Towels, Forks, and Toilet Paper

By: Peggy Willms


(2 min read)

Let me create the scene. First of all, I have OCD. I tend to get obsessed with “order.” I don’t have instances of turning the door knobs a certain number of times. Still, I can have an anxiety attack when some items are not aligned, spices fall out of alphabetization, bushes or yard-edging aren’t dialed in…self-proclaimed Edward Scissorhands here. So it is not surprising that my towels are folded a certain way—in half, half again, and then into thirds with the rolled edge stacked to the front. My brain works like the columns and rows of an Excel spreadsheet, and I have a thrilling time with various color-coding schemes. Masterpieces. I accept my quirks though not everyone else understands.

I can adjust and shapeshift on a dime. I respect others’ environments and do not judge how they rule or run their domains, especially when I am a guest. My goal is to leave as little of a footprint as possible. Leave it how I found it. Do it their way. For example, I go into mimic mode when I help with dishes or laundry. If they put their cups and mugs with the open side up, I follow suit (ugh). I fold towels as they do, even if the edges do not align (double ugh). Then there is the silverware tray. If they do not stack the forks or spoons on top of each other and just toss them in there, I shrug and shiver yet comply—OMG triple ugh). However, I just got caught in a visitor non-compliance situation while on vacation. The subject—TOILET PAPER. The location—my son’s house.

The conversation was quite lengthy. He noted that I put the roll of toilet paper cascading from the top versus underneath. Damn, I forgot his method. I knew better.

 “Mom, there is a documentary out there that explains why it should roll from underneath.”

“Son, it is supposed to roll from the top. That is why the printed (flowers, shapes, etc.) are on the top. Wouldn’t the print be on the underside if you were supposed to roll from under? Why do hotels roll it from the top? Just to make pretty little folds to welcome new arrivals?”

“No. You place with roll under so when you wrap your hand with it, the print is then on the outside making it more absorbent, and you use less.”

“No way.”

Guess where we went. Off to the bathroom for a field trip.

“Mom, sit down.” (Thinking to myself: “I cannot believe my 36-year-old is teaching me how to use the toilet!)

I am now sitting and am told to roll the paper as if I were going to use it. Under this immense pressure, I frankly cannot draw up my process—a minute of hysterical laughing passes.

I go into action and grab it. Pull off a long strip and fold it into sections. Remember, I have OCD. The print/soft side ends up on the outside. Ultimately, I achieved the same outcome he had recommended.

He responded, “Well, I guess it is all in the prep. How you roll it is what matters.”

My thought…he sure is a chip off his Momma’s old block.

I can’t even.

Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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