austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Just a word or two that she gets from you

My parents make a pretty natural assumption, namely, that since they've been living in this community for seven years now and coming back to it, pretty much, whenever school or work allowed that I therefore know as much about the house and the community as they do. For example, they assume that I know names of streets. I'm not a good one for remembering names and faces, and I'm almost as bad at remembering street names. I'm pretty good at the street my house is on, and on the occasional major highway, and sometimes if the street name is important to the place's location, for example, ``Broadway'' in New York City or ``Orchard Road'' in Singapore. I can follow a route to its destination, and come back with pretty good reliability after that, but when they try giving me directions to something nearby just by street names it ends up in frustration all around. ``West Main Street''? Where's Main Street? Where does it go east or west?

So it wasn't until this week they bothered to mention that the washing machine can take much bigger loads than I've been putting into it, and doesn't need as much detergent as I was giving it. Well, I had a front-loading washer in Singapore all that time, and more than about three days' worth of clothing at once made it dangerously near overloaded. (And that's based on shorts and light trousers, rather than heavy things like sweatpants that provide warmth.) My father's theory is that the unpleasant noises the washer was made was due to too much detergent and too little clothing, which I don't quite buy.

Then they casually mentioned midday that I ``shouldn't use the dishwasher while we're asleep, because it might catch on fire.'' Given that we've had a toaster oven out of operation for three weeks for cleaning because it caught on fire, I would have thought the dishwasher being on fire would have been mentioned sometime before. It turns out this particular dishwasher -- which so far as I know has only had a history of flooding -- has never caught fire per se, but that model dishwasher has become subject to a recall due to, well, I assume someone else's catching fire. I can't wait for the next little surprise, like, ``Remember to put the ice cream in the fridge vegetable crisper so the Tivo doesn't explode'' or something like that. I wonder at what point I'll have the income and stable work to justify my own apartment.

Trivia: In the May 1919 Ladies' Home Journal an advertisement for a deoderant named ``Odorono'' was featured. Supposedly over 200 subscriptions were cancelled in one day by outraged readers. Source: Advertising and the Transformation of American Society, 1865 - 1920, James D Norris.

Currently Reading: Food in History, Reay Tannahill. I'm looking at the book cover and the name still looks wrong.


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