Today I ran out of bodywash.
I’m willing to bet that’s not what you expected after a week of no posting.
But in all seriousness, I ran out of bodywash and the immediate question was what do I do now? My mother’s answer was to use shampoo instead. That would never have occurred to me. Shampoo is for my hair, I think.
In my view, there are certain uses for certain items. It is a rare occasion indeed when I decide to use a given item in a novel way, since I have it so entrenched in my head that this needs to be used in this way with no exceptions. I can think of only one solitary example in recent memory, when I got frustrated with a desk’s uneven legs and used a stack of sticky notes to balance it out.
There’s a similar thing for me with words. It got to the point where I banned my dad from using the word “blockade,” because in my head the word he was looking for was “blockage.” A blockade, to me, was a naval blockade. And his constant perceived misuse of that word drove me insane. Even words that are essentially synonyms tend to have marginally different meanings to be and anyone misusing those words is perceived as illiterate. I’m not claiming to be the arbiter of correct English, I’m saying that I’m easily annoyed and very particular.
On a similar vein of thought, there are quite a few different times where this rigidity has prevented me from seeing a fairly obvious shortcut to solve a problem that would otherwise take quite a bit of lengthy work. Which in turn leaves me feeling a bit silly when somebody else points out the solution. I don’t care for feeling silly. Laughing at myself after I make a dumb move in a video game, that’s fine. Feeling genuinely stupid…not so much.
By the same token, I do know for a fact that there are numerous times that I can think outside the box and do so quite successfully. I can’t think of a ton of examples off the top of my head, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Or maybe I’ll just give another example: in the video game Loadout (which is very good fun, I might add) you typically end up fighting against or alongside people who have much more advanced weaponry than you do on account of they’ve been playing longer and so have more things unlocked.
My initial overly-rigid mindset proclaimed there was nothing to do but face up to the grind of dealing with my inferior weapons until I could build stuff like that. To be fair, even the basic stuff in Loadout has merit, it’s a well-designed game from that respect. And then I remembered that when someone dies they drop their weapon for you to pick up.
Cue me hanging around more advanced players and grabbing their weapons when they died. And then going nuts with them.
And on the whole that has been a lot more interesting. Rigidity is all well and good in some respects (my driving record speaks for itself) but there are times when it gets in the way and it’s good to know that at least I’m not forced to be rigid all the time.