Well, That’s an Odd Place for a Life Lesson

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Over the weekend, Jack and I made a tiny bit of progress on our journey toward Less by wandering around the metro St. Louis area looking for our new home. We’re not picky—we simply need a place that:

  • isn’t a ranch-style but still has a bedroom and full bathroom on the main level
  • has dormers
  • is no more than 1000 sq. ft.
  • sits on at least 1/2 acre
  • doesn’t require a septic tank, propane heat, or well water
  • has a garage
  • would allow Jack to build an additional, sizeable outbuilding for his workshop/social enterprise
  • is closer to the city (for me), but not actually in it (for Jack)
  • doesn’t have a mildew problem
  • is no more than $135,000 ($150,000 if it won’t require any updates, repairs, or remodels to meet the above conditions)
  • isn’t in an area where we’re likely to be robbed or shot
  • is on the water.

Or:

  • a piece of property that’ll let us do whatever we want
  • but still has public utilities
  • on a road that won’t activate my motion sickness
  • and will be plowed when necessary so we’re not stranded in a medical emergency
  • on the water.

WHATEVER with your pessimism. This post isn’t really about the whole house-hunting thing anyway. It’s about toilet paper.

(Yes, I’m going to talk about restroom issues for a minute or two. If we’re going to be friends, you’ll have to grow accustomed to over-sharing and awkward. I am an embodiment of those words.)

As we’re driving around looking at places that meet almost none of our requirements but “we might as well take a look,” there’s always an I’ve-gotta-get-something-to-drink moment and, consequently, one or more I’ve-gotta-pee moments.

So, yesterday, in some bathroom in Webster Groves, I think it was, this happened: I sat. I peed. I reached for toilet paper. There was none. I panicked. (Much like I do when I get stuck in a dress in a fitting room or try on a ring that’s juuuuust about too small.)

“Well, that’s great,” I said.

I stared at the TP holder—one of those giant, nearly opaque deals that holds 4,572 rolls. “It can’t be out,” I thought, and I stuck my hand up inside the dispenser thing, expecting to feel only plastic. But I didn’t. I felt toilet paper. Thank you, Jesus! (No, I didn’t actually pray for TP, and I don’t think Jesus actually provided it. But I know He was happy for me. So why not given Him the credit?)

But here’s the problem: I could neither get the replacement roll to move down to the proper spot; nor could I get the roll started. And believe me, I tried. I sat there with my hand deep in the bowels (HA!) of a public restroom’s TP dispenser, clawing at the roll, trying to find the end of it. Soon, I’d created a small mountain of TP shavings on the floor.

Eventually, I managed to scrape off enough TP, put myself back together, wash my hands, and saunter out of the bathroom. Jack met me with a you-were-in-there-forever-are-you-okay-maybe-we-need-to-go-home expression. I explained, he laughed, and we went on our merry, house-hunting way.

Until.

Until we stopped for dinner at McAllister’s, where, wouldn’t you know it, the same damn thing happened. Sit, pee, no TP. Hopeful exploration of dispenser. New roll discovered. New roll stuck. Scratch, scratch, scratch…

No, I’m not kidding. I wish I were. What are the chances this would happen twice in a year, let alone twice in four hoursHow lucky can one girl be?

I bet you’ve already guessed the moral of the story: Look firstAlways. Even if you’ve already survived the first go around, because it might happen again. Sooner than you’d ever expect.