Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: How to win the toilet paper wars without losing your mind

By Jamie Lauren Sutton  | March 7, 2012 - 3:38PM

Dear Ms. Demeanor,

I just got the longest, nastiest email from my roommate.  She is livid that I asked her to pick up some extra toilet paper because she says she keeps her own stash. (That is a short summary of a 500 word email.)  Who knew?  It was a totally innocent, casual request.

What's the deal and how do I deal?


Papered and Pissed

Dear Papered, 

Anyone who gives that much time, thought, and text as to why she cannot purchase toilet paper deserves nothing but your pity.    Hmmm...  Maybe she really doesn't use that much toilet paper after all??? 

All that being said, you do have to live with her for the foreseeable future and you want to do it with minimal agita. While Miss TP may love to write long emails, she likely collapses under a direct kindly gaze and possible arm-touching.  So use an old-fashioned, time-honored mode of communication: Face-to-face conversation. 

I envision something like this:

"I am sorry that my text upset you.  I meant it in a casual 'we need more shared items for our shared living space' way.  I had no idea you had your own supplies. Why don't we clear the air and speak about our expectations for what are and what are not shared responsibilities."

Take the high road, but keep that email.  This will make a great story when you finally get your own place.

Stay Cottony Soft,

Ms. Demeanor

Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected] and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.

See all of Ms. Demeanor's advice here.



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