Other people's stuff

August 21st, 2008

I’m still on vacation which means I’m not surrounded by my own things and that’s gotten me thinking.  Among other things, about the keyboard I’m using at the moment which has a space bar that doesn’t work more often than it does which means I have to stop every few words and backspace and redo. 

No offense to all the other people out there in the world, but other people’s stuff kind of sucks.  I like my things.  I like the way they work.  I like that they work.  I like knowing which keys are sticky BEFORE I start typing so I don’t have to make that discovery while I’m typing.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  Right now I’m on a big ship owned by a huge corporation so if something doesn’t work right, I can complain and get it fixed.  But earlier in this vacation, we stayed in someone else’s house and then someone’s apartment.  And, while in both these places, I swear we broke everything we touched.  If one of the kids used a toilet, it overflowed.  If someone pulled on a door handle, it came off.  If we did a load of laundry, the dryer stopped spinning.  We broke the whole house.

Is it us?  Are we too rough?  Too wild? 

Hardly.  We’ve spent most of this vacation lying around reading.  We’re not the destructive type.  But I think I have figured out why we break things in other people’s houses.

It’s not us: it’s a universal law.  See, when you’re in your own home, you know what’s on the verge of breaking and you avoid it.  That drawer has a handle that comes off?  You learn to pry it open at the side.  Our screendoor’s handle doesn’t work?  We never close it all the way so we can just push it with our hand instead of using the handle.  The faucet in the guest bathroom shower doesn’t turn off right?  We simply avoid using that shower.  Until, of course, some unsuspecting guest comes and tries to take a shower and feels guilty because–guess what?  She breaks something in someone else’s house.  It happens to EVERYONE.

So that’s my theory: you don’t see, use, or aggravate the problem areas in your own home.  But the second you stay at someone else’s house, you’re stumbling all over THEIR problem areas and wreaking destruction left and right.

So long as we’re all staying at one another’s houses, it will all even out.  You’re all invited to come over and destroy my house and someday I’ll come visit and destroy yours.  Agreed?

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