Creature of Habit

I have routines that I am loathe to give up. Why? Because they are essentially me. To know this is to know all. Other more trifling bits of superfluous knowledge, such as why we’re all doomed isn’t nearly as important as how and when the box of coffee filters is rotated in the cupboard.


I wonder if anyone else uses that word anymore. Or superfluous? Shelf is non-descript; pantry has that “look what I have” quality that most of us disdain, but secretly desire.

“It’s such a delightful pantry, my darling, and so organized!” Which is no worse than most of the drivel you hear on those scripted home shows. Which leads us back to cupboards, and the fact that the name should apply only to shelves that contain cups, not coffee filters.

Is this important? Absolutely! Esoteric? Um, sure.

It is, however, deeply instructive when evaluating someone like me. I am a creature of habit, of routine, and I have given even the most pedestrian activity the good use of my enormous intellect, which humility keeps me from using to oppress the masses.

The problem arises when a member of the masses is my companion on this triumphal journey known as life, my wife. The denouement between us occured when I went to merge the last few filters in the old box with those in the new, harrumphing my wife’s concerns because routine and weird fetishistic fealty to habit tend to consume me. She noted this combining might not work and would lead to, not one box brimming with many filters happy and exciting to make my day just that much more thrilling, but would in fact, lead to two torn open boxes that add nothing to the style and decor of the cupboard.

I curtly dismissed her concerns.

She was not amused. I marshalled on despite her admonitions. This was exacerbated by her being right about the boxes and their content and that my fussy know-it-all attitude had ruined an otherwise serviceable morning. I was at that point confronted with a dilemma. Should I act in the present day fiat, and blame it on anyone or anything other than me, or confess to being… wrong.

In this day and age to confess any human frailty or foolishness or blatantly boorish behavior is tough. Best to plead ignorance or lie your ass off. The only problem with that is it must be repeated ad nauseum for it to take hold and outside of politics and possibly boardrooms, rarely flies.

Facing a conundrum I could not legitimately weasel out of, I did what any trapped animal would do:

I blamed it on the manufacturer for changing the size of the box even though, perceptively, it did not look any different.

My wife was not amused.

©2019 David William Pearce

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