My wife and I were having a discussion last week at the grocery store.

It was the same conversation we have had from time to time over the years.

I have never won this discussion.

My wife believes that napkins, paper towels and toilet paper must be color-coordinated.

I only care that they don't have holes in them.

Recently my wife was shopping for paper towels. She wanted something colorful, with a nice pattern to match our kitchen.

I'm not sure what she was trying to match.

Maybe the dirty dishes in the sink.

Maybe the stains on the countertops.

Maybe the dog who wanders into the kitchen waiting for us to drop something.

I use paper towels to wipe up stains or clean up stuff. Why do the paper towels have to match anything?

Not one time have I ever heard anyone walk into our house and comment on how the pattern on our paper towels accents the countertops.

I've never heard anyone say anything about paper towels. In fact, the only conversation we have about paper towels is we're out and why do they have to match?

The same is true of napkins and toilet paper.

Considering both are used to wipe stuff, does it really matter what color or design is on them?

Plain white. That is all we need. That is all that should ever be made.

Whoever decided that paper towels, napkins and toilet paper had to come in various colors and designs is probably a millionaire and probably uses the white ones.

I don't believe there was ever one time when I reached for a paper towel or napkin that I paused to consider its color and design before cleaning up a mess or wiping my face.

I don't think there was ever a time when I thought they were too pretty to use.

They end up dirty and torn and thrown away, and no color or design changes that.

I have seen toilet paper made to look like money or with famous peoples' faces on it. I never considered that a good idea, nor did I buy it.

I know it is probably a novelty and not meant to be used (unless in case of an emergency), but I don't consider toilet paper something to display.

I understand there are napkins for special occasions. Sure, I'll go along with the Christmas napkins and ones for weddings. There will be graduation napkins in our home in May, and some anniversaries require special napkins.

But those are exceptions.

There are no exceptions for paper towels and toilet paper.

I do not have to have paper towels with Santa Claus on them or reindeer printed on them, and I certainly do not need toilet paper with decorated Christmas trees or mistletoe.

There are some things we use that do not need to be decorated.

If it were up to me, we would buy white paper products. It goes with everything even dirty dishes and stains on the countertops.

Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is the former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.