I’ve been trying to decide whether to write a blog post that would be uplifting and inspirational during this crazy and weird time we are all going through. The indecision has kept me sort of paralyzed and I’ve written nothing. Or maybe it’s the strangeness of how the time passes each day that’s kept me paralyzed. Am I the only one who’s been the victim of an all-consuming inertia? What’s the rush to clean out that cupboard? I’ll do it tomorrow. I don’t need to organize those files, I’ll do it next week.
Instead I stop to sit and read again, usually watching television in the evenings although I’ll likely never get through everything in my Netflix “list.“ But I’ve become very particular — the only things I really want to read or watch right now are the ones that make me smile, or even better, laugh out loud.
What you may not know is that I got about a three-week head start on you with the self-quarantining because I had knee surgery on February 24. I couldn’t drive for just over the first two weeks and all I did to get out was go to physical therapy a few times. I did have some wonderful friends who called and came to visit, brought me food and books to read and generally just cheer me up (you know who you are, and I love you!), so I did have a little human interaction.
Then the news began to get serious, and when I was allowed to drive again I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. By then the panic buying had begun, so I missed out on hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, bleach and rubbing alcohol. I’ve always hated hand sanitizer and never used it, nor have I ever bought disinfecting wipes preferring to use other products instead, so I had NONE of these things at home.
But there are three things that I NEVER run out of: toilet paper, coffee and wine. I had stocked up on toilet paper not long ago when Costco had the good stuff on sale, so I was all set with an ample supply for the newly designated lifesaving t.p. Thank God, because in the middle of a pandemic, seriously is toilet paper what I want to be concerned about?
But all this uproar and scarcity got me thinking. How much toilet paper do I actually USE? I decided to do a test to find out. The next time I replaced the roll of paper in the bathroom I use most, I wrote the date on the empty cardboard roll and put it with my supply. I’ve tested this twice now, and as it turns out I use a new roll every six days (actually more when you include the t.p. used in the other bathrooms in the house). I’ve gotten it down to a science: one roll has 221 sheets, I use four sheets per use. In case you think that’s a LOT of toilet paper for one person, keep in mind I usually drink a gallon of water a day. And remember the other two things on my “never run out of” list are coffee and wine. So there you go. Also, this usage is during the pandemic when I am at home 24 hours a day instead of using someone else’s toilet paper. 😄 This was so enlightening that I decided to conduct the same experiment to gauge my coffee consumption. (Don’t ask me about recent wine consumption. Some things are better left untested.)
This “research” naturally made me think back to this post, Les Toilettes en France. Somehow I don’t think the t.p. panic has been the same there. But if it has, I wonder which color has been most popular?
So as you have read in the end I decided to go with humour instead of an uplifting post. Everyone is aching for all of this to be over — the sickness and the loss and the grief, of course, but also the hardships and the restrictions of life in limbo.
I’ve been inspired over and over by the deluge of wonderful things I’ve read from other people and sites, and I’ve also smiled many times at the multitude of ways that people are finding fun, laughter and joy during this crazy, weird time in our lives. I hope we will all continue with both, and then one day we’ll all be “normal enough” to laugh out loud when we go to buy toilet paper and amazingly find the shelves are fully stocked. No more panic.
Here’s wishing you good health and safety, peace and lots of laughter, a view above the clouds again one day and plenty of toilet paper to go around!