Even as I did it, I felt myself cringing.
After a long day, I was doing some kitchen cleanup before I went to bed. I realized I’d splashed water on the floor while washing out glasses, so I grabbed for paper towels to mop up.
The roll was at its end so I only got a half-sheet before it was history. No prob. I always have plenty of towels on hand. They’re one of the things I make sure I never run out of.
As I grabbed a fresh roll, I put it on the vertical holder I have near the sink. Pulling off a piece, I realized something was wrong. Instead of tearing it off from the front of the roll with the pattern facing me, I had to tear it off from the back, making the pattern “inside-out.”
And that bothered me.
I know, I know. It sounds totally crazy. What difference does it make which way you tear off paper towels? None. Except it does.
So, with the aforementioned cringe, I took the roll off the holder and flipped it over. So it would be The Right Way.
As I soaked up the small puddle on the floor, I started thinking about the other things I like The Right Way.
Yep, you guessed it. Bathroom tissue. In our house, the toilet paper has to come over the top of that holder, not from underneath. Hank totally agrees with me. (At least he says he does.)
And when I put a fitted sheet on a bed, I do one corner then the one vertically opposite, never two at one end at the same time. That’s how Mom taught me so I blame her for that.
After those things, though, I can’t come up with much of anything else. I mean I don’t always squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom. In fact, more often than not, I only squeeze from the middle.
And while I’m certainly not a slob, I’m definitely not a neat freak like the girl I went to college with who started making her bed before she even got out of it.
So why, then, am I so locked in when it comes to doing some things The Right Way?
At the risk of sounding Freudian over something so frivolous, the best I can figure is that it’s a matter of control. In a year that’s been marked by unrelenting turmoil and divisiveness, too many sad stories and too much loss, there’s something inexplicably comforting about controlling what you can control.
There’s not a whole lot I can do about a whole lot of things. But making sure my paper towels and bathroom tissue unroll the way I like are two small victories in this daily war called Life.
Where you can choose to throw in the towels — or just flip ‘em over.