Buying toilet paper is one of the least sexy things I can think of.
Last evening I was purchasing things at Trader Joes. I was proud of all of my mindful choices. Lots of organic vegetables and fruit, kombuchas, antibiotic free yogurts, organic almond milk, oatmeal and fresh flowers. At another checkout stand facing me, a very attractive middle aged woman was noticing me and my purchases. I smiled at her and she smiled at me. It was the kind of smile that suggested she might want to have sex with me. And then the checkout guy placed the large bundle of toilet paper down in front of me. I looked at her and she looked away from me.
Why did I feel so ashamed about buying toilet paper? We all do it. We all use it. But I suppose that the appearance of the toilet paper actually put a hole in the make believe bubble we all prefer to live within. Yes, we all privately use toilet paper in the most unflattering of ways, but to be publicly reminded of it creates a kind of humiliation effect.
I tried to tell myself that, yeah I use toilet paper but so what, as I stood there waiting for the checkout guy to put all of my stuff into a paper bag. Other people looked at me as well out of the corners of their eyes. I felt de-sexualized. A bit humiliated, even though I tried to play it off like I did not care. Of course the checkout guy didn’t help me out by quickly sticking the bundle of toilet paper into a paper bag. He just left it right there out in the open like he was trying to shout out, Hey look at this guy! He shits!
The attractive middle aged lady took her paper bag filled with stuff and walked out of the market. I confess to sneaking a glimpse of her behind as she walked out. Man is she attractive, I thought. But when I looked at her behind I could not help but think that she uses toilet paper also. What was the big deal? Why was it such a turn off? A person is only as attractive to another person as illusory bubble that they are able to create around themselves is devoid of any holes. Humans much prefer our fantasies about one another. There is nothing like buying toilet paper at the market to puncture large holes in your bubble.
I took the large bundle of toilet paper and placed it under my arm. I then picked up the paper bag filled with my mindfully chosen goods and walked out of the market. I did not look at anyone because I felt embarrassed by what I was carrying under my arm. When I walked outside I felt a wave of relief come over me. It was dark outside and I was no longer being exposed as the pooper that I am by the violent bright lights in Trader Joes.
I walked to my car, stuck the grocery bag and the bundle of toilet paper into my trunk and shut the trunk as quickly as possible. Phew, I thought to myself as I walked around to my driver’s side door. I noticed the attractive middle aged lady driving by me in her white Mercedes. She smiled at me again. Now feeling less humiliated by the symbol of my more animal bodily functions puncturing holes in my bubble, I felt confident enough to smile and wave goodbye at her.
Maybe I will see her around sometime, I thought. Preferably without toilet paper.