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IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES

9 January 2002

I may have to quit my job. It's more than I bargained for. I don't mind mucking around cleaning speculums, I don't mind mopping toilets, struggling with the checkbook, or watering the plants that hang all over the place. But this was too much, and I told Dr. G so. I told him that we might finally have found our irreconcilable differences.

He was not open to negotiation. "It's my office, and there is no argument," he told me.

But I'm really not sure I can live with it.

You see....

He puts the toilet paper on backwards.

He says that if you put it so that the paper comes over the top, it won't stop rolling, but if you put it so that the paper comes neatly off the back, it doesn't.

I realize that there are two diametrically opposed theories about which way the toilet paper should hang. And I realize that people have been known to get violent over the discussion of which is the "right" way and which is the wrong way.

I guess I have been more fortunate than most. It seems that I am surrounded by "over" people, and so the subject rarely comes up. I think I trained my kids right. I don't think there's an "under" in the bunch, but someone might be holding out on me.

There was a time when I was wishy washy on over or under. I could go either way. In fact, two friends had a constant battle going about which was over and which was under. One of them had cats and maintained that "over" made it too easy for the cats to claw.

I stayed out of the discussion but whenever I was in the home of either of them, I switched the toilet paper to the opposite direction. Just to torment them both. However, I discovered, as the years passed, that it was more and more difficult for me to use the "under" alternative. My latent feeling that I really was an "over" began to be much stronger and in my later years, I've come to accept that I never was bi-directional at all. I have always been an "over." Which is why I am going to have to seriously rethink this job business. Unless Dr. G can be tolerant and accept my "over-ness," it may be "over" between us.

It's amazing what tempests can be brewed in very little teapots.

Take spiders, for example.

Everybody KNOWS, I'm sure, that it's the eency weency spider who crawled up the water spout. But there are those--I blush to admit it--who still think that that damn spider was itsy bitsy. (There are even the mutants who feel it is an incy wincy spider, but they talk funny anyway, and who listens to them?)

Over on CompuServe many, many years ago, the whole eency/itsy debate began. Eight years later it is still running. It has outlived more spiders than I could possibly count.

The discussion will lie dormant for a few weeks or months, but eventually it will resurface and the camps will shore up their defenses and we'll be in for another round. It's kind of like the whole Middle Eastern situation. You know you're never going to change anybody's opinion, but you feel honor bound to continue the fight--because in your heart of hearts, you know your way is the only way.

I'm waiting for the day when an eency weency spider latches onto the paper hanging under the toilet paper holder. Then let's see how wedded to "under" Dr. G is. An eency weency spider wouldn't be able to get to the roll if it were hanging the proper way. Over.

 

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Created 1/08/02