Time to Make the Simple Complicated

Employees must wash hands!

Last post I shared about hand soap. The logical progression is to share about drying one’s hands. Evidently, this is a skill that needs honing, as the entire population, or at least those who work at or frequent Starbucks, are assumed to be doing it wrong.

When I see someone leave a public restroom without washing their hands, I throw up in my mouth a little. Usually my “ahem” is treated with disdain, but I just smile and aim my head slightly towards the sink while thinking, “Come on! We live in a society!”

Anyway, if you do take the time to wash, thank you. But in today’s world, it looks like you need directions for proper drying. The photo below was posted in a Starbucks bathroom on the air hand-dryer.

If you look closely at the signage on the hand dryer, which is plain to instruct both the reader and non-reader, #5 instructs you to use a towel. And, #6 tells you to turn off water with paper towels. There are no towels, paper or otherwise, in the bathroom. We were supposed to use the super noisy, hygienic drying device on the wall to blow the water off of our hands. You know, the one the sign is posted on.

Starbucks, has gone mad! It’s the effort to spell (or picture) everything out for everyone that has brought us to this point. I can imagine people looking around the bathroom for a towel. Someone needs to rescue them.

You may be asking, why did I bother reading the sign. Do I need instructions on hand drying? The answers are:

#1 I don’t have a lot of time for reading over the holidays, so what better place to grab a few sentences than the bathroom in Starbucks.

#2 No.

Somebody who doesn’t want to get sued must have put that sign on the hand dryer. Somebody who isn’t too bright, I might add.

To sum up:

  1. Wash your hands after using the bathroom and several times throughout the day.
  2. Dry your hands with a paper towel if possible, or
  3. if you’re in Starbucks, wear jeans or some other thick garment just in case the air hand-dryer is weak and you require back-up hand-drying means.

It shouldn’t be this complicated!

Have a Merry Christmas and a clean and dry New Year!

Excuse me – Where’s the Ladies Room?

How wonderful that we have something to distract us from the drama of the never-ending political race for the presidency.  Unfortunately that thing is the national bathroom identity crisis.

We’ve come a long way from that old joke book – “Race to the Outhouse by Willie Make-It and Betty Won’t.”  Now the book would be entitled, “Who’s in the Outhouse – Willie or Betty?  And are they in the correct one?  And does it really matter anyway?”

Yes, it matters.  While I am sympathetic with people in the world who have struggles that I don’t relate to and don’t consider a struggle, I wish that kind of sympathy would be returned to those of us who simply don’t want a person of the opposite sex catching a glimpse of us and our children through the cracks in the stall.

It’s disconcerting enough (but forgivable and understandable) when some little kid peeks under the stall while I’m sitting there taking care of business, or when someone tries the door and because the lock is loose the door flies open; but I don’t want to see anyone that can pee standing up looking down at me in that situation.  You can be sure I won’t give the typical, “Oh, it’s fine,” response.  I will likely unleash my pepper spray.  (Note to self:  Look for a pepper spray coupon in Sunday’s paper.)

If there is a silver lining here, it’s that I no longer have to be embarrassed if I accidentally go in the wrong restroom (which I have done before).  I wonder if maybe those businesses that have strange hieroglyphics that are supposed to instruct us as to which bathroom to use were actually preparing for the future.  Confusion is everywhere, but we don’t have to take this sitting down.  Unless you’re a woman, that is.

And what about the businesses that sell enormous drinks like the Big Gulp from 7-11 or Venti coffee from Starbucks.  I’ll bet those sales are down.  Of course, those humongous cups could come in handy if we get in a real jam.

Seriously though, I know that I always need to be on guard wherever I am.  I realize that I need not be concerned about most of the people that I run into along life’s path.  So when I say that danger is lurking around every corner, dressing room curtain, and bathroom stall, you know what I mean.  What really grieves me is that we as a nation are allowing ourselves to be caught with our pants down as we pander to every single exception to every single rule in an effort to tolerate everything.  It’s exhausting.  I think that is part of the goal of the movement (pun intended) – – wear us out until we give up.  Let’s not give up.  Let’s show kindness, but for sure…

Go For It

photo (145)There is nothing more encouraging than grabbing a cough drop and seeing the words, “Go for it.”  This motivation propelled me to make a big decision.  I would go for it.  But what “it” would I go for?

  1. 1.  Attempt to be the second woman to swim from Cuba to Key West without a shark cage; give Diana Nyad a run for her money.
  2. Drive to Starbucks to enjoy the newly released seasonal favorite, Pumpkin Spice Latte.
  3. Get that book I’ve been working on for the last decade finished.
  4. Take an afternoon nap.

So many choices, but my Halls cough drop only told me to go for it, singular.  I figured I better sleep on it, so I took a nap.

photo (146)After I awoke, I decided maybe my cough drop wanted me to go to Costco.  It had been such a grueling day that I almost worked up a sweat, which is easy to do simply walking to the car in Orlando during September.  That reminded me, I needed deodorant.

So many choices – do I want my underarms to smell like pomegranate and lemon verbena or cucumber and green tea?  I hate sweating enough without letting everyone know I’m doing it by the sweet smell of cucumber being released from my armpits.  I don’t understand putting fragrance in deodorant.  Isn’t deodorant by definition the removal of odor?  Yes, I know it can also disguise smells, but who wants to smell like a cucumber?  And, since I was at Costco that meant that if I purchased either of the above items I would smell like that for months thanks to the warehouse package.

photo (148)I headed to Target to pick up some unscented deodorant and a few other items.  I walked past this display of Coffee Mate.  The label is confusing.  Is this made for girl scouts or by girl scouts or out of girl scouts?  Are there crumbled cookies in it mimicking what would happen if you dunked a cookie in your coffee?  Somebody should revise the package and put the words “girl scouts” above the flavor, maybe throw in the word cookie.  All we really know is there are artificial flavors inside.  Sounds yummy.  That pumpkin spice latte is sounding better and better.

I Can Barely Contain Myself

photo (130)We have a new Container Store here in Orlando.  I had heard of this chain, but never thought it would be a big deal to have a store solely dedicated to containers.  Who thinks up this stuff anyway?  Can you picture a boardroom table surrounded by people brainstorming when somebody shouts out, “I know, let’s make an enormous store where we sell boxes and bags and all sorts of things to hold other things.”  I mean, don’t we all have shoe boxes and grocery bags?  And that doesn’t count that drawer in the kitchen that catches all the miscellaneous stuff of life.

I’ll admit I was skeptical.  I didn’t want to spend more money on a container than its contents, but I had to check it out.  Truthfully, my reason for checking it out was that Starbucks was having Frappie Hour and I wanted a half-price drink.  The problem was I had a half hour to kill, so in I entered the Container Store to kill it (the half hour, not the store).

photo (127)The first thing that caught my eye was an end cap filled with paper bags.  These sold for $12.99 and up, depending on size.  They are marketed as Paper Bins. “Fascinating,” I said in my most Mr. Spock-like voice.  “I think I have the prototype for these in my pantry.”  I envisioned myself explaining to Bob (my husband) that I was organizing our bathroom closet with Paper Bins.  He would likely tell me I had been sold a load of something and that we could put that something in that paper bin, light it with a match, and leave it at the front door of The Container Store.  I couldn’t chance that, so I passed on the bags.

It didn’t take long before I was sucked into the concept of specialty containers.  It must have been my old roots as a Tupperware Lady, but I suddenly found myself needing containers.  I’m not sure what I would contain in them, but I knew I wanted them.  I picked them up, removed and replaced their lids, and burped them like a Tupperware baby.  I was in trouble.  I should never have gone in alone, but I just wanted to take a peek, a quick look until I could get my half-price frappuccino.

photo (128)There was a huge display of travel containers.  I like to travel.  I’m planning on traveling – I must buy something!  A large wall of odds and ends drew me in.  Unique little “purses” hung on display.  They were black and reminiscent of the fifties, and they came in two sizes – A/B and C/D.  Yep – bra holders at $17.99 a piece (or $9 a cup).  I didn’t purchase this item.  The only cup I was interested in was one with coffee in it, and that would only cost me $2.25.

I did find something I couldn’t resist – an anti-theft travel handbag.  This would best be described as a soft-sided safe on a cross-body strap (okay, it’s a purse).  It is purported to outsmart bag snatchers, slashers, pickpockets and identity thieves.  If I can figure out how to open it I think it will come in handy when I travel.

The bottom line, my half-price frappuccino ended up costing me $102.25.  That’s $2.25 for the coffee and $100 for two purses (I mean anti-theft travel handbags).  But, as a bonus for spending $100, I received a coupon for $15 off any item that I purchased in June.  Unfortunately I forgot I had this coupon until today.

All I can say is, drinking coffee is an expensive habit.  Not to mention that the above cost doesn’t include a trip abroad for me to try out my new anti-theft travel handbag.  Maybe it’s a good thing I forgot about the coupon – it could only get me in more trouble!