My War with Things

Warning: this is NOT a political column so you can read or not accordingly. Although I will say that resistance is necessary on a daily basis, but this is about another war in my life-it’s not winnable but it is tolerable. Here goes:

I don’t know about you but I recently got old. I injured myself slightly at the start of a wonderful trip with my family and then hobbled around the entire time like an old lady! I am now just coming out of the resulting sciatica and for that, I’m grateful.

"I've given up trying to be on top of things."

“I’ve given up trying to be on top of things.”

But other conditions like arthritis seem to have come between me and my things, my stuff some of which I love and most of which I actually purchased with my own money-actually with virtual money-they are waging war on me, a war I lose a little more every day.

No,  I’m not one of those silly people who complains that I have too much stuff-why would I? I’m the one accumulating it! No one sneaks onto my phone and buys-with-one-click all those things, about $20 a pop from amazon. Who doesn’t love getting packages and having new kinds of stuff waiting in disproportionately-sized boxes for you when you get home?

Well, maybe some folks have loving family members warming the hearth and heating up the kitchen with good fresh smells when they arrive home. Alas, even my kitty has gone to the rainbow bridge (Don’t worry, when the kitty gods are ready, I will provide another forever home to a furry companion) but amazon is always waiting a-click-away.

So here’s the problem, some of this stuff conspires in the most clever, ingenious, should I say, nefarious ways against me. I’m wondering if you are likewise under attack in the private spaces of your house?

In the kitchen: Ah, jars. Every year they get tougher to open. Sometimes the tried and true hot water and knife banging technique doesn’t even work. So I use my finger-it’s-one-click-away and buy another jar opener which had great reviews and which I have to put somewhere so I can find it when confronted with another hermetically sealed pickle jar, sigh.

So now I have 3 problems 1) jars tightened by machines, manned by robots which no normal hand can open, 2) gadgets to help open jars but which miraculously slip out of your hands heading straight toward your quivering toes and your lovely kitchen tiles WITHOUT HAVING OPENED THE DAMN JAR 1st, 3) locating and retrieving said gadgets (what’s with that word anyway?) from its hiding place among the other things that don’t work as advertised?! Hope, it seems, springs eternal on the internet.

The bathroom sink, another center of confrontation (No, I’m not even talking about the mirror and its frights)At this point in my life, I require a couple pills at bedtime. So I stand at the medicine cabinet which, for some reason is above the very sink where your teeny, tiny pill will go to die while you watch. So then, I get another one, being very careful to remove it since the last two are now just blue smudges in the drain, so now the top won’t go back on the pill bottle…. 165646223

AND when I try to slide it back onto the shelf to take its same damn place, a bunch of those other over-the-counter salves, some left over from the Bush, years fall out in a cascading chain reaction. It’s reminiscent of those videos of waves of toppling dominoes but not in an orderly or predictable way….inevitably, one pops up and hits you in the finger, the most arthritic one, before heading for parts unknown.

More bathroom mishaps: I keep some of my favorite earrings on a high wooden bookcase-type-shelf in there. I pick one up so I can watch myself attempting to find my ear lobe, harder than it sounds when your head is turned in a different direction, why the whole exercise is nonsensical when you think about it.

But instead I watch in horror as it bounces off the sink, flies off of the nearest lower shelf (don’t ask, it’s another place for crap, makeup, etc) and then springs up in the air. Now, it has two equally horrid choices. It can fly up and fling itself under the tall shelf that it would take an act of Congress to move, but maybe Steve Bannon can make that happen for me (oops, no politics, but you know fascists can work miracles–in reverse.) I often wonder how many favorite earrings I’ve already forgotten that lurk under there now.

138719801The other fascinating choice is for that errant earring to drop directly into the toilet bowl. That’s ok so long as it wasn’t in the process of flushing, sigh. But it’s more likely that my very last ambien will make that choice instead-at about 2 am. Oh well, I can always open my kindle if only my kindle were charged.

Other places where things attack or hide…The bathroom is not my only battleground nor the kitchen. You will find, ok maybe not you but me that the jeans I just took off last night or the sweater I just folded and put away. Kidding, you know I didn’t fold it but it should be on that chair with the other dozen black sweaters, pants, leggings, shirts I own. I just had it but now it has inexplicably vanished, verschwunden, disappeared, how on earth? in the word of James Fenimore Cooper, one day….I will find you.

I have lots more examples and see, I haven’t even reported on my phone which won’t let me input the number 1 for a conference call, for instance, closes its face and then goes dark on me. No, that would be sacrilege. Some of you who know me, know how in love with all this mini technology I am. But this is seen as unusual only because of my age.

Most of my friends of my age are still struggling to post photos of their grandkids much less their dining choices on their facebook pages while I harangue them about learning to use twitter and editing videos for instagram. Since anybody under 57 can do all of the above that should prove how old I really am.

 Here’s my favorite enemy in the war that my stuff wages on me and the rational world. We were taught certain laws of nature exist that cannot be refuted. So you tell me, how is this possible? I love to wear delicate silver bracelets. I wear a number of them at a time. They are light and generally designed to be pretty but not cumbersome. And yet, I will often find my shirt or sweater fastened onto one of my bracelets. Now you know if I tried to hook that bracelet onto the tiniest thread in my sleeve of my, inevitably black sweater, I could absolutely not do it.  images-4

I can prove that because I can’t get on OR remove any of these bracelets without at least a 2nd person to hold the bracelet clip in place with one of us hanging upside down from a trapeze before giving it a go. But, my bracelet will lace itself onto the tiny thread with its tiny ring and not let go.

I rest my case. They’re out to get me but I will resist (see how I got that in?!)

6 Comments on "My War with Things"

  1. rashidah grinage | February 2, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Reply

    Very funny. But I hope you’re not competing with Cat for the ‘victim of the year’ award. I’ve resisted jar openers – so far, banging on my wooden cutting board seems to work. Do have bracelet issues, sometimes. Don’t park earrings in the bathroom – recommend moving them to your bedroom and buying a jewelry box (from Amazon, of course!). You really do write well, girl! Rashidah Coalition for Police Accountability “There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.” William Shakespeare “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” ― John E Lewis

  2. | February 2, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Reply

    Yet another hidden talent … and you may as well get rich with it … I’ve booked an appearance for you on “Comedy Central. james vann

  3. eileen benevedes | February 2, 2017 at 11:31 pm | Reply

    Oh thank you for this, Pam. You are correct growing old “ain’t fer sissies” but the alternative really sucks. You missed one…at you can hear.

  4. Okay, time to add something else to your gadgets: a seven-day pillbox that you fill (or I’ve accumulated 4, so I only have to do this once a month) at the breakfast table, far away from water, sink drains, toilets, shelves, etc. Then it stays on a counter that is one of the last places you visit before going to bed, wherever that may be. And I’m jealous that you only have to take 2 medications–I’m up to 6-8, post-election! May our patience grow with our age. xoxoxo, N

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