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April 16, 2013

Kali Davies-Anderson: You get the remote? OK, the toilet paper is mine

NEW CASTLE — Marriage is all about give and take, right?

About finding that balance between what you really WANT to do and what you know you SHOULD do.

Slowly, however, I am beginning to realize that there are some issues, some circumstances under which these rules of honoring the opinions of our spouses DO NOT apply — EVER. They are the Chupacabra of marital scenarios, during which all thoughtfulness is thrown out the window as married couple are reduced to primal instinct and abundant selfishness.

The example that comes to mind first is one that I would venture to say, almost every couple habituating in the modern world has, at least on occasion, faced. It is the tale of the television remote hog, the way that special someone in your life mandates that all programming be approved by HIM or her. It seems trivial, but when one has spent 12 consecutive hours cleaning and cooking and chasing after a toddler, watching paint dry on the DIY network isn’t exactly my idea of a relaxing end to my day. Nor is watching toothless Cajuns wrastle wild gators, strange men searching for giant stingrays or Canadian men sealing leaky pipes in basements of over priced homes.

YET, every evening after Violet is tucked into bed my husband quickly grabs the remote and attempts to convince me that I am interested in “his shows.” I, of course threaten bodily harm and personal injury and eventually we compromise on a more neutral show. Either that or one of us storms out of the room angrily and heads to the kitchen to sit on the uncomfortable bar stools while enjoying the show of our choice on a seven-inch screen accompanied by a nice big slice of martyr pie.

At the top of my list of marital mysteries, however, lies an act riddled with so much confusion that it has likely plagued behaviorists for many many years. It is the battle of the toilet paper.

Yes, this very basic, yet essential household item is often at the center of controversy at the Davies-Anderson household. We have all seen the commercials for “Charmin” during which families of bears evaluate the “softness” of their brand of toilet paper. The bears frolic happily into the sunset after allegedly using Charmin products. What I learned growing up, however, is that the softer the toilet paper, the more likely your commode will, at some point, end up overflowing water onto your bathroom floor and possibly falling through the ceiling and into your kitchen.

 Thankfully, in my house I usually do the grocery shopping and with that comes the responsibility of selecting the toilet paper for our household. Certain other potty trained members of my family feel very strongly that I purchase glorified sand paper, but this matters not. And with this toilet paper debate lies my suggestion that someone needs to do a study on why some people cannot place a new roll on the dispenser.

Why is it when the dispenser is so close, do they simply place the roll on the counter or the floor NEXT to the dispenser? Is this some sort of primordial spitefulness? A subconscious display of power?

Just as with so many other “habits,” I suppose the world may never know. I will say though, that if you ever run into my husband and he tells you that I beat him with the battery end of the television remote or metal springs from the toilet paper roll dispenser, you can bet he’s telling you the truth.

And, in your heart, you’ll know he deserved it.

 

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