As I was taking a shower this morning, I washed my hair for a change.
I pretty much avoided it while I was experiencing the local respiratory virus, not feeling that I needed to go around with a wet head while I was sick. And no, I do not own a hair dryer. We almost bought one last month because we thought it might be useful in thawing out something that was frozen, but then it thawed out on its own.
Anyway, as I applied my organic shampoo I thought about the people who buy whatever the latest issue of Cosmo has told them is going to make their hair sexily attractive. Most people, I have discovered, don’t even read the ingredients list on the stuff they are eating, much less the ingredients of the shampoo, conditioner, anti perspirant, blah de blah blah that they are applying the outside of their bodies. Then they wonder why they have neurological and behavioral disorders, metabolic diseases, or get cancer.
From that, my mind leapt to the visualization of the digital numbers on our high tech electric meter clicking over lickety-split as the water heater started in to warm the cold water that was flowing into it as I showered, and from there I jumped to the little dial on the water meter as it was going around and around too. So, when the shampoo was rinsed out of my hair, instead of standing in the blissful fall of water from the low-flow shower head, I turned the shower off and proceeded with my day.
That made me think about the people my client who works for the customer service division of our local electrical cooperative has been talking to in the last week, who are appalled at the way the electrical consumption jumped over the holidays. One lady, who generally lives in her all electric house with only her husband, had something like over a dozen relatives staying with her over Christmas, and could not understand why her usage doubled. Doors opening and shutting letting hot air out that has to be replaced by the baseboard heater, six times as many showers, more lights, blah blah blah — these things are the culprits, not some arcane mistake by the cooperative.
I took a brief excursion into the realm of thinking about how radically my thoughts and attitudes towards utility usage changed when I became responsible for writing the checks for those utilities. Things like iPods, cell phones, lap tops, wireless internet devices, digital cameras, tvs, and computers all require juice to work, even if they are mobile they have to get charged. We are so used to all that now that we don’t even think about the kilowatts we are using.
Before the shampoo part of my shower I was contemplating food likes and dislikes. There isn’t a lot I simply “won’t” eat, and not much I truly do not like. I thought about how many people there are that have the luxury of dictating to their parents what they will and will not eat. My folks were pretty simple about the situation. After they had experienced the Oatmeal War with their first two year old, they changed their minds about how to deal with food attitude.
It was simple. If you didn’t like the food, you didn’t have to eat it. But if you didn’t eat what was put before you for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, there was no sympathy and no remedial action taken if you showed up claiming hunger before the next meal. “I’m sorry you didn’t like the liver (or whatever it was had been rejected) for dinner. Breakfast will be at 7 o’clock tomorrow. I’m pretty sure you won’t die before then,” was her standard response. On the other hand, if you had eaten your dinner, then if you claimed hunger you were offered an apple or a slice of bread and butter.
We weren’t dumb kids, it didn’t take us long to make the connection. And if you have gone hungry for a few hours, or even days, because you didn’t “like” what was on the table, well it didn’t take long for what was presented to start looking pretty darned good.
This line of thought included a sideline into the ubiquitous use of the terms “gross” and “disgusting” when applied to things the speakers don’t like. The definition has become degraded, I think. What is really gross isn’t even on the usual dinner table. What my dog chooses as tasty treat items during our walks, things like half rotted scapula bones from dead deer or the sundry droppings that she seems to think of as gourmet fare, now those things are gross. Broccoli without cheese? Not so gross.
Anyway, this is part of what went through my head during my three minute shower; a listing of all the myriad subjects that cross my mind during the course of a day would probably require a 700 page book.