Sunday, September 3, 2017

Steam-Shaming, Packing Fantasies, Toothpaste-gate

I used up my requisite “complain about the heat” post last week, even though this weekend is the most miserable one yet, with the temps in the 90’s and more forest fire smoke. So I will have to come up with something else to complain about. Or, radical idea, I could not complain--but that wouldn’t be any fun for anyone.

My motivation to do anything at all this long weekend has gone completely out the smog-colored window. I’m a living embodiment of that “My get-up-and-go got up and went!” poster that was all the rage in the 70’s. (Still poignant and hilarious.) Yesterday I did what I am certain is the laziest workout on record at my gym, then proceeded to waste copious amounts of time on Steam, trolling for cheap games. They helpfully give me a “queue” to browse, which they fill up with games they think I am going to be interested in based on what I’ve bought before. The problem is that I have wildly differing tastes and interests when it comes to games, so they are completely at a loss as to what to show me. They will offer me anime, first-person shooters, violent horror games, cute adventure games, a wide array of MMORPG’s, interactive novels, arcade games and racing games in an ever more frantic bid to get me to pick something, anything, what do they need to do to make me happy, for God’s Sake? I enjoy the petty power of clicking through their multiple selections and withholding information from them about what interests me. They’re not going to put me in a gaming box! But they get me back by showing me a tally of the sickening number of games I’ve browsed, thereby indecision-shaming me and simultaneously making it clear that I don’t have a life. Anyway, I finally took the chance on a ten-dollar cyberpunk-themed game called “Dex,” which has proved a serviceable distraction so far. Actually, if you don’t think too deeply about its nonsensical Matrix-ish garble, it’s a quality game with some interesting innovations. If I don’t rage quit, I’ll put a review up next week.

I did manage to wander lackadaisically into my bedroom and do a hopeless “test” pack for an upcoming trip I’m taking with one of my sisters. I have harbored this fantasy that if I am just clever enough, I can force nine day’s worth of clothes and sundries into a nimble little carry-on. That plan was quickly obliterated when I realized my carry-on would barely even hold my socks. Physics is physics, as Neil Degrasse-Tyson is fond of saying. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and check a bag, something I haven’t done in over fifteen years.

Over the last several weeks, I have gone into the bathroom to find Mr. Typist’s toothpaste tube folded over the closed cabinet door. I was slightly puzzled by this, but I figured it was some toothpaste life hack he had picked up on the internet. Today, he asked me in rather wounded tone of voice, “Don’t you check the bathroom cupboard before you go grocery shopping?” Apparently, this was not some clever technique for getting more toothpaste out of the tube, but his clear and obvious “signal” that he needed more toothpaste. These are the times when keeping your mouth shut in a marriage comes in handy. See, what I did not do is explode in exasperation and shout, “For god’s sake, if you need more toothpaste, just say, ‘Bitch, I need more toothpaste!’ instead of skulking around and leaving indecipherable runes in the form of weirdly folded tubes!” What I did do is smile tolerantly and tell him I would pick some up this week. See, boys and girls, that is the secret to a long marriage. And as it turns out, he did get more toothpaste out the tube, since he didn’t have any choice. Ha!

--Kristen McHenry

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