Family Resemblance

My first winter using public transportation, I found myself to be consistently unprepared for how much my nose ran when I was outside in the cold air. I was broke, so I would often grab some extra toilet paper for my nose when I used a public bathroom. Most of the tp I took was the standard institutional 2-ply that the U of M used. Then one day, I found that the alumni center on campus had way better toilet paper. It was some quilted stuff that was actually soft.

That evening, I felt compelled to tell my friends about my exciting discovery. I tried to explain how different the toilet papers were, but words can only do so much. Then I realized I had a few squares of each left in my coat pocket, so I passed those around for everyone to compare. While I was waiting for my samples to make their way around the group, I tried to describe the worst toilet paper I’d encountered in a public bathroom. It was narrow, thin, and slightly abrasive. And, as I was thrilled to discover, I had a sample of that with me too. I passed that around and had a giggle about my unusualness. I think most people don’t have toilet paper show and tell with their friends.

I talked to my mom on the phone a couple days later and told her about my strange Ande moment. She told me that while it surely was an unusual thing I had done, it was just another example of my uncanny resemblance to my grandmother, who had returned from a trip to Europe with a similar array of toilet paper samples many years before.

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