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Online pandemic shopping

     It arrived in a medium-sized mailing envelope. I didn't remember ordering anything from Amazon that would come in an envelope, so being naturally curious, I opened it. . .

     Toilet paper? In an envelope? Yep! That's what it was. In that envelope were ten tiny rolls of toilet paper, wrapped in plastic. And yes, I ordered it. Back when the pandemic thing started and no one had toilet paper, but it wasn't supposed to arrive until sometime in May.

     The stay-at-home orders had come down from on high. Well, from Sacramento. After which, the shoppers shopped and the toilet paper aisles emptied. Everyone needs toilet paper in a pandemic, right? Lots of toilet paper—a lot more than usual, it seems. Don't ask me why. I have no idea.

     However, I knew we would eventually run out and there didn't seem much chance of getting any at Ralphs or Rite Aid in the next few months so I checked our household supply. Four rolls. For a household of three that wasn't going to last very long, even being miserly with it—which is hard to do. It's toilet paper, after all. So I betook myself to Amazon, the website of endless products.

     Where I was surprised to actually find toilet papers galore. Found a ten-roll pack. In stock. Quick! Click to buy! Checkout. Due to arrive. . . between May 1st and May 27th?!! Almost two months away! I clicked on every toilet paper offering but the delivery date never wavered. So I plunked the ten roll pack and an eight roll pack in my cart and bought them. Better late than never. Especially with toilet paper.

     Online the toilet paper rolls looked normal. All toilet paper's the same, right? Maybe except for softness and absorbency, but size? A roll is a roll. Some are more squishy and maybe you get a pack of eight or a pack of twelve, but a roll is a roll. So I never thought to check the specifications. Who checks the specs on toilet paper? Do you? Didn't think so. . .

     Toilet Paper RollsA roll is not a roll when you're pandemic buying. A regular roll is—in case you never measured— 4 ½" in diameter x 4" tall with a 2" core. The ones that arrived in the envelope? They were 2 ½" in diameter x 2 ½" tall. Ten tiny rolls.

     My second order came two weeks later. Eight rolls of toilet paper. "Not too big, not too small, just right" as Goldilocks would have said—if she used toilet paper. Did she? Oops, back to the point. These rolls weren't regular size and they weren't tiny. They were 3 ½" x 3 ½". Toilet paper comes in all sizes! Who knew? Did you? You should've told me!

     Toilet Paper RollsThe shape's the same, pretty much. Just some are fatter and some are shorter but the cores all come in at a good two inches—thus the amount of paper coiled around the cores varies. Assuming your need for toilet paper hasn't changed materially, it's prudent to stick with the traditional four and a half inch rolls.

     I ordered paper towels, too. They came in early April in a huge box— thirty rolls, standard size. If you need toilet paper, I can't help you—but if you're running low on paper towels, give me a call—and good luck on the toilet paper thing!

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