Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Another weird thing

I realized another slightly weird thing about me yesterday.

I went out in the afternoon (I don't teach on Tuesday afternoons and while I *usually* use it as an opportunity to catch up on work, yesterday I had to prep food for the college-student ministry, and my piano teacher was coming today (she can't this Thursday, our usual day), AND I decided I had to pull the trigger on getting a new dishwasher because I am getting lazy about handwashing dishes and also feeling resentful about every dish I use*)

(*Heh. I remember my mom talking about, I think it was a cousin of hers? Who was the designated family dishwasher in her family, and one night the family had *guests* and there were going to be a lot of dishes, and the mom was like "Virginia, go get the other forks out for dessert" and my mom's cousin said "Oh, ma, can't we just 'lick and retain'?" Meaning: each person lick their dinner fork clean and use it for the pie.. Heh. "Lick and retain" has been a code-phrase in my family, though my brother and I - kids who grew up in a dishwasher-enhanced household wound up having the privilege of being able to worry about "contamination" from other foods - I was also one of those weird kids who disliked food on her plate touching. (I still don't, really, but I get that as an adult it's socially-unacceptable to react to that, so I just inwardly cringe if, for example, green-bean juice winds up mixing with my mashed potatoes)

But anyway. I went out to the Lowe's, because they carry Whirlpool. My last dishwasher was a Whirlpool, it lasted nearly 12 years (about as long as you can expect now, I am told) and also I knew it fit okay in the space (I remember the installers really had to winkle hard to get it in, and I was worried for a few minutes they would not be able to). Also I can, for a fee, have the new one installed and the old one hauled off, and it's easier to pay Lowe's installation fee (and perhaps cheaper) than deal with the double logistics of hiring an outside person. (Also, I think Lowe's kind of stands behind their installers).

I admit I looked at the Bosch and LG models (SHINY!) and was briefly tempted. I was also briefly tempted by the highest-end Whirlpool, but it had a digital display for what your cycle was, rather than mere buttons, and something in my head said "but those can and do fail, and they are likely to fail faster than a button."

(Also, what's next? IoT dishwashers, where you can remotely start them from your cell phone or some such? Not everything needs to be networked and I dare say fewer things need to be networked than actually are: my fridge right now (may it last several more years) is a dumbfridge and I don't want a smart one; I don't want one that tells me the eggs are within a week of going off or I need to buy more salad, because that feels like a short step from a fridge that says "Are you really sure you should be eating that, dear" when I stand in front of it late some evening squirting whipped cream from the can into my mouth*)

(*Oh, don't be judgey. I know at least SOME of you have done that)

Anyway. I wound up purchasing a near-the-bottom-of-the-price-range Whirlpool (but still: one that has a food-filter I can take out and CLEAN. My old one did not have that). It took....a long time.

Longer than it should have; their printers were acting up and the guy had to send it to a different printer...then call a person in the department and ask them to resend (he was at the printer in the front of the store and it didn't go the first time). And I paid by check (because I have the money NOW and I'd rather not take a $400 or so hit on my credit card next month) and I had to wait FOREVER to get the check approved (even the checkout guy was unsettled by that; he shuffled around while waiting and apologized profusely when a manager *finally* sloped over and took care of it. That said: it seemed like shift-change time; a lot of the clerks were leaving, so it was probably just a bad time).

But in all of this - especially while I was sitting at the appliance guy's table, waiting for him to come back? I realized a weird thing I do:

I grab my ponytail and wrap it around my right hand, and just sit there, holding on to my ponytail, my hand up near my ear.


Yeah, I kind of think it is, actually.

I have all kinds of weird gestures I do to soothe/detrack myself. If I'm starting to tear up, I will adjust my glasses or scratch the back of my neck or rub my temple. When I'm walking down the hall on the way to class, I tend to run my knuckle along the (painted, so smooth) groove in the masonry in the hall. And there's one panel of drywall I sometimes rap my knuckle on....for luck? I don't know.

I am weirdly superstitious about some things for someone who is allegedly a scientist.

But anyway - I realized yesterday that yes, I hold my ponytail as a self-comfort gesture. Weird.

Maybe it's like this:

(From here, but 'ware all the pop ups - I got some even WITH an adblocker on)

I've seen it posited that this is an in-captivity-only behavior and is as much a stress response as it's a playful thing, and while that's a little sad....I think my holding my ponytail is definitely a "stress relief" thing for me. Or a "grounding" thing.

(And maybe that's a contributing factor to my perception my hair is thinning? Maybe pulling on it put stress on the hair? I'll have to try to be more gentle; I don't think I can give it up)

I also ran by the quilt shop to check on the quilt I had brought in a while back that they had predicted would be done by now....I was concerned either I missed the call or that they'd lost my number or something but the person who usually runs the shop was very apologetic; she had had the bad flu that was going around and was out for several weeks, and her sister (who does the longarming) had to fill in for her in the shop (and there was also a quilt show in the middle of that) but that it should be just a couple more weeks. So maybe I get it before break, maybe after, but it doesn't really matter.

I....did also buy some fabric (And a pattern - a pattern for making a Tumblers type quilt out of those 5"x5" squares. I like the Tumbler pattern and I like using charm packs, so....and I bought the three charm packs for the quilt, as they had three different "feed sack" or "1930s prints" inspired ones, and I have long wanted to do a Tumbler style quilt out of those type of fabrics).

I really need to get back into my sewing room and finish the top I've been working on forever, and then I can start something new.


Lynn said...

Heh. I have never heard the phrase, "lick and retain" but the "tradition" in my family and my in-laws has always been, "save your fork for dessert."

Roger Owen Green said...

simpler is often better

Jay said...

"I am weirdly superstitious about some things for someone who is allegedly a scientist."

Every scientist I've been around has had multiple weird superstitions. Including myself.

One scientist, recently retired, would always turn on the caps lock key anytime he sat down at any SEM. He would look you right in the face and insist "...computers work better in upper case."

Current SEM scientists at work always dim the room lights when they start working on the SEM. The days of the dim B&W CRT displays are long dead, and now the SEMs are operated by new PC's with big, bright computer displays, but they all dim the lights, then dim the monitor, before they start working.

And yes, this whole IoT has gone too far. As much as I've embraced new technologies (and had a hand in developing some of them), I now ask of every new electronic gizmo, every new program, every new software package ," I really need this?" Most of the time, the answer is "No".