Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Over, under, around or through?

Years ago when I was in school and my mama was a sales rep on the road, she'd drop home for lunch when we were sick or on holidays and we'd eat cold toast and margarine and watch Oprah. One of the episodes back in 1989 was an interview with Mel Poretz and Gary Sinrod who's surveys a bunch of Americans on their weirdest and most intimate habits and then written a few books about it including The First Really Important Survey of American Habits and Do You Do It With The Lights On? 

There was questions about sex (lights on/off; thinking about someone else; the wearing of socks; on/under the covers; cheating; positions, etc), but it was the entirely domestic and ordinary stuff that stuck with me. 
  • Do you sock/sock/shoe/shoe or sock/shoe/sock/shoe? 
  • Do you squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom or the top?
  • Do you look in other people's bathroom cabinets when you visit? 
  • Do you leave the bathroom door open if there's no-one in the house?
  • Do you like the way you look in the nude?
  • How often do you weigh yourself?
  • Do you eat corn on the cob side-to-side or around in circles?
  • Do you wind spaghetti onto a fork or cut it?
  • How often do you clean your belly button?
  • Do you wear your wedding ring?
  • Do you prefer hearing the good or bad news first?
It's all thoroughly unimportant and trivial stuff but every time I change the toilet roll, I think of the great over/under debate. The cleanliness of toilet paper touching the wall (under), the ease of tearing (over), the ease of removal by toddler or cats (over), the ease of re-rolling after toddler or cat removal (under), greater wastage (over), the pointed hotel fold (over). I've seen no livelier debate since, which either tells me something about my viewing habits or the calibre and weirdness of Oprah's audience.  

I was an under but converted after that episode to an over - although for years we lived in a flat with a broken holder so we technically had neither over nor under but sideways because it sat on the washing machine next to the toilet. 

For curiosity's sake, my answers to the other questions:
  • Sock/sock/shoe/shoe 
  • Squeeze from the middle
  • Rarely look in bathroom cabinets 
  • Leave the door open
  • Sometimes
  • Once a week
  • Side to side
  • Wind spaghetti onto the fork
  • Honestly, don't know but there's rarely anything in there
  • Not at the moment (fat fingers)
  • Good news
Which way do you roll?


  1. I love these type of questions!
    I sock/sock/shoe/shoe
    I squeeze the toothpaste from the middle
    No, although I am tempted to peek ;)
    I often leave it open even if there is... eek
    No I am not happy with my body at the moment
    I dont, I use clothes as a measure
    Side to side, always side to side
    I'm a winder!
    oooo I cant remember when I last did to be honest.
    Do you wear your wedding ring?My ring never comes off... ever
    Bad news first - rip the bandaid off I say

    1. I normally wear my ring but it started cutting off the circulation in that finger when I was eating all my feelings earlier in the year. Getting it back on is one of my fitness goals.

      Apparently more men are sock, shoe, sock, shoe than women. I'd like to see the data on that :) Hooray for trivial things!

  2. I ALWAYS think about that debate too every time I change the toilet roll! Not because I also saw that episode, but I think I heard something on the radio or TV once a long time ago, and the debate made me laugh so much it has always stuck with me. "OVER" 4 LIFE!

    1. I actually googled some of the different points of view while I was writing this post and there are some serious weirdos out there about their toilet paper... but, apparently, over is the standard for hospitality and the way most dispensers are built. It's also the more accepted method for disabled toilets.


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