During the summer we visited our friends in their “cabin in the woods.” It’s sort of a hunting cabin in a private area about a half hour drive from civilization (that’s defined as grocery stores and pharmacies. There are no Starbucks within a reasonable driving area. For me that makes it extremely remote and primitive. It’s like the outback region of Australia or perhaps those areas in the Amazon jungle where only naked primitive tribes live although we all kept our clothes on).
Because you can’t walk to a corner store to get a roll of toilet paper, they buy in bulk and store most of the essentials. That’s when it became interesting.
The group included folks from their 30s to their 70s. As the conversation on toilet paper and paper towels took off, it was interesting to see who stood where.
Cheap or expensive. Generic or name brand. Single-ply (where your fingers poke through) or triple-ply.
There are some items that no one cared about at all. No one talked about laundry detergent or even soda although I only saw brand name soda stocked. No one talked about dish soap or hand soap either.
The focus was on toilet paper and paper towels and the feelings were as strong as the last presidential election. I was expecting the Russians to offer a resolution.
I like name brands on a lot of things. I know what I’m getting (until they change the package size or weight). You will never find generic cola in my house. We are Coke people. There was a time when I was a Pepsi person and I could be again if they came back with their cherry chocolate cola. (That was the best flavor ever. When it was discontinued I drove to every store and bought out the stock.)
Some things really don’t matter but I have a favorite pasta brand too. I’m choosy about ice cream, bread, butter and milk. Ok, maybe I like more brand name goods than not.
The most vocal argument was between the 30-year-old couple. They clearly had opposite preferences. Most interesting (if you lead a very boring life and yes, this was a half hour discussion) is whether to buy the pick-a-size paper towels or not. (I say yes!)
The beloved husband will tell you that I buy a premium brand paper towel but I do not waste. I will take a half sheet from a pick-a-size roll and further tear it in half if that’s all I need, saving the other half for another chore.
If you come to my house your fingers won’t poke through the toilet paper, you will drink Coke, enjoy real ice cream but if you need a paper towel, you will have to justify a full sheet.
We all have our oddities.
We enjoyed the weekend. We had more intellectual conversations but this was one had the most conflict! Perhaps it’s the new politics.