Squeezing the toothpaste from the middle and other relationship problems

I confess. I squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle, not the end. For those who are avid bottom squeezers, especially those that go to the lengths to twist up and curl the end of the tube for toothpaste optimization, I know I am your nemesis.

This is something I only ever noticed because, when growing up, my brother made it a domestic issue, complaining constantly about my family’s heinous toothpaste squeeze technique. Much time has passed since those terrible years sharing a roof with my brother and, since then, I hadn’t given it another thought—that is, until a week ago.

My boyfriend and I were preparing to turn in for the night, and in doing so, were bonding over the sink by brushing our teeth together. With over 6 months into a full-fledged leave-my-toothbrush-at-his-and-he-leave-a-toothbrush-at-mine relationship, we know each other well enough to have uncovered a few quirks and faults with one another.

But never did I anticipate this being revealed.

As I placed a dollop of paste on my toothbrush and handed him the minty, cavity preventing tube for his brush, I noticed that he squeezed it from the bottom. I looked at him and said, “Does it drive you crazy that I squeeze from the middle?” Without hesitation, he replied, “Yeah.”

Shocked. I was shocked. Firstly, by his candid reply. Secondly, by the fact that we’ve often practiced healthy, dental hygiene together and this had never come up before.

Thoughts ran through my head: “Can this work? Is this a sign? In a few years are we going to be fighting about something else and he’ll bring up a hurtful ‘yeah, well why can’t you squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom?!’ comment? Is this the first sign of relationship fail?”

777789219Perhaps it’s because I remember the aggressive nature my brother pursued the toothpaste squeezing issue in our house: hostility, whining, tears, threats. It got to the point where he had his own toothpaste and toothpaste squeezing tool to best gather the paste residues from the end without us intervening in his obsession.

Those were rough year’s in the Gingermermaid household. When my brother finally went to college, we could all breathe a sigh of relief—for the first time.

I guess you can tell a lot about a person by the way they squeeze their toothpaste. I’m a free spirit with a solid right brain thought process, I just grab the Crest or Colgate and squeeze haphazardly shouting, “Toooooothpaste! Let’s clean my teeth because last visit to the dentist I had 5 cavities!”. My boyfriend is a civil engineer, and carefully ensures that he maximizes the use of the structure, pushing the paste from the bottom, flattening it so it doesn’t go backwards, and has little, probably no, stream of consciousness while he brushes his teeth.

I guess this is a good relationship sign. If we both were middle squeezers, we’d buy a lot more toothpaste, never getting full use of the full 4-ounces or so. If we were both bottom squeezers, well, he wouldn’t be able to fix the tube when I mess it up. It would defeat one of his great purposes in life and that would make me a less than optimal girlfriend.

I know this won’t be the last time he and I have a “discussion” about toothpaste squeeze technique, and I also know it’s probably one of many other quirky habits he has either not acknowledged or still finds precious about me (for now).

At least I know one thing that he and I agree on and is pivotal in any relationship but rare to find between two people–we both believe in the same dishwasher-loading techniques…


7 thoughts on “Squeezing the toothpaste from the middle and other relationship problems

  1. My live in boyfriend, mind you we are older both divorced with children and have done life for years with another so this is a new experience in a different way, brought up this toothpaste logic to me for the first time last night. I had NEVER even thought about toothpaste squeeze technique in my life, so you already know i am a middle squeezer lol. We have lived under the same roof officially for a year and he, being an end squeezer has always noticed. He said it is how he knew we were perfect for each other, which makes me giggle now just thinking about this silly yet actually somewhat true newfound logic I possess. He explained my instant results, at whatever cost, fix it later if i have a problem mentality compared to his patient, reserved, planned out personality always renewing my middle for me to where i never even notice i needed it renewed and how it never bothered him but always makes him chuckle when he goes to brush his teeth at night usually after me I guess. So today i was in search of what is all this toothpaste logic and who else thinks this…..and came upon your blog post. I loved it…. i am lucky to be with and end squeezer who loves and appreciates my middle squeezing!

      • He’s a middle-squeezer. It’s obnoxious. And I frequently re-arrange dishes after he puts them in the dishwasher (and by frequently I mean every time). It’s almost been 5 years and we still don’t hate each other so I guess something must be working… opposites attract?

  2. after repeated screams from my partner to “SQUEEZE FROM THE BOTTOM!!”… i resorted to using those coloured plastic clips from Ikea to clip across the toothpaste after she had squeezed it all up from the bottom. I could then continue to squeeze from the middle without pushing half of the remainder back to the bottom, and she could still squeeze from the adjusted bottom without having to redo all her good work. As the contents decrease, the clip can be moved along and everyone is happy… or at least smiling for the time being.

    • But since it bothers her so much, wouldn’t it be fun to keep pushing it to the bottom…if it’s real love, she’ll see your wit and humor and be further grateful that you give her a daily challenge…

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