Opinion

Finding it took lotsa “paper work”

EIGHTH WONDER of the world: all the toilet paper you need (Orange County Tribune photo).

Day-to-day life through this pandemic has heightened my awareness about a multitude of things.  One, in particular, is toilet paper.   Strange, I know, but don’t worry, I’m not going to write about using it, because that would be a waste of time.   Instead, I’ll share my thoughts and experiences regarding toilet paper during this pandemic.

If you own a bidet, you know that toilet paper is not a necessity.  But for those who don’t, like me, toilet paper IS a necessary item.    When purchasing toilet paper, I tend to choose a brand that is two-ply, has wide sheets, is tightly wound, and soft.  I like to think that my preferences are favored in most homes because, frankly, how could anyone like using thin, rough toilet paper on their most sensitive body parts?  But, in a pandemic, beggars can’t be choosers and have to take what they can get.

When the pandemic hit and a shutdown was looming, people started to hoard toilet paper.    From my observation, none of the stores limited the amount of toilet paper ONE person could purchase.  As a result, carts at many retail stores were piled high with toilet paper and other paper products, leaving the shelves EMPTY.   With no relief in sight!

I only buy Kirkland toilet paper from Costco because, in my opinion, nothing else compares.   Everything about it is perfect, the width of each sheet, the large, tight size of each roll, and its overall softness.  Conveniently, the package I purchase has 36 large rolls, enough to last a family of three a long while.

Up until this pandemic, I had NEVER seen aisles of empty shelves.    It was mind-boggling!  I could understand people hoarding the necessities like water and food, but toilet paper?    What I didn’t understand was WHY Toilet Paper??

In the weeks and months that followed, finding toilet paper was not an easy task.  People were visiting multiple stores to find this unexpected hot commodity, only to return home empty-handed.  Fortunately, people used social media to post photos informing others where to find toilet paper.    How odd is that?  We had to look on social media to find toilet paper?  Life was strange.

When it was time for me to restock our supply, I could not find toilet paper anywhere, and waiting in long lines to get into Costco was not an option.  So, the quest was on!

Like the copious amounts of people hunting for toilet paper, I also visited many stores searching for this ever-popular item, each time leaving frustrated and empty-handed.     Of course, this led me straight to the internet, hoping to find any variety of this popular product.

Hunting for toilet paper on-line was not any easier.  I searched all my favorite stores — Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart.   I even visited the websites of toilet paper manufacturers.  Sadly, though, I had no luck.  And then I stumbled upon an unfamiliar website where I managed to find a four-pack.  I was elated!!  All I had to do was sign up to be a member and order $35 worth of items.  So, after reading a few reviews about the quality of the toilet paper, all of which fit my preferences, I decided to order one four-pack (which was their limit) and a bunch of other items I didn’t need.  I was hopeful that their brand of toilet paper would be as good as my preferred brand.

I was excited when my package arrived and couldn’t wait to see if the favorable reviews met my standards.   Boy, was I disappointed!   The rolls were narrow, paper-thin, and rough, not soft, as the reviewers had stated.  Were they using the same toilet paper that I ordered?  It certainly didn’t feel like it.   Although, in the end, it did the job (pun intended).

Consequently, following this disappointing purchase, I quickly canceled my membership and shelved the toilet paper.

In the months that followed, I made it my mission to look for toilet paper at every store I entered.  If I found a pack, even if the toilet paper did not meet my standards, I felt compelled to purchase it, just in case.

As the pandemic continues to improve, shelves once emptied by hoarders are, once again, stocked full.   In my quest to acquire toilet paper, I realized that I, too, had become a hoarder because all the small, rough, loosely rolled, toilet paper rolls I purchased are sitting on my shelves waiting for the next pandemic.

“Am’s View” is posted on alternate Sundays. Maybe on the other Sunday, she’s shopping for paper goods ….

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