2011.06.08 Amazing happenings and bathroom woes

Written by David Green.


Some amazing things have been happening lately. The most amazing of all? My granddaughter Caroline loves my wild woman doll sculpture.

Surely you recall my wild woman doll? I mentioned her in a column I wrote three years ago

...Her black and white striped legs hang from a triangular body painted in splashes of color atop bands of purple, green, yellow, black and red fabric. Her black and white polka dot arms stick out from her sides. She wears the tiniest pair of bejeweled sunglasses. She’s totally cool.

The column was actually about my friend Kay’s advice:

“Make sure you have a will, Col,” she said, “and specify what you want each of your kids to have.”

I laughed out loud.

“My kids aren’t going to want any of our crap!” I said with certainty.

Of course, I was right. My kids had no interest in anything, not even, much to my great disbelief and unending dismay, my wild woman doll.

Although Ben diplomatically responded:  “Nothing really comes to mind right now,” when I asked them all in an email what they wanted, all three of my kids sidestepped this issue:

The really important question is, who wants the dryer lint collection and the little jar of finger nail clippings?

But the wild woman. There is hope for her finding a happy home. Caroline is transfixed; she smiles every time she looks at her. At the tender age of three months, she recognizes beauty mixed with whimsy and quirkyness. 

The next amazing thing? Maddie jumped off a bridge and lived to tell about it.

“I jumped off a bridge today,” she said when I arrived in Ann Arbor Sunday for a brief visit.

My heart leaped to my mouth, but she was standing before me, alive and unharmed, so I settled down and listened to “Why?” as in Why on earth would you do a crazy thing like jump off a bridge?

“It was on my list,” she said.

Maddie has created a bucket list. And even though jumping off a bridge seems like a quick ticket to kicking the bucket, her list isn’t so much about things she wants to do before she dies, but things she wants to do in Ann Arbor before she leaves for Wyoming next month. 

I’m just thrilled that she is finally taking advantage of all the wonderful things Ann Arbor has to offer. OK, “jumping off a bridge” is not what I had in mind, and until she crosses off “canoe/float down the Huron,” I will worry.

The fact that three bars are mentioned on her list isn’t what I was imagining either. But I think it’s great that she plans to spend her last days in Ann Arbor soaking up the culture. Even the bars that appear on the list are there with a purpose...“dance at blue grass night at Circus.”

It’s a lovely list: “Go to the botanical gardens, see a show at the Ark, go to the comedy club below Seva”: Just amazing.

OK, that’s the end of the amazing things; there’s really just those two. The next thing is merely noteworthy and concerns a trip to the bathroom this past weekend. 

I should preface this by making two points: first, I am a loyal Scott Tissue fan and it’s the only brand I ever buy. However, Rosie had mentioned that Taylor prefers his toilet paper a little less rough. So I broke down and bought some Charmin for his recent visit.

 Second, I almost always have extra rolls of toilet paper on the back of the toilet, within reach of users. One of the major goals in my life is to ensure that no one should ever run out of toilet paper while using either of our bathrooms. When all sparkplugs are firing at the correct time, extra rolls are either on the back of the toilet or in the cupboard close at hand.

But, the other day, when Rosie and Caroline were in Toronto visiting Taylor, and the end of the toilet paper roll appeared as it always seems to on my watch, I reached behind me for a refill and grabbed the lone roll on the back of the toilet.

It was the stiffest roll of toilet paper I’d ever touched. It couldn’t have been Scott; not even Scott is this tough, I thought. But how could it be Charmin? Charmin is so soft. From a sitting position, I tried to reach around the cupboard door for another roll of toilet paper. The angle was too tight, the extra rolls too far back in the cupboard. David wasn’t home to help. I was stuck. 

I pulled off a length of the offensive toilet paper, yanking hard. In my head, I started composing a letter to Scott, telling them how disappointed I was with this very tough toilet paper. I hoped it was a fluke. Then I got to thinking...

I emailed Rosie; subject line: bathroom woes.

“Hey, did you or Taylor leave a joke roll of toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom? I thought it was Scott, but it was like a stiff paper towel...and I couldn’t reach any others in the cupboard.”

“Ha ha,” she responded. “Those are disposable liners for Caroline's diapers.”

Disposable liners for cloth diapers?

Isn’t that amazing?

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