How Little We Understand

Socrates once said, “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” So in the pursuit of true wisdom, here are the things I just don’t understand:

1. Litter. C’mon, people. There are trash receptacles everywhere. Gas stations. Supermarkets. Restaurants. Chain stores. Your home. Your neighbors bin out by the curb. They are there. I promise.

I stopped by Redners this evening after work and was positively flummoxed by the amount of debris in the parking lot. Scraps of paper, crumpled up receipts, lottery tickets, cigarette butts, plastic wrap, and…well, you get the picture. Meanwhile, shiny trash cans waited patiently at both doors, looking a bit lonely and empty inside. Poor, sad trash cans.

I never litter. And I mean, NEVER. I’m a courteous human being. I respect Mother Nature. If I’m on the road and have something that should be thrown away, I don’t toss it out the window like some caveman. No. I toss it in my back seat like a GOOD human should. Junk mail? Back seat. That bill I’m trying desperately to ignore? Back seat. Empty bag of M&M’s? Back seat. The box of trail mix I bought on my quest for healthy snacking but haven’t opened in three months? Yep, that’s where it is.

I had someone in my passenger seat on coffee run today. I shifted piles of junk to make room for her and we chuckled at my abysmal car-keeping habits. As she scooted aside a much forgotten plastic container of dried apricots with her left foot and laughed at the caramel now melting onto the middle console, I felt pretty darn good about myself. I don’t litter. And it shows. You’re welcome, earth.


2. People who don’t like dogs. Does this need explaining? Dogs are never in a bad mood. And even if they’re a bit pissy, you just have to give them a treat and BOOM, happy wagging tail is back (I am much the same way, minus the tail). 

Sure, they eat your last roll of toilet paper, occasionally chew up an electrical cord, and leave mangled rawhides right by your bed at the precise place your bare feet touch the ground each morning. Sometimes they leap onto your lap when you’re trying to adjust your contact lens. Many times they zag when they should have zigged and become a stumbling block in your too-tiny kitchen. But they’re sweet. And always loveable.

And they don’t judge you if you don’t get out of bed on a Saturday until 11am and then proceed to watch Looney Toons until noon…before taking a much needed nap and then finally changing out of your PJ’s and brushing your teeth.

Tomorrow I have to give up Luke, the foster dog I’ve been taking care of for the last several weeks and I am a sad, sad mess. Here’s hoping he does something really obnoxious tonight that will ease our parting.


3. Lotion gunk. Nothing grosses me out more, and I mean NOTHING, than pumping your lotion, moisturizer, shampoo, etc. and having a small chunk of dried up gunk land in your hand. Why is it always there? And how do I get rid of it? Why does it skeeve me out so much? 

It’s especially fun when it’s your shampoo. And you’re pumping. And you’re shaking the bottle. And nothing is coming out. Until.. blam…a nasty little lotion chunk, followed by the entire contents of the bottle which you are now trying to scoop back into its container because you finally sprung for the “good stuff” and you need it to last as long as humanly possible.

Lotion gunk. Yuck.


4. Common Core Math. Apparently nobody else understands it either. I’m still trying to learn the “old” math. Thanks for changing it up on me.


5. And finally, Squash and Zucchini. I understand them as vegetables. I love them. They are my most favorite summer-time gourd. I understand you can make zucchini bread and squash casserole and grill ‘em and sauté ‘em and create all sorts of marvelous and delicious dishes. What I do NOT understand is their sporadic and unpredictable growth spurts. It goes something like this:


             Monday, July 2. Dear Diary, the squash and zucchini are growing nicely. They are measuring approximately 6 inches long and will be ready to eat soon. Hurray!

            Tuesday, July 3. Dear Diary, the squash and zucchini haven’t done much since yesterday. I found a few more hiding in the back. They also measure approximately 6 inches long.

            Wednesday, July 4. Dear Diary, still no bigger. Wonder what’s up with that?

            Thursday, July 5.Dear Diary, is it possible that my squash and zucchini are shrinking?!

            Friday, July 6.Dear Diary, today I checked my garden and all the squash and zucchini seem to be laughing at me. It’s like they know.

            Saturday, July 7. Dear Diary. I have approximately twenty-five squash and zucchini that are all the size of a small child and are now inedible. I hate those stupid gourds.

            Sunday, July 8. Dear Diary, parts of my garden “accidentally” caught fire last night.


 True wisdom, here I come.

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