Thursday, October 25, 2012

Forget Glass Half Full: Rimside Up or Down?

The recent presidential debates offer collateral benefits. You're skeptical, I know, but bear with me.

In my kitchen, I store glassware and cups upside down in cabinets. The rims sit on perforated foam shelf liner because, well, I've always done it that way.

Recently, a guest turned over my cups to suit her rims-up sensibility. I stopped her before she moved on to the second shelf. "What are you doing?"

"Your cups were upside down."

"I like them that way."


"They're less likely to tip over."

That argument may be weak, but my guest backed off, perhaps because I held a colander like a shield. (It'll be more than four years before anyone offers to help me in the kitchen again.)

I told my neighbor about my interfering guest and got no sympathy. Au contraire, she backed the guest and argued there was no reason to store glassware upside down in a closed cabinet since there hadn't been dust storms in the region for decades.

Dust storms? Who knew the issue of glassware storage inspired snark? Before I managed a word edgewise, my neighbor went on to say she'd experienced far worse: a visitor who'd interfered in the bathroom.

"He switched the toilet-paper roll so it unwound with the paper dropping straight down, against the wall. Can you believe it?"

Thanks to my cup-turning guest, I could. "That's the way I put rolls on in my house, but I wouldn't mess with the rolls in yours."

My neighbor stared. "The paper's supposed to unwind over the top of the roll. Everybody knows that."

"Everybody? You're full of malarkey," I said.

"Takes one to know one, and why are we talking about glasses and toilet paper when the country's at war and people have lost their homes?"

"You want to talk about war and foreclosures?"

"God, no."

"There's no logical reason why I store glasses rim down," I admitted. "I just like the way it looks."

"I know. Me, I like the rims-up look and toilet paper that unwinds over the top of the roll." My neighbor raised her glass of Dr. Pepper.

I raised my Diet Coke with Lime.

 "To each his own," she said.


We regular folk don't have debate coaches prodding us to put the other guy on the defensive or expose his vulnerabilities. No one monitors our body language and gives us a bullet list of must-make points. What's more, we don't have to put up with everyone and his brother critiquing our performance and finding us wanting.

I can tell my neighbor I store glasses rim-side down "just because." She doesn't have to defend her toilet-paper stance to me.

The recent debates made me grateful I don't have to justify everything I say and do. I'm free to change my mind without provoking a firestorm of criticism. My every slip of the tongue doesn't cause an incident.

The single best collateral benefit of the debates? We don't have to watch them again for four years.

Has a trifling household matter caused debate at your house? How glad are you not to be running for president?


Jennette Marie Powell said...

About that TP, your neighbor is absolutely right. LOL! j/k But I can't believe your friend upended your glasses, or someone changed your neighbor's TP!

Hmmm, I wonder which way the First Toilet Paper hangs?

I Can. Not. Wait. for election day. Yes, I live in Ohio.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Jennette, I'm guessing your phone never stops ringing. I sympathize.

No more debates for four years. At least that's something we can all support.

Christine said...


I store my glasses and mugs right way up, not upside down. My toilet roll does roll to the wall - must have been a man who did that one.

I'm a bit anal when it comes to glass size and they must all be in order. In the larder cupboard I go nuts if all the tins of beans are not together or the tins of chopped tomatoes are not grouped together. I cannot understand the way H just dumps everything. What if we're down to the last can of chickpeas for example. How would we know if they're not in order? Needless to say no one listens to me until he discovers he's run out of kidney beans.

I just gave him 'the look' and he got the message. Yes, I don't cook much these days or do the supermarket shop. I'm too busy writing and commenting on such weighty subjects as storing glasses and cups rimside up or down.

Christine said...

That should be 'does NOT roll to the wall,' Sigh, edit before posting, Christine.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Christine!
I usually keep my pantry(larder) organized according to ingredients, but my system when to hell when a bug jumped off the peanut butter jar and onto my husband's hand. Hubs pulled out everything, scrubbed the shelves, then stuffed everything back higgedty-piggedty. I was too discouraged to rearrange things at first, and a month or two of regular shopping trips went by. By the time I sorted out the pantry, I'd accumulated nine jars of spicy tomato and basil sauce. What can I say? I didn't see the jars, so I kept buying more. Wait until Hugo finds yourself with ten tins of kidney beans. That's a lot of chili!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Wait until Hugo finds HIMself with ten tins of kidney beans. I should edit before posting, too.

Lark Howard said...

About the TP debate, Pat. I always thought it should unroll over the top and down the front until we got expensive new TP holders (yeah, the DH is an interior designer) and they got hung up unless the roll unrolled down the wall. Alas, the choice was taken away from me.

My cupboards are orderly but some are rims up and some down--no rules there. I am obsessive, however, about the way dishwashers are loaded. It takes extreme willpower for me to resist rearranging when I help out in friends' and families' kitchens, and I've been known to put the one at work in order when others just stick their stuff in thoughtlessly. Sick? Yeah. I know.

Coleen Patrick said...

The running debate in our house is the definition of hoarding--my husband and I differ greatly on this issue. I could probably live out of a backpack, whereas my husband would collect backpacks if he could. Btw I store cups and glasses upright, although stemware is upside down. None if it matters now, as the younguns that empty the dishwasher never follow protocol. Oh well.:)

Ginger Calem said...

I could comment about glasses and toilet paper because of course I do it the 'right' way but the bigger question is … why were you drinking a diet coke?

*ducking and running*

Marcy Kennedy said...

This was fun! I'm with you actually. I have my glasses rim-side down. I do it that way because my mom did it that way. I think she did it that way because they're more stable and because she feels it keeps things out of them. As for toilet paper, it should hang away from the wall *grins*

It's at times like this when I'm glad to be a Canadian. I don't have to watch the debates or deal with months of politics. In Canada, you see things on TV for about two weeks before the election. Much simpler than months.

SJ Driscoll said...

I thought glasses were stored upside-down so the wash water could drain out. Which never made sense because the water has nowhere to evaporate to.

I HATE when toilet paper rolls off the top and not toward the wall! Let's make a toilet paper law!

Isn't it great that we can agree to disagree about some choices, at least?

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Lark!
Yes! Expensive TP holders prove me right! Too bad I'm too cheap to buy them and defeat the TP-rolling saboteurs in my own household.

Argh! Don't get me started on dishwasher loading. Ted crams as much as possible into the machine, and I worry about chipped glasses.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Coleen,
I have a hoarding confession to make: I stockpile holiday catalogs even though I'll never open them. If I want a baby blue cardigan for my Dad, odds are I'll click on the LL Bean website. Unfortunately, that knowledge doesn't mean I toss the many LL Bean catalogs I receive at this time of year. I keep thinking I'll cozy up with a stack of them and leaf through the pages. So far, I've never done that, but it's my fantasy.

You could live out of a backpack? Would you wash clothes in the sink/stream or seek out a laundromat? I need details.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Do you have eyes in the back of your head, Ginger? You caught me out, but my defense is that a girl needs bubbles and fizz every once in a while. I turn to Diet Coke with Lime only occasionally, but when I do, I savor every sip.

As for that ducking and running. I would have given chase but had lunges to do.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Yay for rim-side down, Marcy! Your mom knows her storage methods.

As for the TP, we'll agree to disagree.

I'm glad I don't live in a battleground state like Ohio. Poor Jennette must be deluged with ads and robot phone calls.

Enjoy the quiet.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Sally,
If we can agree to disagree about innocuous topics like glassware storage, we may eventually manage civility about politics here in Texas. (I'm doubtful about that but am game to try.)

Good choice with the TP roll! said...

Your post made me giggle, Pat.
I could not imagine someone reorganizing cupboards in someone else's home. But then I remembered my mother the first time she visited me in my first apartment.

Thanks for the giggle

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Elena!
As a matter of fact, my "guest" WAS a relative. They're tricky, aren't they?

I'm embarrassed to say the inspiration for this post came from helping my younger daughter move last weekend. I offered to put down shelf paper (to get out of lugging heavy things) in her new place, and she accepted. After I'd finished, she thanked me and said she'd never before used shelf paper. That's when I understood why she habitually stowed glasses rims up.

Lynette M Burrows said...

LOL! I LOVE this debate. The other debates - not so much. My glassware is stored rim down. And they are dry when I put them in the cupboard. :) My TP is over the top (not my choice - it was a condition of marriage LOL!) Thanks for the laugh out loud moment, Pat.

Louise Behiel said...

I'm a Canadian and I am thrilled your election is almost over. Please God, let it end...ours are 6 weeks long. we choose our party leaders at different times from the election.

I laughed reading this Pat. my tall glasses and cups are top down but the smaller ones are stacked, one inside the other. TP is never hung the same way twice. I just throw it on the roller.

Sheila Seabrook said...

Politics are just the same up here, Pat, which makes me incredibly happy I'm not a politician. And I store my cups and glasses upside down on the shelf too. :)

Kassandra Lamb said...

Okay, must wade in here (after I stop giggling). I store glasses rim down, especially wine glasses, but coffee mugs are bottom down and stacked two high to save room in the cupboard. I try to keep my pantry/larder organized but my husband is a total random (I found the peanut butter down on the shelf with the dog food the other day). I'm a TP over the top person but I don't feel strongly about it.

I'm amazed someone would actually start rearranging your cupboards!

Jennette, I feel your pain! I live in Florida, another swing state and my phone rings at least 100 times a day. We have an answering machine. Outgoing message is "Please answer the following question. Are you: a. a telemarketer, b. a politician, c. some other kind of telephone surveyor or soliciter or d. none of the above. If you answered none of the above, start talking after the beep and we'll pick up."

Sarah Andre said...

WOW. Hot topic, Pat!

Glasses/stemware upside down because we host guests so infrequently that thick dust collects (and that's always embarrassing...frantically washing glasses in front of them.)

Never gave the toilet paper direction a second thought until I married a man who INSISTED it go top over-outside. Ya gotta pick your battles, and frankly, that wasn't one of them!

However we have different soaps (he doesn't like smelling all girly- what's that about?) And when mine is that microscopic size that is worthless for washing I drop it on the drain and let subsequent showers 'melt' it until it disappears.

This irritates my husband to no end because he is under the mother-told-me-myth that I am actually clogging the drain. Really? Cuz it's disintigrating soap.

Thanks for the chuckle! Hop over to K&T, we're sharing real ghost stories.

Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

The age old toilet paper direction debate. Over the top has always been my preference.

I also store my glasses rims down and YES there is dust in the closed cupboards. And spiders and cobwebs. Have you ever taken that crystal dish down from the top shelf only to find a thin layer of dust on it? I rest my case. My turkey platter comes out once a year and I always have to dust it. It is stored in a closed cupboard. Your neighbor is full of malarkay!

I have no desire to be president - now or ever.

I will say, if you want to visit my house - which you are welcome to any day, any time - and turn over all of my glasses, I won't say a thing. But, when you leave, I will turn them all the other way again. Of course you won't do that because we both know that I am storing them the correct way. (Tee hee.)

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Lynette,
The presidential debates exhausted me, but I'm getting a kick out of people's differing views on kitchen storage and TP roll placement. Who knew?

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Louise,
You know, when you identify yourself as Canadian to campaign-weary Americans, we think you're taunting us.

Seriously, I early voted today (voted early?), I'm SO ready for the campaigns to be over.

Good job deciding not to decide with the TP.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Sheila, the similarities between us are starting to scare me. Has anyone ever seen the two of us in the same room at the same time?

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Kassandra! That outgoing telephone message is the best! You have to write a blog post about the pressures swing state residents face.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Sarah,
I, too, have washed glasses in front of company. Sigh.

You know, the soap sliding down the drain makes me uncomfortable, too. I mean, hot water softens it, but cold returns it to solid form. What if it solidified in a bad spot?

Love Kiss and Thrill!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, patricia,
yes, you and I store glasses the "right" way. Hey, how are you settling into your new house? The first Halloween and first Thanksgiving in your new home are coming up. I wish you lots of good memories--and no spiders.