By Samantha Parker
Living with so many people in one house will almost always guarantee a few things, like running out of juice or bottled water, constantly cleaning up after children and dogs, and trying to come up with new and exciting meal ideas that everyone will enjoy.
The most frustrating thing however is running out of toilet paper before the next scheduled shopping trip, especially when you’re the one in the bathroom and in desperate need of the paper. That is when the call goes out to anyone who is home for some paper napkins from the dining room as a substitute. You hope that someone can hear you or you’re reduced to drip dry or a quick shower in lieu of a bidet. Sometimes I’ll check the garbage can for scraps of toilet paper as there always seems to be an abundance of rolled up, unused paper in the bathroom trash. The question always remains…who should buy the paper when it runs out mid week? And more importantly, with so many people in the house, how do you delegate who is responsible for what?
Most times we really don’t think about who does what. Whatever needs tending to, gets taken care of by whom ever notices first. There will be days when I go shopping for mid week necessities, and other times when my sister in law will do that. Sometimes we’ll both forget.
The question was posed by people who are not in this situation. People who do fight over who has to do what in their household. A few friends have mentioned that their partner or significant other never does the dishes, or the grocery shopping, or the laundry, the list goes on. My thought is, just do what needs to get done, but ask for help when you need it. Nobody should be overburdened with taking care of every single task by themselves.
Don’t expect the other person to just know that you want something taken care of. If I need my father’s clothes laundered while I’m at work, I’ll ask my sister in law to do it. Truth is if she sees the clothes in the laundry room, she’ll take it upon herself to do it anyway. Another example is pasta sauce. We eat pasta daily and we prefer homemade sauce. If I notice that we’ve run out, I’ll take some meat out the night before and ask if she can make it if she’s home and not scheduled to work. If she does have to work, then we figure out who will make it either in the morning or at night. No arguments, no fighting about who does what. It makes for a better living environment that way.
Nobody really wants to live in a house where they constantly need to take care of everyone, especially if other healthy adults are in the household. A friend recently complained to me that her husband refuses to buy toilet paper and will be happy to “hold it in” while she runs to the store to pick some up. Now toilet paper isn’t something that isn’t a necessity. We have become accustom to using toilet paper and there really is no substitute for it. My brother has on occasion used the “quicker picker upper”. Trying to flush this is like trying to flush a towel – it’s impossible. I’ve spent many days fishing that paper out of the toilet or trying to plunge it through the pipes. Maybe there’s an embarrassment that comes from purchasing this one particular item. Whatever the reason, don’t hold it in, pitch in and help buy the paper even if you’ve run out of it on a Wednesday. We all share the same household and we all want to live in a peaceful environment where we can use the bathroom in peace and without fear of the drip dry.