My granddaughter Dana invited me to her apartment for Christmas dinner. At one point she suggested that I might want to, ‘at some point’, consider moving out of my two-story home and moving in with her, ‘being alone and all.’
On one of several trips to the john, I peeked into the spare bedroom that could be my new home. Turns out, Dana is a big-box fan and if you ever had anything to do with that kind of business, you know that everything they sell comes in twos or fours or twenty-fours. The room was chock full of paper towels, toilet paper, boxes of plastic garbage bags, laundry detergent, water softener salt, cartons of cheerios, cheese crackers and windmill cookies.
I finally located the bed under all the merchandise and tried to imagine a pathway to the attached bathroom. I would have to unpack all the paper towels. They were the giant-roll kind that would probably each last me three months. So, twenty-four rolls meant that I was looking at an eight-year supply. I pictured stacking the paper towels, floor to ceiling on the outside wall to at least provide insulation when winter set in. I mean, that’s what they do when they blow shredded newspaper in the walls for insulation, right? Only this way I can add another use to the recycled paper that was used to make the paper towels…environmentalist that I am. I would make sure to leave room around the window to let in light and air. And then the toilet paper…a six-year supply, unless I contracted dysentery.
The 8-pack of Cheerio boxes and a gross of Crystal Spring water reassured me that I probably wouldn’t starve if I somehow got locked in. Funny, isn’t it? You save all that money buying in quantity, but no one calculates the rent for an extra bedroom to store it all. Reminds me of that crook, Whitey Bolger, when they finally caught up to him in California, or somewhere, and he had 108 bars of soap from the Dollar Store stashed in his apartment. “Gotta save where you can…make my stash last,” he said. Well, I guess there is a price to pay for big-box savings—you have to make room to accommodate your institutional-sized economies of scale.
Hmm. Maybe we could swap—my house for her swag in exchange for her room.
Retired trainer, and writing instructor, Joe Novara and his wife live in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Writings include novels, short stories, a memoir and various poems, plays, anthologies and articles. Read more at https://freefloatingstories.wordpress.com/