That picture right there.
Yes. I took the picture.
Yes. I meant to share it.
That’s a sign of my growing up when I moved out of my parent’s house. For the first time. (And yes, there was a second but that’s a story for another time. Or maybe not.)
It has occurred to me over the past couple of days what growing up and moving out on my own really looked like. And all I could think of was “toilet paper.”
The whole time I lived at home, summers in college included, I do not recall us EVER running out of toilet paper.
And why was that?
Because my Mama always made sure we had it. A good supply. With extras under the sink and big packs tucked in the bottom of the linen closet. She kept us in stock. No worries.
And on the off chance that you were in a compromising position with no toilet paper on the roll, you could holler out the universal call that said you were in need of said bathroom accessory:
Or at least that always worked at our house. Eventually.
There was an episode of a tweens show, “Good Luck Charlie,” where the Mom was learning to text. One afternoon she sent a message to her husband, “ITBOOTP.” Eventually they had a discussion over what exactly that meant. She gave him a “are you kidding me?” look and said, “In.The.Bathroom.Out.Of.Toilet.Paper.”
ITBOOTP. That made me LOL. And yeah, I might have seen it in a text message around here once. Or twice. Ahem.
But I digress.
Suffice to say that when I was growing up the closest we came to running out of toilet paper was when it wasn’t on the roll. But there was always some in the house.
When I lived in the dorms at college, we had community bathrooms my freshman year. No chance of running out there. The women who picked up and cleaned after us (bless ’em) made sure we always had toilet paper in stock. The next three years I found toilet paper outside my suite room door once or twice a week. I had a private bathroom and toilet paper provided. I didn’t know enough to appreciate it then.
I moved out on my own. And guess whose responsibility it was to buy toilet paper then?
Ha. Yeah. Me. Only it took me a little bit to actually figure that out. As in one day, you look down and there are about six and a half squares left and you happen to think, “I need to put another roll out.” And when there’s not one there, you wonder how in the world that happened. Until hits you.
Welcome to the world of growing up. It’s not all parties and watching whatever you want until all hours of the night and having friends over whenever you want and cooking and eating all of your favorites. Let me tell you with absolute certainty, those friends of yours? They might be okay if you can’t afford to order a pizza, but they are going to disappear fast if you don’t have toilet paper.
Being grown up and moving out on your own is less about you having things your own way and more about having toilet paper in stock. That neither your Mama nor the dorm custodian supplied for you.
Tonight I’m thankful for all the years I didn’t have to worry about where the toilet paper was coming from. I’m grateful now for privilege of having it, as I have friends for whom this is truly a luxury. If you have someone making sure you never run out of the good stuff, go give them a hug and a big ol’ thank you.
And if you are the one who makes sure you never run out, congratulations. You are the grownup. Bless your heart.