My Daughter Said She'd Burn This Book! -- by L. David Mark


Chapter 6 - Drying With the
Towel Upside Down


      I'm basically not an "it's-black-or-white" kind of guy. I mean, I think there's an awful lot of gray in the world. Granted, some of it may shade more one way than the other, but it's still an individual call and there's a good bit of room as to whether something is "right, wrong or in the barrel."

      But there are certain things where there is absolutely no question as to what is right and what is wrong.

      Take toilet paper, for instance, and how the roll is placed on the roller. Over is right, under is just plain wrong! Not only wrong, probably evil. I know there are a number of folks out there who sincerely believe the paper should be pulled from the underside of the roll rather than from the top, as is correct. But they are misguided, deluded, deceived, misled, mistaken, wrong and will probably go to hell. (And the pity is, they don't even know this; some of them even think they are right! Offhand, Steve Poore is the only one I can think of who admitted to this travesty, this abomination; but there may well be others.)

      Or take hanging up the towel after you take a shower. (This is not a problem for my children -- they throw it in a corner, drape it over the door knob or throw it on the clothes hamper. The latter tactic is a tribute to their mother's ability to handle vast quantities of laundry and their own misguided belief that if you wear or use something once it is inherently dirty.)

      The first rule is that you fold the towel in thirds. This I learned shortly after marriage. I had lived in blissful ignorance without even thinking about this for thirty-plus years. But give me credit for being a "quick study." (Susan Hess' former boss told me she was a quick study, but that's another story.)

      The second unwritten rule is that the tag must be at the top (if the towel doesn't have a tag -- and some of ours that Mary got on sale don't -- you're home free; no decision necessary). But then comes the tough part. Should the tag be in the part that's folded to the center or in the part that's on the outside?

      I am still pondering the "correctness" of this maneuver. For a long time, I thought it should be toward the center -- I called this the "soccer fold" because we won a lot of games when it was folded that way when I was coaching. But not always.

      And then I heard this wonderful definition: "One form of insanity is doing something the same way all the time and somehow hoping the outcome will be different!" So whenever I think I need to change the way things are going, I'll switch the tag from the center to the outside or vice versa.

      Now the real trick is to dry yourself off and come up with the towel in your hand with the tag on the "up" side -- without consciously following where the tag is as you dry yourself. It can be done -- and when it is, you get kind of a warm glow, knowing that you've started the day off right and things will probably only get better!

      Then there's grits. I like my grits thin or "soupy." That is, I put in a lot of water when I mix up a pack of instant grits. (Plus, of course, some tub margarine --the low sat-fat kind -- & just a mere sprinkle of additional salt. Mmmmm, mmmmm, yummy in the tummy!) In contrast, both Steve & Cindy put in so little water that you can hardly stir the grits. I don't know how they can eat them that way.

      Perhaps I'm over-reacting in calling this "wrong" behavior. They probably won't go to hell for eating thick grits. But it is definitely misguided action & indicates some kind of faulty thought process for which, as a parent, I probably have to accept some measure of blame. Oh well, you can't do everything right.

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