Les mouchoirs en papier

The last time I’d seen toilet paper in pastel shades, like pink, light blue, and light green here in the U.S. was in the ’80s!

In the U.S., we have many brands of toilet paper, but…
…they come in one color!

So when I noticed most bathrooms in France had pink toilet paper, I couldn’t believe it. How pretty and luxurious, I thought! Talk about La vie en rose!

Les mouchoirs en papier

Another popular personal paper product in France is the mouchoir en papier (literally, paper handkerchief). Considered even more hygienic than cloth, it makes sense that carrying a pack of disposable facial tissues is de rigueur. At stores, they practically give them away!

While wandering around Montmartre, I remember feeling the familiar but annoying sensation of mucus beading in my nostrils. I thought, Oh no, I did not travel all this way to have my selfies ruined by an unsightly crusty boogie. I need Kleenex, stat!

At Supermarché G20, they sold packs of 15 mouchoirs for 0,79€ (about $0.91). Yes, that’s the total price for 15 packs of tissue! Three-ply and 10 tissues per pack! Great deal, right? But guess what? I didn’t get them. Why not? Because at the time, I thought, “I only need one pack, not 15!” And besides, tissue paper implies illness or crying and sadness and somehow I feared carrying a pack of 15 mouchoirs would attract illness or crying and sadness. And again, I did not travel all this way to…well, you get the picture. Clearly, with this logic, I was delirious.

As with many things in life, hindsight is 20/20 (or, as I like to say, 50/50). It’s a little thing, but I regret not buying that 15-pack of mouchoirs. In retrospect, the pocket tissues would’ve made great souvenirs. As an everyday item, I would’ve been reminded of my trip each time I used them. They’re light and wouldn’t have taken up much room in my rolling carry-on bag.

I went to CVS the other day and I saw individual packs of tissues for sale near the register.

pocket facial tissues from CVS Pharmacy

But guess what? I didn’t get them. I got an 8-pack instead! They may not have come from France, but I’m reminded of my trip each time I use them.

2 thoughts on “Les mouchoirs en papier

  1. When visiting Pairs in 2016 I noticed a window display for a bathroom remodel store and they had rolls of glorious colored toilet paper. I thought to myself how lovely and I wish we had those choices here in the US. Thanks for your story.

    Liked by 1 person

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