True confession: I am obsessed with Kleenex. Specifically, having them in every room of my house, and having their boxes match said rooms. You might say I’m a tissue snob. It’s not a brand thing–I can buy Puffs, or even a store brand if necessary. It’s all about the matching. Kleenex boxes are admittedly the most stylish, followed closely by Target’s trendy solid colors and occasional hip designs. Puffs brand ranks last on my list solely on the basis of appearance, although they do present a decent box from time to time. Laugh if you want, I don’t care. I firmly believe that if you’re going to have an object sitting around your house, however functional it is, it should blend with its surroundings. And as an allergy sufferer, I’m going to have a lot of tissue boxes sitting around my house. I spend as much time in the paper aisle at the grocery store choosing box decor as I spend in the produce section poking at tomatoes and squeezing oranges. I often move whole sections of boxes to access the good-looking ones in the back. I have, on more than one occasion, knocked a box or two over the top shelf and into the next aisle over. Are you still laughing? I told you, it’s an obsession. It doesn’t have to be sane.
The source of my quantitative tissue obsession is clear in my mind: when I was growing up we didn’t have any. Runny nose? Here’s some toilet paper. No toilet paper? Here’s a paper towel. When I started making my own money I started buying tissue. Lots of it. I never wanted to run out. And when I got my own place and took control of my own aesthetics, I got more selective. Kleenex made it easy. Their designs run the gamut, from Matronly Floral to Geometric Chic. You can get a nice pastoral scene, or you can color coordinate with solids. There are cute boxes, and there are simple boxes. Recently they introduced a box that appears to have been created for my shower curtain. When something so extraordinary occurs I stock up. I mean, stock up. There is a shelf in my hall closet designated exclusively for tissue storage. It is usually full to overflowing. Until this week.
I started getting sick the Thursday after Christmas. It began as a bad case of the sniffles; on Friday it became an annoying case of I-am-thinking-of-sticking-a-tissue-up-my-nose; and by Saturday, as I have already discussed in a previous post, it morphed into The Bronchitis That Nearly Ate My Lungs. By that time I had passed the snot torch to my daughter, and until yesterday when my cough began to subside and my nose started running again, she carried that torch high and proud all by herself. My point, and I do have one, is that we’ve been using a lot of Kleenex.
So much, in fact, that my room allotment is in jeopardy. I always make sure high traffic nose-blowing rooms such as the bathrooms and bedrooms are more fully stocked. The living room and kitchen areas see less action and thus need fewer boxes in the supply area. But when you are a) blowing your own nose several times an hour, and b) wiping a 1-year-old’s nose every 5 minutes or so, that delicate balance begins to crumble. It all began when I ran out of the cheerful, colorful under-the-sea boxes I buy for Mia’s bathroom and bedroom. I had to pull from my own bathroom/bedroom stock. Within two days my happy circle boxes were down to one. Then the neutrals started going.
And so today, for the first time in a week, we are venturing out into the world, a venture whose sole purpose is the acquisition of tissue. Unless, of course, someone at Kleenex reads this and wants to make me a paid advertiser. I have plenty of experience, and I’ve even got a miniature trainee. We’ll be waiting for your call.