Among the great indignities of modern man, running out of toilet paper may be the foremost, the one that announces to the world, “I am a sad, sad man,” not simply because of the consequences such a tragedy may entail, but because of its utter avoidability.
Toilet paper never goes bad, so I can stock up and store it indefinitely.
It’s not expensive, so I can afford to buy many, many rolls at once.
I will always need it. The day I stop needing toilet paper is the day you can bury me.
Now apply this idea beyond the bathroom, to paper towels, tissues, garbage bags, toothpaste, soap, wine. All the nonperishable necessities of everyday life that will sit on your shelf waiting forever, confident that their day will come.
(This applies to canned and dry foods, too. I’m convinced “best by” dates are largely a fraud perpetuated by the canned beans industrial complex to make you discard perfectly good canned beans and go buy newer, fresher canned beans. If a food item doesn’t show visible aging or discoloration, start to emit an odor, or support a civilization of tiny sentient beings that erect a statue in my image because they think I’m their god, it’s probably still good enough to eat. But this is a divisive topic, one for another time.)
Without even going into the economic advantages of buying in bulk, I try to keep ahead of my nonperishable needs for three basic reasons:
The first is time. A man with more paper towels in the basement than he’ll possibly need this year, I know I won’t waste 20 minutes on an urgent trip to the supermarket at an inconvenient time just for a roll.
The second is choice. A man who wants crackers, but finds there are none in the pantry because he only bought one box last time instead of 10, has fewer snacking options at that moment.
The third reason is control. A man who can offer his last-minute guests a choice between red or white wine because he always has both on hand is a man who exhibits control of his life.
I sleep better knowing there are paper towels when I need them, crackers when I want them, and a bottle of red and a bottle of white for whatever kind of mood you’re in tonight. The man I prefer to be doesn’t waste time, has options, and exhibits control of his life.
That means I have plenty of toilet paper in my home.