After 8 weeks of no luck, we saw it.
It was a 12-pack of “mega-rolls,” the equivalent of 48 rolls of toilet paper, the package promised.
That’s an awful lot of tissue for just the two of us, but we’ve been out and on the lookout for two months.
(Daughter, who’s reading over my shoulder, pointed out, “That’s all you ever see, anyway, is the mega-roll. They all call them that, so what’s so mega about it?” She doesn’t remember the years gone by when the rolls were smaller … back when you could fit a new roll on the wall-mounted holder easily, with plenty of space, not having to shove and squish it in, then not be able to unroll it for the first third because it’s so fat it gets stuck.)
However, it was a momentary victory there at Kroger’s. We had taken our traditional walk to the TP aisle, not expecting anything but doing so out of habit — and Shazam! There it was! A stack of seven or eight multi-packs of mega-rolls on the otherwise empty expanse of shelves!
For the past two months, it had became a routine: At every single shopping trip, there was always that check at the toilet tissue aisle.
To be honest, people have been advising me to order toilet paper online, but that just seemed silly. Between boxes of tissue and faith in the manufacture and supply system, it would work itself out.
And here we were. Greedily, wary of the couple of dozen other shoppers who were there at the store too, we grabbed one and put it in the buggy, before the other customers discovered what was there and leapt past us and beat us to them.
We balanced a cat-food bag on top to hide it. That just seemed prudent.
From the beginning, though, I resented the size of that mega-package. It was huge and would be very demanding on the scant closet space in our classic old farmhouse.
Then I remembered with regret the endless boxes of tissue stashed in this closet and that. We’ll have all those left over, and it won’t even be sniffles-and-sneezes season for another several months yet.
It didn’t take me long to learn to buy the limit-1 or limit-2 box of tissues at each shopping trip. Of course, they took the place of toilet paper, and they also were hard to come by. On some trips to the store, there weren’t any. On one trip, I got the very last two boxes of tissues.
Given the scarcity of tissues as well, I learned to get as many as I was allowed at each opportunity I encountered.
At home, we cheerfully took the upended tissue boxes out of the toilet paper holder and slid in the toilet paper rolls instead.
Now we had to find a storage spot for those three boxes of tissues as well as the remaining mega-rolls of toilet paper.
We opened the closet door and were greeted with the sight of a tissue box shoved into every possible spot, some barely balanced in and ready to fall.
Now, to try to shove in the nine remaining mega-rolls (equal to 36 regular rolls, to go by the package’s promise) as well as the three tissue boxes.
Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.