A Tissue Issue

I have trouble buying toilet paper.  The big rolls, giant rolls, and mega rolls confuse me.  Why can’t there just be one size of roll — mega is fine — so that we all know what we’re buying?

I just paid $12 for a Charmin Ultra Soft MegaRoll pack declaring that 9 MEGARolls! = 36 REGULAR Rolls!*  I picked up the package to see what the asterisk (*) referred to, but even after scouring the entire package, I could not find the corresponding asterisk

There’s another little symbol on the package, a sort of + with rounded edges, next to the words “Roll Fit Guarantee,” outlining Charmin’s promise to refund in full the price of the MegaRoll pack if the MegaRolls don’t fit on your toilet paper holder.  Just send Charmin the reason for your complaint with a copy of the register receipt, and you’ll receive a refund for the entire amount — $12 in my case – within 60 days.

I have no idea how the Charmin rolls compare in size to the other brands, and the sign in Publix declared the Charmin to be the “Best Value.”  So what did I have to lose by purchasing the Charmin Ultra Soft MegaRoll pack?

A sane person would say, “Nothing.  The Charmin Ultra Soft MegaRoll pack is on sale, and if I don’t like it, I can just tell Charmin it was too big, and they’ll refund my money.  I could potentially get 36 free rolls of toilet paper.”  Actually, a sane person would just grab the brand that’s on sale and move on to the trash bags.

But that wasn’t my thought process.  Holding that large package of Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper in my hand and searching for the missing asterisk took me back to an event that happened nearly four years ago, something I obviously hadn’t gotten over.

My divorce was freshly final, and my ex-husband decided to take our children to his parents’ condo in Destin, Florida, for a few days.  They were scheduled to leave at 1:00 in the afternoon, but like every other time my ex was supposed to leave for a vacation, 3:00 rolled around with no sign of him.  I was sitting on my back porch reading.  Around 3:30, I walked inside to get a drink and was surprised to see my ex-mother-in-law standing in my kitchen.

She had come to my house, she said, to have a meeting with my three children and my ex for the purpose of handing out and discussing a list of rules for staying in her condo.

Her son, as usual, was missing in action, but I called my three teenagers into the kitchen, and their grandmother proceeded to read them the rules.  I went back outside.

My ex arrived sometime around 4:00.  After they loaded up and left, I walked back inside to find a stray copy of the condo rules.  It was four typewritten, single-spaced pages.

And somewhere around page 3, it said, “You are welcome to use the toilet paper already in the condo, but please be sure to replace what you’ve used with only Charmin Ultra Soft tissue (my emphasis). We’re sorry, but that’s the kind we prefer.”

For nearly four years, I have purposely avoided purchasing Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper just on the principle of the matter.  Yes, they have the right to ask people who are using their condo for free to replace used tissue with the same brand.  Of course they do.  But seriously?  It’s toilet paper!

So this morning, as I stood in the toilet paper aisle holding that big package of tissue and scouring it for the asterisked explanation of 36 REGULAR Rolls!, it dawned on me that I was standing in the middle of the grocery store aisle contemplating toilet paper.  And that it was taking me much longer to pick out something to wipe my behind with than it took to choose a steak.  Or a bottle of wine.

Can you say “asinine?”

I bought the Charmin UltraSoft MEGARoll pack.  I brought it home and used some of it, and by God, my former in-laws are right.  It’s very soft.  It’s the perfect paper for a chapped ass.

Oh, and I finally found the little explanatory asterisk.  9 MEGARolls! equals 36 REGULARRolls! – and I quote – “based on the number of sheets.”

And for those anticipating a joke that it should be based on the number of sh*ts, shame on you.  The giant rolls use that standard.



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