Sunday, October 12, 2014

Distasteful topics! Read at your own peril!

I am not the newest bowling ball in the alley and in my time I've met a lot of people with a lot of opinions.  Sometimes it's best to keep one's opinions to oneself, like when religion and politics are concerned.  Other times, it's interesting to hear what one has to say, but that's an opinion and not a fact or a complaint.  People often can be made to change their minds about an opinion, it's true, except for two differing yet similar topics.

People are pretty passionate about both of them.  They will not waiver from them.  They will argue their point vehemently.  It's always surprising.

The two topics are these:

1.  Do you put the toilet paper over the top or down the back?

2.  Do you read in the toilet?

Really.  I am not kidding.  Assuming you're not some stuck-up, arbiter-of-good-taste mope, if you bring up either of these topics (assuming, too, that those with whom you're discussing the topic are not also stuck-up mopes), people will have a solid opinion on both of these topics.

I asked a friend once if he read in the toilet and he was puzzled as to why anyone would want to do that.  It's never in his life occurred to him.  I contemplated this as I cracked open a fashion magazine in my home loo later that day.  My family all read in the john when I was growing up and I do, too.

On the other hand, I used to work in an office where I was located just outside of the men's room.  All day long guys were going in there with reading matter:  newspapers, journals, and, once, the Advertising Red Book.  I pointed this out to one of them and he said, "If you see me with Ad Age, you know I mean business."  Over in the ladies' room, no one ever, ever, ever went in with reading matter.  Girls at work use the restroom and go back to work.  I asked my boss, a lady who'd been there for decades, if she'd ever seen any woman go into the restroom with anything to read and she instantly said, "Never."  Where I am now, it's the same:  There might be hair-combing or teeth being brushed but never reading.  (The men in the office don't read or primp or brush their teeth, I've been advised; they do their thing, wash their hands, and go back to work.  My present job is pretty strict about time away from one's desk.)

Many years ago I went on a vacation where I saw a friend and his new girlfriend, newly living together.  She said they'd almost broken up when she realized that he hung the TP differently from how she liked it.  They finally decided that whoever changed the roll determined how the paper fell; they were actually happy to take care of this task so each could have their way.

As for me, I live alone and I like it from the back but when I stay in a hotel and it's from the top, I leave it that way.  They're taking care of it and that's how the maid was trained, often folding the paper into a lovely point.  In a hotel, I am thankful that I don't have to attend to the tidiness in there and go with the program.  I just make sure I take my magazine out and that I leave a couple of bucks every day for a job well done.

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