Friday, July 21, 2006

Deep Thoughts

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.


Peter said...

Our cupboards are made of woodchips and glue--particleboard. After nearly 30 years, they are slowly, flake by flake, coming apart. Minute bits drop into our glasses, giving everything a dusty/gluey taste. So we put our glasses upside down. Works for us.

litlove said...

Living with a husband and son (fond of them as I am) I notice daily that my tolerance levels when it comes to dirt and disorganisation are way way lower than theirs. Every so often I give up the unequal fight and then I have to live in a boy's dorm for a while, which is not nice. Most at issue, would you believe, are pan scritchers and dishcloths. I like dishcloths and think they are useful, but my husband hates them and casts them aside, neglecting to wring them out as he does so, and so they sit in soggy pools and turn brown. He loves his scritchers and they are given pride of place. Oh dear, domesticity does drag one down to an amoeba level, I find!

litlove said...

a ps - I heard that D H Lawrence was very domesticated, far more so that Frieda, and he would trim her hats for her and so on.

Mr Murray said...
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Peter said...

We're in a housing co-op, which means the shelves are replaced as needed, which isn't yet--they still function. So, every few years we repaint them, which holds the decaying for a while. Due this year, in fact.