TP Talk Take 2

As you all know, toilet paper replenishment is near and dear to my heart. During this holiday season, I would like to thank all those who are spreading love and cheer by changing toilet paper rolls across our great nation. Your sacrifice is recognized and appreciated. Alas, our work is not done. There are those who simply refuse to take the necessary steps to restock the tissue a la toilet for their colleagues, friends and family members. And the epidemic is far worse than I imagined.

Exhibit A: This incident occurred in my own home … my own home… courtesy of my son. I just keep staring at this wondering where I went wrong. How? Why? Complete disbelief. Yes he will be punished.

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But I’m not alone. Many of you are also suffering. I know this because I’m getting your photos and messages.

 

And the one that completely sums up my thoughts on the subject.

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It’s a sick world we live in. I sympathize with you and will continue to lead the charge to end this madness. Merry Christmas!

Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. Psalm 25: 16-17.

 

Let’s Talk Toilet Paper

It’s widely known that I am a self-proclaimed restroom aficionado. Public, private, large, small, clean, not so clean, indoor, outdoor, baseball fields, airplanes, eco-friendly flushing systems, no flushing capability at all. You name it, I’ve tested it. Anatomical issues aside,  just trust me when I say I’m qualified to speak on the subject.

Part of my role as Secretary of Restrooms is to communicate with the masses to ensure we uphold the restroom standards that are essential to maintaining decorum in our public facilities. And believe me, having planned our family vacation around satisfactory restroom stops on 95, I have done my research.

So yes folks,  this important public service announcement is about toilet paper. It’s a subject close to my heart. (Um, you know what I mean.) Appropriate quality and quantity of toilet tissue is critical to an effective restroom experience. On the flip side, low quality TP can make a bathroom trip unbearable. {Side bar: I’d be a great spokesperson for Charmin, Cottonelle, Angel Soft or Northern. #opportunity} But this post is not about quality of the tushy tissue. It’s about WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR PEOPLE TO PUT A NEW ROLL OF TOILET PAPER ON THE HOLDER.

{Pause to collect myself.}

Oh my gosh. My frustration with those that can not complete this simple task is at a critical level.  Code red I tell you. Whether over or under, I don’t care. At least replace the toilet paper if you use all of it. It’s not that hard. Yet,  I’m confronted with this madness at work, at home, even during a recent hotel stay. Something must be done. Hence I’m calling attention to the common offenses in hopes we can put a stop to this assault on humanity.

1.) The outright kiss my fanny.

These selfish people should be locked in a room together… for a really long time…. with lots of trickling water. It boggles my mind that a person could use all the toilet paper and not replace it for the next person. #deepbreath

 

2.) The fake it. 

Who are you kidding? That scrap you left on the roll isn’t fooling anyone. Some of these #psychos use stealthy ninja skills to leave just enough toilet paper on the roll to cover the cardboard tube.Others use the art of camouflouge.

 

3.) The prop it.  

OK they tried. But would it kill you to try a little harder? My granny always said a job worth doing was a job that shouldn’t be done half…way. Believe it or not, this photographic evidence was captured in a hotel.  Yes, a professional did this. #fail

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There are more TP stunts but the point is clear – why do people make this a harder task than it should be? Why do they try to get away with not replacing it? Maybe it’s because there isn’t any to replace it with. {Side bar: That is NEVER the case in our house because I’m obsessed with having enough toilet paper. Just ask my hubby. I literally just said “we need more toilet paper” after checking the cabinet. See photo.}

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Maybe it’s because they think someone else will do it {i.e. mom}. Maybe it’s because they got what they needed and the TP problem now belongs to the next person. Regardless of the exact excuse, it boils down to being… and I say this in love….. self-centered.

Don’t throw toilet paper at me. We are a society that puts self first. We are conditioned that way. But as I thought about this pet peeve of mine, how it really frustrates me, how it exists across the board, I wondered what it really boiled down to. What did this really mean?  Then I sat down and read Romans 12.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Romans 12:9-13

Now I did notice that verse 12 instructs me to be “patient in affliction”. {Pause again to reflect.} Most importantly though this passage also tells us to honor one another above ourselves and to be devoted to one another in love. Yes you can honor people with toilet paper. The simple needs of others could be our opportunities to bless and care for them. Taking a few minutes to serve others could mean all the difference to them… and to us.

And just to be sure I have patience with the TP violators God added Romans 12:14.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14

Next time you have the chance to replace the toilet paper, rejoice! Your family, friends, co-workers and fellow citizens will appreciate you.

 

Hooker Heels and a Hess Station

The things we do for our kids.

I have always enjoyed helping my daughter get ready for the prom or homecoming or cotillion or the annual pig festival dance or whatever formal occasion we had next on the calendar. There’s a lot that goes in to preparing for these events… that is if you have a girl. Boys take about 27 minutes. Girls? 27 hours. But I love it. I love it until I find myself in hooker heels in a Hess station.

It was prom night. Her hair was done in a beautiful up-do. She had a french manicure and pedicure. Her makeup was just right. She had the perfect yellow dress acquired after days of shopping. Subsequent to the selection of that dress, I had purchased a 100 ft roll of “flash tape” to ensure the dress stayed in all the right places. She had 4 inch high silver heels that accented the dress perfectly.  Once the earrings and bracelet were added, she was ready to head to the marathon photo session at a downtown park.

Of course I took all the photos she wanted. Standing. Sitting. On the stairs. Near the water. With the boy. With the group. With the boy and the group.

Hundreds of photos later, the happy couple got in the back of my limo and I chauffeured them to the glitzy and glamorous hotel in Orlando. Yes, I know. How painful that mom had to drive them. But their real limo plans fell through and neither was allowed to drive that far just yet so here is mom to save the day. They actually didn’t mind since I let them play the music as loud as they wanted. And told them jokes. Ok maybe I went overboard with that, but I laugh at myself so I was entertained. Heck, I’m driving. And I had worked hard to get to this point. There was a lot invested in this evening. She was gorgeous. I was proud.

I dropped them off at the door. As they strolled in to Prom Night 2014, I zoomed off to kill time for two hours until my next assignment – get them to the afterparty. I proceed to review the 500 photos we just took.

When I arrived to retrieve the happy couple, half of the happy couple did not look so happy. My daughter proclaimed her shoes to be the absolute spawns of satan, adding that she could no longer wear them or it would make the evening unbearable. “OK just change into your flats you brought.” What flats?  You mean you forgot your flats? I saw my evening going a lot differently as I slipped off my flat sandals and handed them over.

10155559_10152448583601995_1290038631909199581_nBut what was I to do. I’m a mom. I wanted her to have a fun time. As she goes on to the post Prom celebration now able to walk again,  I knew this was going to be a late night.  I settled into the car with my computer, a book, snacks, drink and my heated seats. Party time for mom. Continue reading

When You Have to Go

I really had no idea that little boys could come up with so many ways to make our lives more …ahem… interesting. And once the elementary school principal had me on speed dial, I started catching on.

On one particular day, my phone rang. As soon as I heard the voice on the other end of the line, I knew I was in for quite the conversation. You know that feeling right before you stand up to give a presentation or right before you have to eat cabbage? (Oh wait that last one may just be me…) Well anyway, that’s how I felt getting this phone call. So what did my little darling do?….begin drum roll …… Continue reading

Can I list Official Restroom Expert on my Resume?

I am a self-proclaimed restroom expert. Actually you could probably ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I am truly an official authority on all things restroom related. The way I see it, if you are going to be a subject matter expert it might as well be a useful subject. And believe me, restrooms are of the greatest importance. In fact, I am never more than 100 yards from a fully functional bathroom facility and I log/evaluate every one.

So let’s first clarify what I mean by a “fully functional bathroom facility”. I don’t mean one of those portable death traps with a basin, bugs and goodness knows what else inside. I also don’t mean a private area behind a large oak tree, even if you do have your own TP in your backpack. I mean a bathroom…one with walls, a door, toilet paper softer than sand paper and a flushing mechanism. All you adventurous women out there who settle for the other options, I salute you as I shudder in horror. (Bless your heart.)

Now that we’ve cleared that up, there are also several levels of bathroom appropriateness. Obviously you have your typical gas station model that should only be used in cases of dire emergencies and only after the appropriate sanitation steps have been taken. That is, of course, if nature allows for those steps to take place prior to an unfortunate puddle appearing on floor. If nature is being quite demanding, it is acceptable to hover, pray your knees don’t buckle and then coat yourself in hand sanitizer as you run out the door.

When traveling, another convenient tip is to have a “restroom finder” on your mobile phone. Yes they make these. If you’re with me there’s no need. However, since you’re more likely to be traveling without an official expert you should download one of these right away. This app will tell you where the restrooms are along all interstates, major highways and in metropolitan areas. I happen to have my own mobile app complete with rating system so the bathrooms have directions, toilet paper ratings, assessments of overall cleanliness and comments on the presence of any special amenities like real towels, benches, seasonal scents, flowers etc.

Now I can also tell you that every fair, festival, show, or athletic event has a real bathroom somewhere and it’s imperative that you scout out its location as soon as you arrive. Many will tell you the portable pee pee prisons are all they have but that’s a lie. They are there. And diligence in locating them will give you peace of mind when the time comes. I personally know where there is a restroom along the local Christmas parade route (I plan our viewing area accordingly). I also know where they are in my favorite vacation spots, shopping malls, airports and grocery stores. My sweet hubby keeps a mental list himself as he has waited many times for me outside coffee shops, diners, hotels, and other businesses. In all fairness, I was actually considering buying the pink ceramic cow’s head when I went in that art gallery to use their very well-appointed facilities.

Which leads me to my next point, I have been known to burst out in song and praise when a business has a top quality restroom. I think these folks deserve a giant gold star. For instance, there’s this nondescript gas station off I-95 near Savannah, Georgia. Doesn’t look like anything special from the outside. But when you walk in the bathroom, you swear you’ve stepped into the spa at the Ritz Carlton. It’s so nice that I hugged the little manager lady behind the counter as I left with tears in my eyes.

I had no idea how high maintenance I was in this area until I recently talked with a friend who camps in the woods with no facilities. Um, yea. I said camping and NO FACILITIES. When I explained my idea of roughing it was a gas station bathroom, she nearly hit the floor laughing. Hey, there are certain things I just won’t live without and indoor plumbing is one of them.

And yes, I have been known to pray for a bathroom to be nearby if I find myself in the midst of a “situation”. Countless times, as I am asking God to lead me to a restroom, preferably meeting the expectations on my basic requirements list, I’ll see one. I’m telling you (in my most southern voice); it’s like a beacon in the night! Like sweet tea in a mason jar! I always thank Him for providing for my silly little need. I’m sure He is laughing at my list too. But my ranking system will be useful one day! Just wait and see.

God knows your ever need too and He cares for you. Asking Him to provide for your needs is as simple as saying the words and trusting Him to do it. But if you need a restroom recommendation, let me know!

Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? For the Gentiles wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.  Matthew 6:31-32 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.   Matthew 6:30-33 The Message (MSG)