Words of Wisdom to Live By, and The Story of the Toilet Paper Treaty

I’m something of a legend when it comes to bean salad, among other culinary achievements. But even I make mistakes, like an average person with fat fingers and a microwave. Here are some lil’ nugs of wisdom for people who want to avoid dismal failure as beginner homebodies.

Know your ass from a rotten egg.

Eggs last a pretty long time. How long? In my experience, about 3 weeks. But don’t take my word for it, you paranoid freak! All you need to know for sure is a big bowl of water.

These eggs are fine. 029



Remember it this way: “If those eggs are floatin, pretty soon you’ll be boatin, down the river Styx to the mythical Greek underworld.” Or maybe, “Those eggs don’t sink, that means they stink.” I refuse to edit my creative process.

Don’t buy meat that’s too big.

You can’t just throw the meatiest-looking hunk of meat into your shopping cart, Don Draper. Measuring isn’t the emasculating frippery you seem to think.

You make pulled pork shoulder once, it works out great, you decide to make it again, the only measurement you remembered for the meat is “hunk-sized.” Then you ended up with this monstrosity. 005

And THEN you packed the crock-pot so full of apples and onions the meat didn’t cook for the six hours you were off babysitting.


You idiot! Now you’ll never get married!

Make your own salad dressing, AKA Sometimes things are a little gross. 

Swift whisking is the secret ingredient in every successful salad dressing. Blending oil with vinegar is an example of an emulsion. Now that you know, make it yourself!

If I had my way, only people who knew how to emulsify would get to vote. This is how I was raised.

Once, as a teenager, during one of those classic, parent-adolescent salad dressing power struggles, my dad suggested I was drizzling the olive oil too quickly.

“I’ll make salad dressing however I WANT, DAD.” I screamed.

He stood there, glaring, quivering with rage. I had really done it this time.

“You are a fucking MENACE.” The words barely made it out between his clenched teeth.

Then my parents sent me away to a boarding school where I was taught to make salad dressing properly. Once you’ve got that all figured out, you’ll be making so much salad dressing you’ll have some left over. Store it in the refrigerator. And then, when you open up the refrigerator and find that the olive oil is a congealed, yellow lump, don’t panic. It just needs to reach room temperature.

Got the rice cooker on? Put it on top so the steam can speed things up. LIKE SO. 025

Or stick it in the microwave for 5 seconds, or just let it collect its thoughts on the counter. Don’t be such a princess. All your food looks ugly at some point.

Buy the right toilet paper. And have some damn principles.  worst nightmare As Sartre said, “Hell is other people.” I don’t know about you, but if I live with someone for longer than a week I usually have several drafts completed of a novel based on their inexcusable flaws.

But this one’s a doozy.

My roommate and I take turns buying toilet paper, spring mix, and La Croix sparkling soda, the things that neither of us can go without for more than 48 hours. When it was her turn to buy toilet paper, I got a horrifying glimpse into what I was really dealing with.

“SCOTT? SCOTT? What were you, raised by really cheap wolves?”

“What? I’m not a spendthrift.”

“But, but, but, how could you?” I managed to stammer. “You pay for a monthly gym membership just so you can use the sauna!”

“Toilet paper just isn’t a priority. Who has a budget for expensive toilet paper?” (She SHOULD have said: “You’re just flushing money down the toilet.” Badda bing, badda boom.)

“It costs less, BUT AT WHAT COST?” I puckered buttwardly with outrage.

“Of all the parts of my body, I care about my butt the least.”

After yelling “I shan’t have a chaffed butt-hole on YOUR account!” several times throughout the following week, we agreed that I would pay 60 to 70 percent of whatever quilted 2-ply was on sale.

And now we’ll both live happily ever until the end of our lease, with shiny butts and happy hearts. It’s called compromise, and it’s how grownups free up the chunk of their schedule originally allotted for a rage blackout. 

I’m going to TP her new house every day until I die.


7 thoughts on “Words of Wisdom to Live By, and The Story of the Toilet Paper Treaty

  1. Ah, but the Scott Paper Company is, er, fundamental to my alma mater, Swarthmore College (they fund the Arboritum and all the plantings that make the place beeyootiful). So I occasionally have to buy their TP instead of donating directly to the Alumni Fund. But I admit, my tokus regrets it. Hi, Mol.


  2. Seriously? Toilet paper is the only thing you should never skimp on. The heart is the seat of our emotions, and the anus is the seat of our rationality. Both need to be healthy or we’ll be an unbalanced mess. Your roommate is wrong and probably has hemorrhoids.


    • I’ve never, ever, argued so passionately about something in all my life. It’s times like these you have to really stand up for what you believe in, and show the world what you’re made of.


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