I had to... no I can't talk about it anymore. I just make sure that we NEVER run out now.

    By Anonymous christel, at Sat Jan 26, 01:09:00 PM  

  • I run out of toilet paper every few months and we end up using paper towels. I would be rather concerned if we were out of both at the same time, though.

    By Blogger Karly, at Sat Jan 26, 03:44:00 PM  

  • Toilet paper is extremely important. You don't want to be touching the things you are wiping down there with your hands! Just sayin'! Maybe you are not so crazy after all! :)

    By Blogger Queen of the Mayhem, at Sat Jan 26, 07:01:00 PM  

  • After Hurricane Katrina.....TP was my biggest fear....not gas...not food for my was dad went to 4 stores and I made him buy all of it he could find!

    Maybe I need treatment too!

    By Blogger Queen of the Mayhem, at Sat Jan 26, 07:02:00 PM  

  • What is this toilet paper you mention?

    By Blogger Merle Sneed, at Sat Jan 26, 10:28:00 PM  

  • I have the same fear. Do you suppose it's an effect of growing up where we did? Maybe we're part of some freaky science experiment or something.

    By Blogger Ladybug, at Sat Jan 26, 11:22:00 PM  

  • Keep on storing it up because I can guarantee that once the tots are teenagers you WILL run out!

    It's nice to have you back in the blogging world.

    By Blogger Mary Fran, at Sun Jan 27, 08:33:00 AM  

  • One thing about living in the northeast is that there are plenty of hardwoods with big leaves in case of emergency. Yanno, like if you went for run or hike but forgot to bring or ran out of tp when ma nature called. Not easy being a guy in the woods...

    What do people in the desert do if they don't have tp within reach? Use cacti?

    TP is a good thing. Don't leave home without it.

    By Anonymous sauerkraut, at Mon Jan 28, 12:19:00 PM  

  • It's a horrible, horrible thing to run out of toilet paper while on the toilet. I've done it just tonight. The worst part was, there was none in the cabinets, it was at night, and everyone else was asleep. Luckily, though, my mom had come downstairs just in time to brush her teeth... I got me toilet paper.

    By Blogger Anna, at Sun Mar 23, 11:20:00 PM  

  • so i have a question what do you call it if you have a fear of running out of toilet paper?

    By Blogger emilyy, at Thu Aug 14, 05:22:00 PM  

  • What is it with the toilet paper... another toilet paper hoarder here! :) Everytime I go to the shops, there it is in my trolley... the toilet paper and my idea of heaven is when there are specials on and I can get a two for one deal..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Sep 17, 08:44:00 AM  

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