Under and OverOf all the animal species, we humans have some unique habits. How we handle our small rituals can be crucial for harmonious cohabitation. Whether in couples, nuclear families, or in great groupings, one particular and peculiar debate rages. Which way does the toilet tissue roll, over or under?
This controversy crosses the gender, age, and socioeconomic barriers. However, generalities can be made. Women, by and large, are in the "over" category because they do most of the house chores and use more toilet tissue than males. Men, on the other hand, seem not to care. And children, well, the kids just holler when the roll is down to the cardboard.
Replacing an empty roll with a new roll is not difficult, unless there are no spares in the bathroom and you find yourself already in a seated position. It's a bad situation when you discover this alone in the house with no family member to call upon. The only thing worse is finding yourself in this predicament with a house full of company. Still, it depends upon who you are as to how you will handle this crisis.
If a roll is nearby, it's a quick procedure sagely handed down from mother to daughter since the invention of commercial tissue. Sons never seem to get taught. Ever check out a bachelor pad? There is never a roll on the spindle, it's just there on the sink counter or on top of the tank. That's if there is any. This is when Mother's Rule #847, always carry tissue comes in very handy.
The husbands who will replace the roll are far and few in-between. The law of averages should put it at about 50-50 that the roll will end up properly rolling over the top. This never happens. It is one of Murphy's Laws which supersedes all others. Mother Nature really gnashes her teeth over that one.
While there are men out there who do load the spindle in the proper fashion, they are usually even more persnickety than their counterparts. If the next sheet isn't properly aligned at the 10 o'clock spot, then every spin of the roll becomes an awful game of roulette.
Years ago, a distraught husband wrote to Anne Landers or Dear Abby, I can't remember which, but since they are sisters, it doesn't matter. He asked what was the proper way for the roll to roll. She honestly replied that there was no written etiquette on the process, but begged him to defer to his wife to save the marriage. It brought her a torrent of mail on the subject.
Now the topic of toilet paper rolling can't be thoroughly covered without a discussion of the tissue itself. It doesn't matter if it's a premium name brand triple ply or industrial grade one ply, everyone's level of comfort is different. And, there are times when splurging on tissue touted to be the softest will only bring about a heated argument. It won't be about the price. It will be about the strength of said soft tissue. Older gents don't like it, it tears too easily. Not only will you hear about it, but the rest of the household will too. You should change brands with alacrity.
Prior to indoor conveniences, about all that was crowed about was who used the last of the paper. This meant newspapers, or magazines. I shudder to consider any other options, especially not the much bandied "corncobs." Now we have more luxuries than our ancestors ever considered much less dreamed about, yet the "over or under" status of our toilet tissue is an ugly daily confrontation.
I know people who are so stressed out over this one point that a social gathering can be ruined if someone put the roll on backwards. There are also the few who will sacrifice a short roll just to replace it properly will a fresh one before anybody screws it up. It's very like the marriages that have crumbled over the toothpaste tube dilemma.
Many long married couples will inform you that it's the little things in life that make it bearable to live with another person. Prior to marriage, issues of work ethic, religion, and child rearing are views that are justifiably discussed. However, when a dedicated "under" joins in matrimony to a purist "over," things will heat up all by themselves.
Toilet tissue and the way it rolls is not a profound issue in most of our lives, but when your partner informs you that, "God made toilet paper to roll only one way," you had better by God listen. There aren't enough fancy dinners, flowers, candies, or back-rubs that will erase the hurt, anger, and tears. However, a cruise might not be out of the question.