Quite a few years ago Dear Abby had a long running dialogue about which way was best to hang the toilet paper – so the paper was draping on the outside or near the wall. I don’t usually read the column, but someone mentioned this ongoing discussion as being an example of frivolity. Not long ago a friend of mine, a microbiologist, strenuously exhorted me to install the toilet paper with the hanging paper furthest from the wall so the paper wouldn’t touch where bacteria and fungus breed, the bathroom being a damp and warm place. This seemed sensible, and ever since, I have installed the roll thus.
Later I noted to my daughter that very few people will actually install the toilet paper if they happen to arrive as the old roll is used up. They will leave the new roll on the counter or the back of the toilet, presumably for someone else to install, or perhaps because it doesn’t seem worth the effort for anyone to hang it. She had also noticed this.
Putting away the dishes this morning, I got to ruminating about the process. Most people, I have noticed, put away the glasses upside down. Why, I wondered. Why put the part that is going to touch your lips onto the perhaps dusty or germy shelf? Perhaps everyone but me has completely germ-free, dust-free shelves. Perhaps they don’t want dust from the air to accumulate in the glasses.
In the kitchen I have a small terrycloth towel to wipe my hands and a separate dish towel (in New Brunswick called a tea towel) to dry the dishes. Most people, including my husband, don’t make a distinction and wipe their hands on the dish towel and if they are helping me with the dishes, grab the hand towel.
I have always envied people (usually men) who don’t have to spend any brainpower on such perhaps frivolous matters, although I did read once that D.H. Lawrence loved to wash dishes.