It’s a Numbers Game

A story on CNN reported a man scammed a woman out of $80,000 after they met on a dating website.  They went out the day they met and he proposed a week later.  After popping the question, he convinced her to invest in a love nest.  Moreover, he was married.  He swept her off her feet, cleaned her out but left the trash.

That’s why I pay no credence to internet dating.  Members flirt in bulk, aspiring for the one in ten. Website algorithms crunch numbers and make paper matches but don’t figure in the X factors of deceit and exaggeration in courtship.   It’s essentially blind dates through comparison shopping-scour pics, skim packaging, choose and hope.

So until Ms. Right comes into the equation, I’m perfectly content on what would be date night cleaning my apartment.  Call it laziness, inefficiency or a depraved indifference for the environment, but I use a lot of paper towels when tidying up.

On this Friday night, to put a real sheen on the countertops, I needed more paper towels.  I went to Publix and made a beeline for the store brand because it’s the best deal.  A paper towel is a paper towel.  An urbane lumberjack on the package fails to swoon me.

The Publix brand contained two rolls for three dollars.  Out of the corner of my eye, the environmentally conscious Greenwise brand winked at me, three rolls for $2.89. 

The package was coquettish, dolled up with a sultry illustration of a flowing houseplant in seductive green hues. The top of the package entranced by avowing “100% recycled fiber with 50% post-consumer fiber”. The information at the bottom told me I was getting 70 two ply sheets per roll, totaling 141.1 square feet.  The top, however, sported an asterisk, indicating a disclaimer.  Indeed, parallel to the stem of the plant in microscopic font: “May contain less than 5% incidental, non-recycled fiber”.     

The Publix brand made no such come-hithers about their brand. No alluring flora. Just a plain Jane “Big Roll Paper Towels”.  Each roll contained 105 sheets, making 70.5 square feet.  Consequently, two rolls of Publix added up to 210 sheets measuring 141 square feet. 

Crunching the numbers, the Publix paper towels offered one tenth of a square foot less than Greenwise for eleven cents more.  Pretty much the same

Let’s reexamine the packaging.  Greenwise wooed us with slinky foliage and the promise that we’re helping the greater good, supporting the cause of reducing our carbon footprint. Yet, Greenwise had a secret.  They weren’t always faithful to the code of eco-friendliness.  The Publix paper towels made no such promises.  Buying this brand consummated a relationship based on pure, unbridled trust.

Regarding human relationships, I expect a certain amount of fibbing and sleight of hand.  When I commit to paper towels, I demand they communicate on the level. In the end, the Greenwise titillation didn’t match the reality of the packaging.  As a result, I went with the Publix brand.  Numbers don’t lie.

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