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Random Thoughts – Packing My Suitcase Edition

love these suitcase from Land of Nod

love these suitcase from Land of Nod

I’ll be leaving for the Financial Blogger Conference in less than five days and I am PUMPED! This weekend, I’ll be attempting to prepare posts for you guys to read while I’m gone, getting some of my stuff packed, AND making an emergency shopping trip (since I ordered a jacket that apparently got sent to Abu Dhabi instead of my house).

My brain is completely scattered. I am so excited to meet all my fellow PF bloggers and I hope to learn a lot that I can share when I get back.

Here are some of the random thoughts bouncing around in my head today:

I am SO MAD at Walmart’s Tire Lube Express. Yesterday I went to get an oil change and tire rotation. After all, I don’t feel like getting stuck on the side of the road on my way to Chicago! The dude’s all, “It’s going to take about an hour,” and I’m like, “Okay, that’s cool.”

So I wait. And wait some more. In the meantime, I see employees goofing off, taking smoke breaks, and just standing around like there aren’t 50 cars waiting to be serviced.

Nearly 3 hours after I walked in, my car is ready. I get in, pull out of the parking lot, and my low tire pressure light comes on. REALLY?!?!?! These guys rotated my tires, then decided they didn’t even need to check to make sure said tires were in driving condition? I’m pretty sure that’s not the way it’s supposed to happen.

Yeah, not going back to Tire Lube Express anymore. I actually filed a complaint via Walmart’s website, which I NEVER do, not that it will do any good. I also signed “F*ck you” on the little signature pad but I don’t think the guy noticed. Walmart is evil. At some point I’ll write a rant dedicated just to them.

My child is a lying liar who lies. I also went to Jayden’s IEP meeting at school yesterday. He requires certain accommodations at school (like extra time to complete tests) due to his Asperger’s Syndrome, so once a year I have half an hour to attempt to forceΒ help his teachers understand him.

Apparently he’s missing about 40 homework assignments, including two large projects, that he never told me about. I nearly hit the roof.

Jay is a damn good kid. I was actually surprised that he would lie (“Nope, I don’t have any homework tonight, Mom”) since he’s never been capable of it before. Kids with Asperger’s tend to be honest about EVERYTHING. But he lied, and his grades suck, so now he’s grounded for the first time in his life. I’m the meanest mom ever. I interpret that as “Thank you for setting limits because I am a child and I need limits. You are an awesome mom and I love you.”

Random Survey about Toilet Paper. Last night I was reminded of a speech I gave in college. I used to make up all my speeches for Public Speaking at the last minute – I don’t love getting up in front of people, but I don’t hate it, so I was a fan of winging it.

On this particular day, I realized I was supposed to have a visual aid of some sort. I went to the bathroom to mull things over and was inspired to do a speech about toilet paper. I “borrowed” a roll and went to the library to Google some info.

My speech discussed the origins of toilet paper, how it’s made, and some interesting TP facts. I pulled off squares of toilet paper and used them to demonstrate what I was talking about. Believe it or not, the instructor FREAKING LOVED IT. (I went to a small liberal arts college if that clarifies anything.)

So anyway, one of the most interesting things I learned is that men are more likely to fold their TP into neat little squares, and women are more likely to crumple it into a ball. A small percentage of (strange) people wrap it around their hands. My classmates were intensely interested in this and we had a long discussion about our TP habits.

I need to know: Are you a folder or a crumpler? What about your significant other? This is important research for….um…. research purposes. Yes.

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web developer and mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!


  1. hmmm I guess Im one of those weird ones.

    Thanks for the morning smile πŸ™‚

    • Now I have questions. I've never actually seen a hand wrapper in the wild.
      So, I get the wrapping your hand part, but do you remove it from your hand before you wipe? Or are you using your entire TP-wrapped hand to wipe? Because the second option sounds disgusting. I need to understand.
      OR do you wrap it around your hand, then remove it from your hand and fold and/or crumple? Doesn't that waste a lot of toilet paper? Do you have a default number of trips around your hand before you're ready to separate it from the roll?

  2. Wrap around my hand to form perfect squares, like dudes do, but then remove it from around my hand so as to double up. 

  3. Totally wrap around hands and then remove from hands to wipe. Nothing neat or perfect about it. I find it a nice compromise between the wad of toilet paper and neat squares. πŸ™‚

  4. says

    My son, who is ADD, also lied about his homework.  It was either in 1st or 2nd grade.  Luckily a lady at work, her son was in my son's class, and when I said "thank god they don't have homework yet!" She stated they'd had homework every night for 2 months.  Sighhhh.  It was a lie and a battle that persisted through the very last day of high school!  (He's 19 now.)  I survived, but felt like it was me going to high school again with all the help and motherly tutoring I gave him.  Soooo many nights at the kitchen table.

    Secondly, I'm so glad you mentioned the TP!  I'd never heard of this before my son!  (The one from above.)  He does the toilet paper thing — folds it up into little squares!  It's so compact that when he uses too much TP, it's clogged our toilet!  I tried to show him after that clogging, to crumple it and he always reverts to that damn folding!  Even as he blows his nose, he folds in half, blows, folds neatly, blows, folds neatly, wipes nose, folds more compactly.  Those same little squares!

    • I think I could write a whole post about homework. I was always a very motivated student, but my son isn't AT ALL. He doesn't care if he makes good grades. He doesn't care if he gets in trouble for failing to turn in assignments. And that is SO STRESSFUL when I'm trying to get him to concentrate and do homework.

      The teachers and guidance counselors tell me stupid stuff like "Set a timer for 30 minutes." Well, he panics when he has a time limit (hence the extra time on tests) so I don't think that would be too helpful. "Make him do his homework before he gets time on the computer." Yep, and he'll continue lying about having homework so he can have more computer time.

      Anyway, thanks so much for your comment! Glad I'm not the only one dealing with this bullshit.

      • My son actually forgets having written down the assignment in his planner and then tells me he doesn't have any. And, yes, I know I sound naive for believing that he forgets. But when I tell him to get the planner and check, he's surprised to find something written down. He would fail every class if not for the planner. He now knows that when I ask if he has homework that means go check the planner. Maybe that would work for your son as part of his IEP plan.

  5. 3 hours? Ugh, here I was complaining about spending a little over an hour at the dealership!

    I'm a crumpler…I don't know about hubby, and he's not here to ask, but I'll try to remember to ask him later.

    And for what it's worth (from a non-parent)- kids do need limits, and setting them and caring so much does make you an awesome mom. We tend to realize this more as we grow up. I don't have any advice or experience to share, but it wasn't THAT long ago that I was a kid thinking my parents were the "meanest ever" for not letting me do whatever I wanted to do-and now I appreciate it.

    • He definitely needs consequences; I'm just not used to having to dole them out. It makes me really sad because he was supposed to sleep over with a friend last night (kids with Asperger's have a lot of difficulties with social skills, so that's rare for him). I had to shut my bedroom door and cry. But maybe he'll learn that lying is for losers.

  6. Not sure if this is any comfort, but SO MANY kids lie about homework. Way more than they lie about bad test grades or other school-related stuff. What gets me is when the parents of my AP kids get all bent out of shape about their kids' grades and the kids aren't doing their homework – they're like, "but homework is only 10% of the grade, how can it be affecting their grades so much?!"  And I'm like, "well, they're also doing terribly on their tests…because they're not doing the homework that PREPARES them for the tests." There's a huge failure to see the connection….

    I wish all parents grounded their kids when they don't do their homework! But then I guess that would make me the meanest teacher in the world? We'd keep good company πŸ™‚

  7. Enjoy the conference.  And keep setting limits.  It is good that you are the meanest mom ever.

  8. I debated, but fine I'll go ahead.  I fold up into a square and grab in the middle of the square.

  9. I'm soo jealous. You'll all have so much fun! I'm so going next year.

  10. I guess I'm more of a dude then, since I neatly fold each little square. I also count and use the exact same number of squares but that's a whole other OCD story I'm sure lol

    I. Hate. Walmart. So yeah, sorry to hear they were jerks, but not surprised at all.

  11. I wrap it around my hand, pull it off my hand, neaten the sides and fold it to an acceptable size/useage thickness and then you know…

    what I DON'T understand is how you uhm, get clean, by way of crumpling it. I've tried this; and at the last minute I chicken out and fold it because I am terrified of it uncrumpling and you know…cause my hand…I use it for many other things and I just don't trust soap…think about it, we assume just washing our hands in soap gets rid of err…ucky..matter. What if it is all a lie and I'm actually eating french fries with a poop hand?!?! I could NOT handle that; I don't know how crumplers do!!Crumplers….enlighten me! 

  12. I'm a crumpler if it's on the holder. If for some reason it isn't on the holder I am a hand wrapper, but I absolutely remove then use. But that does waste a lot of tp. 

  13. Quite a mixture of topics, don't know how to respond!  Can't wait for your full Walmart rant.  Sorry to hear about your kid's lying, but way to discipline him.  Hard at first, but better for all in the long run.  I'm a folder.  Didn't know women were crumplers, interesting.  Have a fun, safe, and productive trip at FINCON11!

  14. I hate Walmart's oil change department too.  I've had so many bad experiences I can't even say.  I've also filed complaints about them. Nothing came of it at all.  The last time I waited for over an hour only to be told they didn't have a filter for my van.  UG.  Never again.

    I started packing today for the conference!!!

  15. I hope you have a great time at the conference Andrea. I think all kids eventually go through a lying phase, it's really frusterating. Lying Liar who lies. I LOVE THAT! I'm going to use that next time my daughter lies to me—probably tomorrow. πŸ™

  16. In the name of science, I'll share the following. I thought I was crumpler but I went to the bathroom and caught myself: mid-wrap. So, I wrap and it forms a very nice rectangle. Then, I remove from my hand and proceed to wipe. I don't think it uses more or less paper than any other method.

    Re: Homework. One, my son's teacher posts it on the website. Two, they are forced to maintain homework agendas. He's in second grade now but in first, he had a sheet and they'd write it down there. I have to force my son to bring the agenda home– he claims he remembers the homework and doesn't have to bring it but I explain I want to see it and I don't want him dependent on remembering. Really though the homework posting online is awesome. You should see if your teacher does it. A lot of them do!

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