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Location: Midwest, United States

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Can You Spare a Square?

Toilet paper generally doesn’t draw much attention to itself. Oh, sure, we all enjoy high quality, soft and supremely functional toilet tissue. We might even note our pleasure on occasion. But, more often than not, we don’t give toilet paper a second thought. Unless…

There isn’t any.

Now, as far as predicaments go, this isn’t a blockbuster, but it can be most vexatious, or…worse…embarrassing. We tend to remember our unique “toilet paper moments.”

This was something that always puzzled me in my marriage: empty rolls of toilet paper. Not wanting to be considered a petty sort, I never brought this up with my spouse. Still, there was something perplexing about encountering an empty cardboard roll with not a tissue in sight (or within arm's reach, at any rate).

In all our years of living together and marriage, I never once left an empty paper roll in my wake. Never. Well...OK...once...but it was a deliberate, and despicable, act of spite (and I've since repented). If I used the last of the tissue, I would replace the roll. If I discovered the stockpile empty, I would go to the store and replenish the supply. I never left a bathroom devoid of tissue. Simply didn’t.

You may have surmised where this is going. I would often discover (at times, most importunely) an empty roll. I’ve always wondered why that was so? Was my partner absent-minded? Not generally. Certainly far less than I.

Was this some battlefield for sexual or power politics? Or was it the absence of love?

I guess I’ll never know. But, I do know this: love feeds and grows on the tiniest gestures of care, concern and respect. Love slowly disintegrates in the absence of same. While I’ll gladly concede that grandiose expressions of love have their place, it’s the smallest of gestures, multiplied and compounded mightily over time, that mean the most. I mean, really, I could have passed on the custom golf clubs.

I’d rather have had the toilet paper.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

this made me laugh jonas. it is true, the qualities of caring are most often the little things. it makes me feel good to remember that. and i love the picture of the little dog.

Tue Mar 31, 12:13:00 PM  

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