Key Advice to Give Your Sons as They Leave the Nest

Key advice I gave to my stepsons as they left the nest to start their young lives, “Be sure to have plenty of toilet paper in your apartment.” These are handsome, strapping, young men who could certainly charm a young lady to join them in a night of debauchery. However, the chance for a second date could disappear due to lack of proper bathroom products. I also told them to not cheap out and buy whatever cardboard was on sale. No, I started them off right, with a package of Charmin. That was their housewarming present, and they looked at me as if I was crazy. “Trust me. Stay with the cushy stuff.” They shook their heads.

I know this seems clich�© and should be an unnecessary topic to discuss. However, each year, young men leave the home armed with birth control advice, car advice, and financial advice, but some simple home making tips are left out of the equation. Consequently, they are hapless at a crucial time of their young lives.

Later on down the road, I received a confession that I was correct. Apparently the oldest son bought some cheap toilet paper. Sure enough, a lovely young lady commented on the brand, and she did not return for another date. There may have been extenuating personality issues, but he was willing to blame the one-ply buying mistake.

I have attempted to guide them into a higher level of bathroom product maintenance. Here, I walk a tightrope. Tissues AND toilet paper, along with bathroom soap – now, I am asking for their place to look like the Four Seasons Hotel. I also informed them that women like for the toilet paper roll to be on the spindle, NOT permanently sitting around in the general bathroom vicinity. Rolled eyes greeted me on that declaration. The suggestion of a semi-clean looking hand towel was met with derision. Next thing you know, I might be asking for a matching shower curtain.

After years of living in a house with well-stocked towels, soap, and bathroom essentials, these young men become barbarians when loose in the wilds of their apartments. They await the shopping fairy to magically appear with the proper goods. It is amazing how much they did not absorb from their late childhood and teen years. Rather like driving, until you are behind the wheel and headed to a destination, you have no clue what roads you are on or the best route to take.

Now when they come to visit, I notice that they ask some questions, or they open cupboards and stare at the contents as if observing a science project. They pick up bottles and actually read the contents. I have not converted them to coupon clipping, but they are headed in the right direction.

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