There was a time in my life that I had no place to live. I was homeless. I had a very damaged
relationship with my mother, my father was who knows where and I was not really in any mental shape
to be asking people for help. I didn't want to be a burden to anyone but myself. The circumstance of me
being homeless for this story isn't relevant, but rather what I missed when I was without a home. The
daily necessities we take for granted.
There are certain items that I have no problem spending a little bit more money on. Toilet paper
would be one of them. While there are some that are cottony soft, some that are quilted and some that
are as coarse as sand paper, I prefer the kind that you can squeeze. But when I was without a home,
I was completely dependent on others ass wiping paper.
When I first became homeless, I didn't think it was by choice, but it was. I blamed everyone
but myself. It was the easiest way to ease my mind. Because being homeless was a bit insane for me.
Trying to find a place to sleep and eat were my first priorities. I was not street savvy and did not know
the first thing about welfare departments or soup kitchens. I had to start asking around and found out
what I needed to know. There were many places that served food, and many city run shelters, you just
had to know where to be and at what time to be there.
After a few days of getting used to schedules, shitty food and the fact I didn't have a home to
go to, I start to realize the position that I'm in and the things that I once had. Money, good food, a
shower every day and good toilet paper. Yes good toilet paper. Consider me the homeless bathroom
tissue snob. Not that I had a choice in what toilet paper I used. My ass cheeks were at the mercy of the
department of welfare shelters and the public restrooms at large. Which, by the way, are all pretty
Imagine something in your life that you used everyday, an item that you became accustomed to.
Now take that item away and replace it with an inferior product, a knock off. You would not be happy.
The differences are so noticeable, that every time you use it you obsess about the item that you are so
used to having. That's how I felt every time I went to the bathroom. Like I was missing an old friend.
Not like I ever considered wiping my ass with an old friend, it probably would have been more
comfortable than the rigid turd paper I now had to use. I was at the lowest point in my life and I was
worried about toilet tissue. Sad but true.
I never had a discussion with my fellow homeless regarding the toilet paper issue, I kept that
one close to the cheek. How do you think that conversation would go over? Look, I know we've lost
everything that we own, but don't you think the toilet paper is a bit rough? Is there someone we could
talk to about this one-ply? Don't you think they could give us some comforts of our old lives? Did
anyone else even care? I will never know.
After a few months of being homeless I got in to the “system” and was placed in a permanent
shelter. I did not have to worry about where I would be getting my meals, resting my head and using
the bathroom. But the toilet paper issue was still below my standards. I would have settled for
something quilted, something soft. I'm not in prison, I'm homeless. Only people who have committed a
crime should be subjected to getting their ass scratched while using the bathroom. So what did I do
with a bit of extra money I had? I went to the dollar store and bought what was labeled as “cotton soft”
toilet paper. I have never wiped my ass with cotton so to label something cotton soft was better than
labeling it “softer than the cheap shit” which would have been fine by me. It was definitely better than
the one ply but certainly not what I was accustomed to pre-homelessness. I mean can you really wipe
your ass with one ply? No. You have to use double if not triple and quadruple the amount of one ply, so
what's the point? You run out faster. You have to spend more money on their inferior product, don't
people get it? The one ply manufacturers are doing this on purpose, do you think the executive of the
one ply actually use the one ply? You and I both know the answer to that. No way.
So now I'm living in the lap of homeless luxury, a real bed, a bathroom and cotton soft toilet
paper. It's not the squeezable kind, because that's still way out of my financial reach. My priorities were
cigarettes and toilet paper. I finally got my shit together, got the help I needed and moved out of the
shelter and started my new life. Vowing to myself to never go through that again. After a few months of
temping, I landed a great job with a ginormous company. I had reason and purpose again.
I was never one to use the bathroom at work, I prefer the privacy of my own commode. But
when nature calls you have no choice. I was at work for about a week when the urge struck, I go into
the bathroom, make sure no one else is in there, take a stall, preferably the largest one, if you know
what I mean, and do my business. When my time came too an end, I noticed that this huge company,
who is paying me a lot of money, cheap out on their toilet paper. It was that industrial “two” ply, you
know the one, the giant roll in that plastic enclosure, as if anyone would think of stealing a giant roll of
fine sandpaper. Where would you hide that? Anyway, I was very disappointed to say the least.
This job also allowed me to travel. We went to a few different cities and stayed at your typical
mid level hotels and you know what, they too had shitty toilet paper. Why? Cost effective? Did no one
else care what touched their ass? Could you complain? Yes, front desk, my toilet paper seems to be all
wrong, could you have someone come up here and fix this? Yes, front desk, could you have
housekeeping come to the room with the real toilet paper? Well you could, but for obvious reasons I
Later on in life I would travel more and stay at some very nice hotels that had four and five stars
and you know what? They too cheap out on their toilet paper as well. Some were just as bad as the ones
the shelters use. Really? Really? I'm spending $400 a night to sleep here and you don't have the
decency to put the cottony soft stuff on the roll. I mean thank you for making a nice tab on it, but the
second it gets wet, it disintegrates. I feel cheated every time I go to an expensive hotel go to the
bathroom and notice the cheap toilet paper. Even though it's $400 a night, it still reminds me of being