Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Clean-up Conundrum

So, every so often my thoughts travel to random, mundane places, and I am choosing to share one of these trips with all of you (more accurately, all three of you out there-thanks for visiting).

Up until a few years ago, if one needed to purchase paper towels, the only decision to make at the grocery store was whether to go with Brawny (helloooo-can you say pretty attractive for a paper towel illustration!) or to sensibly select the store brand (I'm oversimplifying here, but humor me). This was typically an easily enough decision to make (Brawny man, duh!), and I'm sure not a whole lot of people gave much more thought to the paper towel choice after it was safely placed on the holder.

Fast forward a few years. In addition to the plethora of paper towel options that have been added in the interim, namely brands, prints, styles, single or double ply, the mammoth pack, or the I'm-single-and-only-need-one-roll-at-a-time version, a new contestant has entered the ring: the select-a-size paper towel.

"Oh how lovely!" some of you thought to yourselves happily upon first sight of it. "Now I have the option of using just a little bit of paper towel when I have an oh-so-small mess to clean up, and not wasting the other half of my perforated sheet!" Seems like a good idea, right? Well, not so fast, I say.

What about those of us who would like to use a small amount of paper towel, but not pay twice as much for about half the amount? What do we do? (I just love that they try to trick us by mentioning the number of sheets in those rolls, btw.)

Well, unfortunately, I don't think there is a good answer for this injustice. I have yet to see a generic brand of select-a-size paper towel on the market. (If any of you know otherwise, please kindly inform me.) Instead, I'm stuck doing the same thing I've done for some time now: ripping a perfectly good perforated sheet in half to use after washing my hands, because I don't need a full sheet and can't justify wasting half of it.

Is anyone out there feeling the same way? Or are you the one who comes to our house, sees the jaggedly ripped sheet and thinks, "Poor things, they probably can't afford Brawny's Select-A-Size"?

Oh well, I guess the hard-hit economy affects some of us in more noticeable ways than others.


kel said...

Hahaha! Laura, you've finally put to words the deep inner conflict which I could not define. Thanks. ;) Have you seen Costco's generic brand paper towels? Talk about gigantic sheets. I feel so guilty every time I rip one off for a little spill. I don't need that kind of guilt in my life. In fact, once we ran out of them, we tried going completely paper towel-less in an effort to conserve more (I didn't involve Bryant in this decision... he definitely wasn't excited about it). In the end, he was right. It was not a pretty sight. We're back to the gigantic sheets and my ever-growing guilt. ;)

Stefani said...

Hi. I'm pretty sure I met you once at a birthday dinner for Kelly and others about one year ago. So that means I'm claiming you as a friend and since you are my friend I can write on your wall without feeling like weirdo. Since I'm already friends with Ryan I feel doubly justified. Agreed?

Anyway, besides proclaiming myself as your friend, the point is I am so happy that I'm not alone in the paper towel stinginess world. My husband will use about 67 sheets of paper towel for a small spill on the counter. I am almost to the point where I hang paper towels out to dry so I can use them again later.

And I was totally unaware of the sheet count con! But then again, I judge paper towels by how big I think the roll looks.

Ry said...

We have so much in common.

A couple of years ago, my roommates and I decided to upgrade our lifestyle by using paper towels expendably. There was a sick satisfaction stemming from the use of two or three paper towels to wipe up a significantly small spill.

Surprisingly, that excitement has since dwindled, and now I'm once again lamenting paper towel usage.

If only someone would make paper towels the size, texture, style, availability, and thickness of napkins.

If only.