Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Quicker-Crapper-Picker-Upper.....


You can't see the mornin', but I can see the light; ride, ride, ride, let it ride. While you've been out runnin' I've been waitin' half the night; ride, ride, ride, let it ride...


("Let It Ride", Bachman, Turner Overdrive)


Ah, Blaine..... there's no more decent and loving sort of guy.

Blaine and I are extremely close. In fact, we're so close that sometimes it feels like we've "grown up" together --- but that's not really true because we met in adulthood. But even so, we've known each other for 16 years, and I think that's long enough to go through several "maturing phases".

Blaine and I met in Texas and got married a couple of months later. And to my amazement, he was the only man I was ever involved with that my father approved of. On my father's dying bed he stated: "I know that Blaine will take care of you."

This was a definite personal compliment on Blaine's responsible and honorable nature, and also a reference to the fact that I've always been considered "flighty" (translation: crazy--- or insane, depending on which family member you ask) and reckless (translation: impulsive--- and sometimes self-destructive due to my alcoholism...)

But let's not go there right now....

Anyway, Blaine and I stayed married for about 4 years before I ... er... divorced him. And then we stayed un-married--- yet still close friends--- for the next ten years as I went through a stage where I "sowed my wild oats".

(Okay, I married a biker guy and lived on a biker compound in Austin, Texas. And I also went through several rounds of 30-day treatments for alcoholism...)

But again, let's not go there right now....

And then, as you guys know, I recently returned to Blaine, here in Kansas, to live in the same house we lived in when were were married. And, to my surprise, I found that things are a little different now....

It seems that Blaine has developed some different habits than those he had ten years ago. And whodathunkit, but one of those habits is that he has become ultra-thrifty with his money. Blaine makes a very good living as a computer networker for Sprint (after a 12-year career at IBM), and he manages his money extremely well (translation: he counts every penny within an inch of its life).

But the thing is.... I am still as reckless with money as I have always been. Money practically burns a hole in my pocket. If I have it, I spend it. And due to my mother's elegant tastes and her indulgement of me, I unfortunately have very expensive tastes. And furthermore, I love expensive, imported, French things--- which may be genetic due to the fact that I have some ancestral French blood in me, who knows.

In fact, it's truly uncanny. You could plop me into a merchandise warehouse containing 10,000 items, of which 9,999 items are on sale for 75% off--- but I'll put my nose to the ground like a bloodhound and speedily sniff out the one item which is NOT on sale.

Or, you could blindfold me and place me in a crowded airport--- and I'd manually feel my way three miles over to the one shop where they sell imported French, Swiss, or Dutch items.

Every single time Blaine takes me to Blockbuster Videos to rent a movie, I pass up the cheap Hershey chocolate bars in order to fly like a homing pigeon over to the foot-long Toblerone bars.....

Sigh... I would give my eyeteeth to find some authentic "My Sin" French perfume---- which I have been searching for fruitlessly ever since I bought a rare sample from a flight attendant on a KLM Royal Dutch Airline 747....

Anyway, Blaine knows full well about my expensive tastes and inability to manage money---and it seems that he has declared it his mission in life to quell these spendthrift urges of mine.

In short, he is having none of it.

Now don't get me wrong, I do think his sensible way about money is best. For example, he has worked hard to save his money, and he has planned very carefully for important things like retirement, medical emergencies, unexpected vehicle problems, dental issues, and various and sundry other costly necessities for which I typically haven't saved a spare nickel. In fact (and I hate to admit it), no matter how much money I've ever earned (and believe me, I earned plenty when I was employed as an RN), I have never saved even a Yankee Dime due to my reckless spending habits.

These days, since I am not currently employed, Blaine supports me very generously. And thus, I really can't complain. I'm grateful, in fact. And just lately, he even personally gifted me with his treasured blue pick-up truck after buying a brand new SUV. And let me tell you, I was totally jazzed to get ahold of this fabulous pick-up truck--- especially since my trusty Jeep is nearing retirement and needs to be sold--- because it is a really beautiful truck, albeit huge, with a great stereo system. Believe me when I say that Blaine has given me dire warnings to drive very carefully with the behomoth, as I am not used to long-bed pickup trucks with huge engines, to which I solemly swore that I would faithfully adhere to...

WHOO-HOO! Lookit me! I'm drivin' a big ole honkin' Ford F-150 pickup truck with a SCREAMINGLY powerful Triton V-8 engine while listening to Bachman, Turner Overdrive on the stereo, hah hah! Catch me if you can, wheeeee! Oh yeah, and EAT MY DUST all you people on Interstate 435!!!!

Where was I?

Oh yes, Blaine is "thrifty" with cash.

Okay, okay, I'm going to go further and tell you that he is really.... uh... more than just "thrifty". In my opinion, sometimes he's downright CHEAP.

And lest anyone severely chide me for finding fault with Blaine's sensible financial habits--- especially in light of today's horrific economy--- let me just defend myself by telling you that Blaine goes way too far with his "thriftiness". And in telling you of my complaint, I'm going to have to tell you of an ongoing argument that Blaine and I have--- and let me warn you that it is over a very delicate subject.....

And so I'm going to plunge right in.... (no pun intended, as you'll see in a minute)....

Because here it is:

Blaine complains about how much toilet tissue I use.

Yes. It's. True.

He. Complains. About. How. Much. Toilet. Paper. I. Use.

Ever since I moved back in with him last year he has been griping his idgity head off about (among other things ) the exact AMOUNT of toilet tissue that I use!! Can you believe it? TOILET TISSUE! Tissue I use for my... uh... "personal needs"!!!

God in Heaven, but it's actually gotten to the point where I DREAD putting toilet tissue on our weekly grocery list. Because as sure as my name is Bo, he'll spot that item on the list and start wailing about it.

"Bo, dammit! We're out of toilet tissue AGAIN? What the hell are you doing in there?"

No lie! To my utter mortification, he regularly rails against my tissue "usage"! And I don't know how to answer him because.... I mean... what the hell ELSE would I be doing with toilet tissue except... um.... using it for what it is intended, ya know?!

Finally, after a few months of this terrorization, I finally began to feel a little indignant about the whole issue. I mean, for Christ's sakes, it's TOILET TISSUE. And there is only ONE USE for toilet tissue. I mean, if he wants to complain about "waste", there are plenty of other household items which I waste on what you could label as "unnecessary" uses.

But first, it's baffling to me that he thinks I "waste" toilet tissue--- because what the hell is the solution to this problem? Does he think I can come up with an alternative to the amount of tissue I use? Should I use less? Puh-leeze! The hygiene issues emerging from "using less" are certainly unthinkable!

WHAT alternative would he have me do? I ask you. WHAT?....

Should I drip dry for an hour or so until toilet tissue is no longer necessary? (I'd be in the damn bathroom all the live-long day---- perhaps even finding it necessary to employ the use of a fan...)

Should I borrow from the neighbors? ("Excuse me, but could I borrow a cup of toilet tissue?") (And then I'd have to pay back the loan....)

Should I use washrags? (I don't even want to THINK about the laundry implications.....)

Should I take a shower after every bathroom episode? (Surely this solution would cancel out any toilet tissue monetary savings because it would cause a huge increase in our water bill, not to mention the fact that I use expensive imported French perfumed soap and Elizabeth Arden shampoo....)

Should I .... shudder.... do what the pioneers did and use a CORNCOB?

I'm sure you get the picture.

And as I pondered before, I am clueless as to how in the hell he picked this particular item to be frugal about when I waste so many other household items with wanton abandon on a daily basis.

Hell, if you want to talk about things I waste, let me tell you that I frequently pass up making myself a scheduled meal, opting instead to satisfy my hunger by scarfing every single Pepperidge Farm cookie in the house --- and yet Blaine doesn't utter a contrary word if I write "cookies" on the grocery list yet again.

And my wastage of entire rolls of Bounty paper-towels (the so-called "quicker picker upper") would leave you breathless. For instance, I routinely waste an unholy amount of paper towels on things like writing sock-knitting notes when I can't find a notepad, blowing my nose even though there's at least 3 boxes of Kleenex lying in plain view, blotting lettuce dry instead of using the spinner or letting it air-dry, wiping up grease spots on the stove instead of using a dishrag.....

...and yet Blaine never blinks an eyelash when I scribble "Bounty Paper Towels" yet again on the grocery list.

Heck, I waste more things than just cookies and Bounty paper towels. I also waste entire bottles of Pine-Sol cleanser simply because, in addition to using it for mopping floors and cleaning toilets, I also like to regularly pour heavy amounts of it down every sink drain in the house simply because I like those areas to smell like Pine Sol.

And, strangely, Blaine couldn't care less how much Pine-Sol we buy.

I've even gone on apricot binges and eaten all of the fancy, expensive Turkish apricots he gets from "Whole Foods"---and yet he never says a word. He just stops by Whole Foods and buys more, even remembering to ask the cashier for those wonderful "handle" shopping bags that I like to use as knitting project bags.

But.... let me include "toilet tissue" on our grocery list.... and Blaine's head starts spinning around on its axis like he's demon-possessed --- and then he begins screaming financial epithets at me like a crazed Congressional budget oversight appointee.

"Good God, Bo! We've got to buy toilet tissue AGAIN? Didn't we just buy an entire case of the stuff two weeks ago? What the deuce is GOING ON in your bathroom?"

What, indeed?

Finally, the limits of my patience were reached (and I even passed the "indignant" point and approached outright "defiance")---- and so I decided to flush out this travesty of feminine household budget justice. Because, I mean, REALLY! A woman has to have some dignity in her own bathroom, you know?

And so, I resorted to the only weapon which works with Blaine.

And that is my trademark coping skill....


And so, the Great Toilet Tissue Showdown of 2009 unfolded thusly:

Yesterday I bravely made out our weekly grocery list. And I brazenly wrote out "TOILET TISSUE" as the first item on the list.

I wrote it in all CAPITAL letters. And then I highlighted it in yellow marker. And I circled it with red pen.

And then I casually showed the list to Blaine, remarking: "Oh yeah, here's the list for this Saturday's Walmart trip."

He quickly scanned the list..... and then sure enough, when he spotted the scrawled banner headlining item, his eyes bugged open like a gigged frog's, both his eyebrows knit together into one huge foreboding streak across his forehead, his face reddened and puffed up like a deranged blowfish, and he breathed orange fire out of his nostrils....

"Dammit, Bo! We're out of toilet tissue AGAIN? What on God's green earth are you doing with all that damn toilet tissue? Geez-oh-man....I swear!...."

As he thundered on, I stood there unflinchingly, and silently, while leveling a sardonic gaze at him with what I hoped was the exact same curled-lip, rudely aloof, and yet bored facial expression the cats give us whenever we address them--- but this did not cow him. And Blaine plunged on in his angry soliloquy, even attempting to "reason" with me.

"For example, Bo, you say we're 'out' of toilet tissue--- and yet I still have PLENTY of toilet tissue in MY OWN bathroom! And so why in the hell don't you have any? WHY ARE YOU OUT OF IT?? What in heckfire are you doing DIFFERENTLY in your bathroom than I am doing in mine, I ASK YOU, WHAT????"

And that was the EXACT question I was waiting for.

And thus, I calmly (and ever so sweetly) gave him my answer.

"I do the exact same thing with toilet tissue that you do, Blaine," I told him. "In fact, I welcome you into my bathroom any time you desire to check on what I do with it because, bucko, I can defend every single square of the toilet tissue I utilize."

"Don't get cute, Bo..." he warned. But it was too late. I was on a roll (sorry, no pun intended).

"Okay, let's see...." I mused, ticking off imaginary squares of toilet tissue on each of my fingers as I explained. "I use around 4 to 8 squares for a quick pee....."

"Oh, don't you dare...." he muttered. But it was too late, and so I plunged onwards...

"Yep," I replied. "About 4 to 8 squares usually does it. But that number changes if I have to take a crap. Because then I might need anywhere between 12 to 25 squares, depending on the brand of toilet tissue and the nature of the crap. Cheap store brand tissue requires in the upper spectrum of numbers of squares because it's so thin. But if I'm using Charmin' I use less squares because it's quilted and soaks things up better. And then there's the issue of whether it's a 'normal' crap, a diarrhea crap, an 'in-a-hurry-cuz-the-telephone-is-ringing-crap', or a dry 'constipated crap'...."

"Stop it, Bo---you're being an idiot," he attempted. But as I said, I was on a roll......

"But then sometimes I have to adjust the numbers if there are certain anatomical variations of the usual process," I droned. "For example, I might have to reach down to the side of the commode for a book, which may cause everything to 'spill in different directions', which then raises the number of required squares of needed tissue. You know, I really need to move that book basket closer to the commode...."

"Alright, that's ENOUGH," he exclaimed, tossing the list down on the table with an exasperated sigh, which meant that I'd won the battle. And as he stalked away with his head held high, he gave me that "you're totally insane, Bo" look--- a look which didn't phase me one single bit---- because I was prepared for it, and I gave him a "return look" of my own...

A look which conveyed a warning which said something to the effect of "...and if you so much as DARE give me one smidgen of 'attitude' while we're on the toilet tissue aisle at Walmart, you'll be sooooooo sorry--- because, ho ho, I can get even more detailed and descriptory about toilet tissue requirements for various type craps.... all within the hearing distance of hapless, unsuspecting Walmart shoppers".....




Donna in Ely said...

Thank you for the laugh. I don't remember if I have ever posted....
But, I absolutely love your style!!!! Reminds me of someone else I know, oh, that would be me.

Anonymous said...

Go Bo! Don't take that crap.

Unknown said...

I very rarely laugh out loud at anything. I have tonight reading your post today. Thank you.

Linda in Alameda, CA said...

Bo - what Blaine obviously hasn't taken into consideration is that women need to wipe when they pee; men don't. That's probably why he still has lots of paper in his bathroom. Next time he complains, remind him of that!

Cat said...

Darn it, some one took my 'don't take that crap' line... Oh, well, you get 'em! Was his face flushed? You plunged right into that one! (Okay, I will quit now...)


tottergirl said...

If he doesn't leave it be, you could always bring up the need of "That Time of the Month". That would really squick him out!!!!!

danielle said...

1. Why dont guys remember that THEY dont have to use TP when they pee???? But we do!!!!!

2. The birdies are so sweet...

And there was a #3 but I cant remember it....long noisy day at work...

danielle said...

Oh yeah, #3. Digging thru what was my dtr's room, and then became a total junk room....I found a box. Not sure at first if it was my junk or my mom's but I knew it was from my parent's house. But in the box was an old, tiny bottle in the original box, of my mom's My Sin perfume!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Oh, dear --- I'm not sure if I want to comment or not.

But I have to. I also keep track of how long a roll lasts for me (weird accountant-type of personality), and it's always exactly right on schedule. But I had a room-mate once... while a roll would last me alone 31 days, we only got 5 days or sometimes 3... and I wasn't even there! I have no idea what someone does with that much toilet paper!!

Yes, I got rid of the room-mate. I'm much happier now -- at least, I never have to worry about running out again! haha

susan said...

I think you should "swipe" toilet paper from Blaine's bathroom to suppliment your tissue stock...then ask him "what the Heck do you do with your TP, how can you be out again?!"

Beth in MN said...

PLEASE give us all the date and time you're intending to be in the toilet paper aisle, because I know I sure wanna BE there to listen in when you go on your rampage!!!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

That was awesome!

Congrats on winning that battle!

Joan K said...

You need to remind him of two things:

1. He is at work for much of the day while you are at home more.

2. Men shake and go, only using paper perhaps once a day. Women can't do that.

Maggie said...

The babies are looking good and I am sure they agree that you must use as much t.p. ans the job requires--unles you are still stuffing bras with it??? Yes, trade rolls with Blaine while he is at work..like your almost empty roll for his just started roll....lol

Katherine said...

So funny!! You made my day Bo. I think that the next time you are out of TP you should take the roll(s) out of his bathroom and then ask him, "What are you doing with all the toilet paper?"

Chad Estes said...

Love it! Laugh out loud funny on this Friday morning. I think I woke up my dogs - damn you!

Have a great weekend!