Opinion: Toilet Paper vs. Bidets


I recall the day when I first left our new baby with my husband for an hour while I went to an appointment. When I got home, he was finishing up cleaning the bathtub, a distasteful frown on his face.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“I had to give her a bath,” he said. “She made a big mess in her diaper, so I  put her into the tub to shower her off before touching the mess.”

At the time, my reaction was, “Gross!”

In retrospect, it seems the most logical thing to do. It would have been better if the “showering off” could have been done over the toilet, but in the long run it saved a whole mess of toilet paper, or wipes or whatever else he could have found to do the job.

While doing the grocery shopping yesterday, I reluctantly picked up a 12-pack of toilet paper costing $9.00, an on-sale bargain. I was reluctant because I’ve discovered a much more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative.

When we were in a department store in Arizona in March, stocking up on a few groceries for the motorhome, for our mad dash toward home before COVID-19 closed the border, I was struck by the winding line of people waiting to grab some of the precious packages of toilet paper that were supposedly being unloaded from a truck at the loading docks. There were people with walkers and scooters and quite possibly other health issues, mostly seniors, all crowded together and chatting while in line. Getting toilet paper was more important than social distancing to protect themselves from getting the virus! The wearing of masks was not yet advised in the US. I was glad that we still had a good supply of the commodity in the motorhome.

Soon after we got home, while surfing the net since there was nothing else for us to do – we were under quarantine for 14 days – I saw an ad for a portable bidet. I investigated further. I’d already thought about getting a bidet, but it wasn’t up to me to decide to install one in our bathroom, and I’d never really tried one to know how well it would work. This portable one seemed like a good chance to give it a try. I placed the order. By the time the money was exchanged from US to Canadian, and shipping was added it cost me as much as one that would attach to the toilet !Two months later it arrived, just as described in the ad. It had a rechargeable lithium battery pack with a USB plug, and a collapsible wand attached to a six-inch plastic tube that needed to be filled with tap water. I plugged it in and charged it up.

Bidet with wand down

Bidet with Wand at first angle
Bidet with wand straight out

The first time I tried it I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It did leave my bottom quite wet, and it seemed a little awkward to use. But I followed the advice in the instructions and hung a small wash cloth on a bar behind the toilet, to use for drying myself off. After a few tries I got the hang of it, and was amazed at the efficiency.

Since then, I’ve had to purchase only two package of toilet paper, in much smaller quantities than I’d been buying. My husband is still not eager to give the bidet a try, like anyone that I’ve told about it. “Gross” and a cringe is often the response.

Now, for me, the thought of using the alternative makes me cringe and say “gross!” I also feel good knowing that I’ve taken one more small step toward reducing the clear cutting of trees to produce toilet paper and the amount of waste that is flushed into our municipal water processing plants or septic tanks.

While we might think that being environmentally friendly is not worth the inconvenience we feel sometimes, it’s worth giving new ideas a try. You might just find that the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.

Hockey in the American South West


I’m working on another post about our trip, but this morning I’m going to do a brief rant about hockey, from a Canadian perspective.

We’ve made friends with a couple, Carol and John, here in the park who just arrived on Thursday night and they were kind enough to take us with them to their son’s hockey game on Friday night, knowing that we were going a little stir crazy.

Right from the beginning we noticed a different atmosphere than we are used to seeing at Canadian hockey games, or even at the ones we watched in Buffalo, NY. At the entrance they were handing out free Crispy Cream donuts: seating was reserved to that on our tickets we’d just purchased at the box office, but the seats were still the usual benches, this time aluminum. I wished we taken our blanket cushions with us.

The home team was The Rhinos; the guest team was The San Diego Sabers, for which our friends’ son was a goalie. When the game was about to start, a huge blow up rhino appeared at one end of the ice. From inside it, with much fanfare and spot lights, each member of the team was loudly introduced. The Sabers quietly moved into their bench and were never introduced. Even though several members of the Rhinos are Canadian, the American Anthem was played but not the Canadian.

From the moment the puck was dropped, it was obvious that these junior teams were not at all equally matched. We learned from Carol and John that the Sabers is an all-new team, and they had arrived by overnight bus from San Diego just a few hours earlier, so they were even more disadvantaged and didn’t expect to come out well in this three game series. But still they tried.  The goalies made some amazing saves, but most of the action was at their end, so it must have been very challenging.

So, we were shocked when, after each goal by the Rhinos, a chant was started by the announcer and the words, “Hey Goalie…” showed on the TV screens. The crowd finished it with “you suck!” They repeated it three times, each time. Throughout the game there seemed to us to be many incidents of Rhino players getting in the faces of Saber players and saying something that we can only guess. Other times Sabers players were tripped as they maneuvered the puck towards the net. Once, after a play had ended, a Rhino rushed toward a Saber who wasn’t even in the play and smashed him so hard into the boards that he went down and took some time to get back up. The Rhino gave a hand pump. No penalties or mention of that. The crowd cheered.

Often the game was stopped for a “Noise Meter” asking everyone to make noise. Breaks between periods lasted 15 minutes, with some sort of entertainment on the ice each time after the Zamboni had finished. Then there was the kiss cam, and the dance cam (Jim and I actually won one of those! LOL).

After 8 goals by the Rhinos spectators were offered hot dogs for a dollar. Sadly, the Rhinos scored 12 goals; the Sabers couldn’t get one.

Carol was as annoyed and frustrated with the whole thing as we were, but John assured us that that is the norm for hockey in the American South West, and that their son actually enjoyed the razing. It makes him strive to play better.

To us it seemed like the goal of the Rhinos was not just to win, but to bully and humiliate their opponents. We were there for three hours. It was not an exciting game to watch. We did appreciate the night out though!