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Somebody Told Me, "Get Better Toilet Paper!"

Updated: Apr 10

After news of fire in my last post, I figure it might be tough to hold your attention with one of my boring narratives. What better way to inspire readers than with a little piece about toilet paper! The topic has been heavy on my mind the last few days. I wonder, if we all have ideas about what toilet paper is best?

But, I worry, if we take on this topic, can we bear the shame of its triviality? Could we possibly and publicly debate what might constitute the BEST toilet paper? Much of the world doesn’t even have any. Are we just whining about silly problems? There are places on earth where hardship, conflict and starvation appropriate importance to more basic human needs. Toilet paper seems a construct; a nod to luxury that Maslow’s Hierarchy doesn’t even address. It’s certainly not a basic human need really, but is it somehow an aspect of self-identity or self-actualization? Is toilet paper all tied up in ego?

Once, I was in El Salvador on a bus stopped on the side of the road in desperate need with no bathroom or toilet paper to be had, so I know a debate around the topic could well be seen as another of those infamous “First World Problems!” Everybody poops, we've all been told. Get over yourself. When nature calls. Yadda yadda. Yes, we all poop, but normally in the privacy of a closed-door bathroom without an audience and with at least a quarter roll of some sort of blindingly white, smoothly soft, perfectly absorbent paper with which to wipe. It seems to me, that in that quiet contemplative space, we simply have way too much time to ponder our options! On the side of the road, with a waiting bus, all one has time to think is I hope they don’t leave without me!

I know, you’re wondering, where the heck is this story going? I’m getting there. Don’t get your undies in a bunch…unless you need to use them as TP!!!

The topic of toilet paper landed in my lap at the close of the last Adult Day Camp on Memoir Writing. I asked participants to complete an evaluation. I assured them that their honesty and constructive feedback would be heard and accepted. People were very generous, thoughtful and expressed enjoyment with the camps. A couple of folks suggested ways to structure sharing time so that more people could have both space (in the sense of a lowered affective filter, bravery and confidence), and time to speak. I was reminded to never assume that adults feel comfortable enough to share even in what seems like a small group! Think, pair, share worked in 5th grade and it's what adults need too, quite often.

Another bit of feedback I received cracked me up! One of the participants, a friend always on the lookout for a good laugh, commented that I should “get better toilet paper!” I laughed a brief “Ha,” but in an instant my debate-girl's brain got all agitated and zingy indignantly flying this way and that. He doesn’t know how particular I am about my brand! He thinks I choose one-ply because country life has clouded my judgment or maybe it's because of my hippie background. Little does he know, the type of toilet paper that hangs, over the roll, in my holders has been thoroughly researched, tested and compared carefully against every other brand on the market! In fact, I have a lifetime (well, probably since the age of two or three) of R&D on the subject! My rebuttal is strong, and there is no hecky-becky way I’ll ever change my mind again. I’m a big fan of “bad toilet paper" and stand resolute in my decision to go single-ply today and everyday. It has everything to do with bits and lint. No thank you! See, hot topic!

Like many, I was a Charmin girl for years quite happy with all its quilted softness and cute little dotted patterns until the day I, well, changed my mind. I don’t remember the exact moment, but I suspect it began to come into focus when somebody in the family (yes, you, Mom) ran out of toilet paper and had to holler for help from the bathroom. The sense of emergency/urgency made me promise forever and always be the one to make sure another roll was nearby at the ready and replaced as soon as they ran out. Once I decided that would be my job in every household I inhabited, I soon realized that toilet paper went way faster than I thought! 

When I was old enough, in my own home, I was inspired to try some of the other brands on the market. I wondered if anything lasted longer? I was of the same mindset as my friend back then believing that there is a difference between “good” and “bad” toilet paper. (By the way, if you've travelled outside the US, you know there is some REALLY BAD toilet paper out there!) I purchased only brands considered “good”  - those that are thick and squishy. I soon learned these “high class” brands that evoked luxury left little linty bits behind, and even more troubling, they clogged the toilet, too. I tried them all and each had a problem: too thick, too linty, too perfumy, or too quick to run out. 

One day when I was out and about shopping at Le Target Boutique, I took a quick detour to their retail bathroom. In the stall, I studied the densely rolled smooth lint free toilet paper that looked likely to last for months. I pulled off a handful, put it to use, and realized there was “good” toilet paper out there after all! It just wasn’t the kind most of us were using at home. I grabbed my cart, wheeled straight to the toilet paper aisle, and loaded up a jumbo pack of Scott Brand Paper. “Long-lasting and septic safe” it reads on the package! And more importantly, no lint, no rolled up little bits, no icky residue left behind on the behind, and no plumes of lint particles piled on the floorboards below the holder. There’s nothing better. If Target can use it in their potty, so can I! I'm not sure I've had to restock in years - those jumbo packs last forever!

So, thanks for the Adult Day Camp feedback, participants. If you sign up for a future camp, don’t worry, I’ll still have the good toilet paper!

To those of you who completed one of my surveys regarding the Day Camp project, thank you! Of those who participated, your name was included in a drawing for a $10 gift card to use at the Farm Store OR $10 off on the registration fee of a future camp. Our randomly selected winner is…The Singer Family. Thank you and congratulations!

Thanks to all of you who sent thoughtful feedback and ideas. I’m setting my sights on outdoor growing prep and Spring cleaning for the next couple of weeks. That’ll give me time to ponder a good direction in the Adult Day Camp (Some have told me they read or hear Adult Day Care!) Adventure!

The farm store is stocked with lots of goodies!

Sending love from the farm,


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