Adulting: A 22-year-old’s realization that she doesn’t have anymore homework to do

Dear Reader,

Today, for the first time in a long time, I did what I want to do.

I’ve been an “adult” for roughly four years now, and these first four years have been tightly, neurotically focused on getting an education. When I finished my last class of my undergrad, it occurred to me that I and many like me have spent the past 16 years in a cycle of school to summer to school, with jobs and fun stuff wedged in the extra bits of time available to us.

Being in college right out of high school doesn’t actually make you feel like you are FINALLY an adult. It generally continues a theme of people expecting you to succeed academically while they offer you assistance and programs and sports and social activities, and lecture you about getting more sleep. The big difference is that many of us start to gain a *crushing weight of monetary responsibility that we aren’t really aware of, but are warned will destroy our lives in the years after college is over.

It dawned on me that I need to start adulting now that college is. A month after graduation, I realized I had to get my shizzle together.

What takes up the space that avoiding doing homework occupied? I have honed my procrastination skills for at least eight years now! I have habits that are deeply rooted in my desire to ignore the anxiety of finishing a paper! I have rituals designed to conjure a false sense of security about the amount of hours a final project will take!

It takes time to adjust to the absence of academic responsibility, and in the meantime you find yourself pretending to procrastinate like you have something to procrastinate for.

Last night I sat in bed wondering why I felt like I was wasting time even though I didn’t have anything immediately requiring completion. Don’t get me wrong, I need to find a job in the fall once my summer work runs out, but that is a single responsibility that has the very tangible reward of money. College was a half-promise saying that, “maybe someday your education could possibly benefit you in figuring out a career or getting work or something.” I’m not as worried about getting a job since my options aren’t limited by a credit requirement in social sciences/multicultural studies.

Which leads me to today. Today, I decided I wanted to stop doing some stuff. I wrote them down so I could look at them.

“Things I want to stop doing as much:

1. Watching so much Netflix/Movies/TV

2. Spending so much time looking at apps on my phone, i.e. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Dumb Game Apps, etc.”

Then I decided I wanted to start doing some other stuff instead.

“Things I want to do everyday:

1. Devote

2. Pray

3. Read

4. Write

5. Exercise”

I am a new, homework-less, adult-baby. What do I want? I know I want to be able to support myself and be happy. But as an adult-baby, I can’t get too picky about jobs since I’m not a genius who is being personally approached by corporations and the government, as Matt Damon was when he realized he could do a lot of incomprehensible math and date Minnie Driver while being best friends with Ben Affleck and becoming an A-List actor all at the same time. All those things might have made Matt happy, but I need to forge my own path, thank you very much.

Therefore, my real decisions in this new phase of adulting hinge on goals of personal growth. I picked five things that I think will increase my humility, strength, and joy. And today I did them. All of them. I have no illusions of perfection or consistency. I just have a better idea of what I want. Maybe I’ll get better at them. Surely they’ll make me better.

The moral of the story, as usual, is that I am a sweet, ignorant, bumbling kid wondering what makes life good.

If any of my professor’s are reading this, please consider the above sentence my thesis statement.

On past posts, I have wrapped up with the phrase, “that is all,” which I (pretentiously) heard in my head as being said by Patrick Stewart. Just to be doubly clear, I am not Matt Damon, and I am also not Patrick Stewart.

It seems much more appropriate for me to leave you with a casual, “that’s all.”

That’s all.

*Student Loans are large cubes of lead gradually accumulating in a giant cargo net above your body. This cargo net hangs over you at a great height at first, and then as it grows more heavily laden, it sinks lower and lower until it makes that rope-about-to-snap creaking sound just as your diploma is handed to you. You can get the net reinforced by going to grad school, but additional lead weights from this continuation of your education will eventually break the net. You awareness and anxiety over being pulverized will grow as the net weakens until the inevitable weight limit is reached. So yeah. Everything everyone has told you is true. But stay in school kids.

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Comfort Dependency: Your Brain on Shame

Dear Reader,

I will not apologize for my recent, several-months-long bout of radio silence. I will candidly describe myself as an irresponsible blogger with commitment issues. Currently, I’m cheating on blogging with college. And like I said, I am totally unapologetic. Call me a cad, but I just don’t have the energy or time to go steady.

When I come to my blog, it’s for purely selfish reasons. I need to ease the pressure in my head. I need comfort. Comfort is a luxury I am blessed to have. I have more than one. We all do really. Some comforts warm us and lull us. We can relax with them.

Some comforts take over our lives and transform into a curse as they suck vitality and integrity from our character, leaving us dependent. I have one of those comforts too.

I am, in fact, in recovery from one such comfort.

It doesn’t really matter what it is. Comfort dependency, often stamped as addiction, can be focused on everything from sex to self-harm, food to starvation. Humans have this unfortunate ability to become dependent on just about anything we put our minds and hearts to. Then we have to struggle to keep our comforts from defining us.

So no, it isn’t important what comfort I found I couldn’t let go of. The struggle looks the same for all of us. We discover the comfort, and we exalt in the way it makes us feel. At first, it seems like the antidote. We turn to it again and again, until  we are sicker than we thought, and we need that antidote daily.

It takes some time for us to admit that our antidote is actually the poison, and the cycle of illness that brings us back to it is self-sustaining. But knowing that we are willingly imbibing poison isn’t enough to stop us. Oddly, whatever pain motivated us to turn to this comfort becomes compounded by the shaming truth that we are not working toward health, but damning ourselves to invalidity.

Shame is the key ingredient of poisonous comforts. Initially, we are fooled into thinking excess is the worst part of comfort dependency. I disagree. I think shame drives our inability to put the poison down, even after we see it for what it is. Shame has us thinking that we will never be strong enough, or good enough to put the poison down. If that is the case, we might as well take a little more.

See?

Shame was right.

We did it again.

Where is the redemption in all of this? For me it was in the same place that I find all of my redemption. I found it in the God I worship. But shame is universal, regardless of religious persuasion. And when you look to the core of what healed me, and what can heal all the comfort-dependent, wellness-seeking, poison drinkers, the antidote ends up being that tried and true medicine that cures almost everything – love.

Shame tricks us into thinking we are not and will not be lovable.

We think of love as something we get from other people, as though it has to be given. But we as individuals manufacture love as naturally as we desire it. So while the love of others has healing powers, it is the love from inside ourselves, for ourselves, that flushes the poison from our systems.

Comfort is a blessing. That we can be comforted is a truly remarkable part of being human. It can be that through comfort, we learn the danger of losing ourselves to cycles of excess. Then we must learn that some of the best comfort of all starts from the inside and works its way out.

If it were easy, Shame would never be mixed in with blessings like Comfort. If it were impossible, I wouldn’t be able to write this now.

That is all.

Bird’s Bones Bystanders

Bird’s Bones Bystanders

Dear Reader,

     The last time I stood out was a surprise. It surprised me. It surprised everyone in my vicinity.

     I was in a big lecture class on Interpersonal Violence Prevention. It was and is one of the most influential classes I have ever taken. People aren’t simple. That bit of wisdom is something I will continue to struggle with. The temptation to bubble wrap and pack people away in neat, *stackable boxes is common amongst us human beings. This class made me realize how much I gave in to that temptation. Also, I just really love bubble wrap.

      Interpersonal Violence, or more specifically domestic and child abuse, are prevalent problems without solutions that are both comprehensive and widespread. My class of 90 spent the term wading upstream from the point at which abuse is treated after the fact, toward a point of primary prevention. The question we faced each day was, “how do we stop this at its source”?

     The last time I stood out, we were discussing bystanders. Everyone is a bystander, whether they like it or not. Once you have witnessed an act of abuse, even if it is as you hurriedly walk past a pair of strangers, you’ve inadvertently become involved. Is abuse a private issue? When asked this question, many people candidly commented that they didn’t feel comfortable stepping in between two people in a relationship, or two people enclosed within the walls of a home.

      In the midst of this discussion, a group of girls near the back of the classroom scattered from their table, shrieking. I, along with the rest of the class, turned to see one girl holding her textbook out in front of her. She seemed to be using it as a shield and weapon simultaneously. A bird had flown into the classroom.

      I could see it repeatedly bouncing off the glass of the half-open window it had accidentally entered through. The individual with her book held at arm’s length was the closest person within 15 feet of the window, and her attempts to shew the bird out were obviously ineffective. The rest of her table mates shrank back. From the looks on their faces, they were anticipating an army of the bird’s cousins to swoop in and dive bomb them in a college themed remake of Hitchcock’s The Birds.

     “You’ve got to…” I started to say. No one was listening and no one, not even my professor, was moving. In fact, the only people in the room who had moved at all from their table were the nervous girls standing back from the scene, and Flapper Girl. I stood up too, and at first, no one noticed my movement. As I walked forward, the chatter that had accompanied the bird’s entrance began to quiet.

     Have you ever seen the movie Babe? It’s a beautiful story, and if you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it. At the climax of the movie, Babe, your standard, everyday pig, expertly herds a bunch of sheep in front of a stadium of onlookers. When I write it out like that, I agree that it sounds a few miles north of strange. But even without context, I am sure you can imagine the disbelieving, slightly confused silence of a group of people holding their breath.

      I felt like Babe as I headed toward Flapper Girl. She was still flapping uselessly as I stepped up to the desk, but stopped immediately when I entered her line of sight. The bird had taken perch on a higher windowsill, it’s chest expanding and collapsing rapidly. I slowly moved both my hands toward it. It’s breathing also slowed as it watched me with one black eye. It’s head cocked up, its beak in the air, as my hands neared it. It held rigidly still. I quickly wrapped my fingers around its body, put my hands out the open window, and tossed my new friend into the air. The bird opened its wings as my fingers released, and sped away from what must have been a harrowing experience.

      As Babe (the pig) shuts the gate on the sheep he has herded into a pen, the latch clicks audibly. That click is followed by a standing ovation from the bewildered crowd of watchers. I turned away from the window to a moment of open mouths, and then a rowdy, laughing classroom of my peers clapping. It wasn’t a standing ovation, but I was pleasantly surprised by the affirmation. I gave a theatrically low bow.

      You have to understand that from the moment of my standing to the moment of applause, no more than 30 seconds could have passed. What I had done was automatic for me, a fact I revealed to my instructor as he questioned me in front of the class. He expertly turned the interaction into an example of bystander involvement.

      And why am I an Expert Bird Wrangler? I’ve was raised in the Pacific Northwest. I have lived almost exclusively in forests. Birds fly into the house several times a summer when doors and windows remain open. This knowledge made me an “enlightened bystander”. I knew that wild birds would often relax with a firm but gentle grip wrapped around their wings. I knew their bones were delicate and hollow, and that a heavy blow or a clenching grip could break them, inducing a bird to panic and peck. I knew that an uninjured bird could handle a toss, and that said toss would cause them to instinctively open their wings for flight.

       I’m gonna get really real here and say that being the standout, the center of attention, is something I crave. I’m a born performer, and being in front of a crowd, doing my thaaang, brings me adrenaline-rushing-joy. But what I did in this instance was an accidental exposure that I had not anticipated, and anyone could have done the same with less experience than I had.

     That’s exactly what being a bystander is. If no one has told you that you are a bystander, I am now. I’ve included a link to a short video*** I watched recently on domestic abuse. It is the perfect example of what we lose when we choose to ignore what we see and hear and feel at the sight and sound of abuse. I don’t think it’s a private matter. However, I have also never witnessed something that has given me pause. I bet it is a lot scarier and and more confusing than I would expect.

      I just hope I step in to make sure the bird’s bones aren’t broken.

That is all.

 

*I would like to note that according to my computer, “stackable” is not a word. I would also like to note that I don’t give a half deflated **whoopy cushion.

**Supposedly “whoopy” is also not a word.

*** http://www.upworthy.com/its-heartbreaking-to-see-how-people-react-to-the-first-half-of-his-test-compared-to-the-second-2

Everything is More Romantic When You’re Single

Image

Heck, even this chicken burger is more significant when your single. It MUST be a sign!

Dear Reader,

We live on a pretty spectacular planet. Even with all our efforts to squish, restrict, burn, and refine it, nature is persistently awesome. And not “awesome doooood” awesome. Awesome as in striking-humans-dumb-with-the-majesty-of-it-all awesome.

I have been blessed to live in some beautifully wild places during my life. More specifically, I am accustomed to temperate rainforests and chilly coasts with pine trees growing right up to the sand. I love the mountains and the rain, and all the greenness around me, and when I am in the thick of the forest, wandering around pretending to be a lost fairy or a warrior princess hiding from her evil uncle who is attempting to steal the throne that is rightfully hers after the tragic and mysterious deaths of her beloved parents [sucks in breath], life gets pretty damn romantic.

Or I can be driving in my car, singing along with John Mayer, staring longingly at the countryside passing by, thinking, “someday, I will have my own John Mayer, and he will sit in the seat beside me all of my days, singing with and for me”!

Even standing in a public place, I sometimes think about how eventually, I won’t have to be anonymous even in a crowd of strangers. There will be a person there with me who knows who I am more than anyone else, and even that knowing will not stop them from loving me.

Imagination is one strong aphrodisiac.

I am a single lady right now, and I will proudly put my hands up to prove it to Beyoncé. However, as I was mooning over Future Boy recently, it dawned on me that I live an incredibly romantic life without even being in the realm of a relationship. Future Boy has no limitations. He is superhuman. He never disappoints me. The more I thought about it, the more I understood that nothing, not even the most stable, loving, balanced, perfect relationship will ever be as romantic as the idealistic one I am having now with my own hopes and dreams.

Being single can be amazing. Being single can also make you feel convicted to eat Nutella straight from the jar while crying over Gerard Butler’s death in “P.S. I Love You”. He was just so young. But the point is that singleness is not a curse when you realize that all those hopes and dreams you have for Future Boy or Future Girl are hopes and dreams that you can work on right now.

Despite being a woman in her 20’s, I still find myself pretending to be a warrior princess in the woods because I am a playful person! I feel the desire to share natural beauty with someone because the ecstasy of experiencing it hits my soul like a ton of bricks. Standing alone in a crowd of people wanting to be seen is so cliche that I don’t even know where to start with that one! Future Boy is gonna be incredible. I have complete faith in that. But I am Present Girl, and I am going to express all my love and joy and silliness all over the place for me, and for those that I love now. Romance will not die on the lips of the single. Beauty, passion, and free-spirited frolicking remain at the core of romantics no matter their relationship status.

That is all.

Encounters With a Picky Hobo

Dear Reader,   

      I know that “Hobo” is not a politically correct term. I assure you that I am very precise about my word choice. After visiting an insightful Wikipedia page on the etymology of this word, I discovered very little is known about its origins or denotation. The best definition for “Hobo” is a nomadic or homeless worker. That is exactly the meaning I was looking for, and so I make no apologies

     Picture a young woman driving a well-used but reliable car which she owns outright. She is on her way to pick up a friend who she intends to drop off on the way to her dance class. She is late and manically eating wheat thins out of the box in an attempt to calm her nerves and get a little energy boost before her workout.

      That’s me, shoving crackers into my mouth and worrying about the scathing looks the teenage girls at dance class will give me when I show up late. They are all tiny, at least 6 years younger than me, and have about twice that many years of dance experience. As their undeveloped little bodies float through the choreography, my untrained limbs make it look like I am knuckle-walking across the floor with the purpose of imitating an orangutan. But I digress.

     As I drive through town, I pass a very skinny woman in her 50’s sitting on a worn black suitcase with a sign in her hands that reads, “Need Food”. It looks exactly like that. Only the first letters are capitalized. I am struck by the fact that there is nothing urgent about either the sign or this woman’s posture. She looks patient and relaxed, even bored.

     At this point a LOT of thoughts run through my head in that incredibly fast, almost simultaneous way that thoughts can. If I had to write it down it would probably look something like…

     “should I help… no I don’t have. food? yeah i do but does she want it aaaand i’m still late and this is the long way back what will my friend think when we drive back by but i should do it anyway whatifsheisgonebythen this isnt evenreallymyfoodandimnotevenhungry I SHOULD DO IT!”

     Nothing ever gets capitalized in my brain, unless it’s a loud thought, which is really a shame. You would think public school would have had a better effect. But the final revelation is that I can sacrifice being late and judged by a bunch of 14-year-olds for the sake of sharing a little food.

      So I pick up my friend and drive back towards town, taking the long route to dance class. As I pull up to this woman, I roll down the window and begin to apologize for having already eaten some of the wheat thins. Before 10 words are out of my mouth she says,

     “Oh no, I can’t have anything like that. No, no that won’t do atall.”

     And she says it just like that. Not “at all”, but “atall”, as if it were one word. A little embarrassed, I proffer the untouched apple I have with me, and again she declines. She doesn’t explain why, but I suspect it’s because, up close now, I can see she doesn’t have many teeth. So finally I try to give her the half-gallon of water I keep in my car for emergency’s. She takes one look at that Walmart-brand “Spring Water” (Walmart’s description, not mine) and becomes indigant.

     “Oh no! That is the worst! That is like poison.”

      “Really,” I say incredulously?

      “Yes, that plastic will kill you, it is the worst kind of water for you. Next time, buy Dasani because they are the only brand with safe plastic. You should just throw that out and find a clean water source.”

     I think my mouth may be hanging open for this last part. A clean water source? She makes it seem like I’m drinking straight from the Nile where dead animal carcasses float amongst the crocodile poo. I blush and apologize for not having anything else to offer her. She agrees that it is unfortunate and then dismisses me. My friend and I sit in silence as I wait to pull back onto the road. We are both speechless.

     Pretty soon we’re laughing at the irony of this woman who, for lack of a better term, is begging for food on the side of the road yet turns away food and water according to her taste. I wonder if her refusing my crackers had less to do with her ability to eat them and more to do with her distaste for enriched flour.

     But I keep thinking about this woman, and about my arrogance and pride and vanity at thinking she should take whatever I have to offer and be grateful while I ride the little high one gets from such miniscule sacrifices. Now, as I write this, I am grateful to her. The moment I decided I was going to help her, I was excited. I jumped at an opportunity to elevate my own sense of self through the degradation of another. I felt my bad intentions under the surface of an otherwise good act, but I ignored them.

     God has a sense of humor. If throwing the Big Guy into the mix upsets you, all I can say is that he and I happen to be close, and I believe in his mercy, grace, and good humor above all else. If you are also friends with God, I am happy to hear it. If you aren’t, I hope you would no more fault me for my belief than I would fault you for your disbelief.

     But when I get out of line and prepare to pat myself on the back for doing something that should be a no brainer, that’s when the greatest prankster of all time turns the tables on me.  I attribute this to a greater design for my life, but you don’t have to believe in God to experience the old adage, “pride comes before the fall”.

     I am grateful to that woman because she taught me something about pride. She gave me more to consider than the dangerous kind of pride that tosses us into the air without leaving a cushion for the trip back down. I privately wonder if under the shallowest surface of the need she was claiming, there was a deeper need for human dignity. Dignity is such a hard thing to recover. I have yet to see anyone standing on a street corner with a sign asking for someone to restore that dignity which poverty, sickness, hunger, or neglect have stolen from them. But this woman was not begging for something she considered more valuable than choice. Choice fed her sense of control in a situation where choice is often replaced by necessity. I don’t put the same kind of restrictions on my diet or drinking water that she does, but I won’t judge her for making choices no matter how great I think her need is.

That is all.

Teaching Swim Lessons For Dummies

Dear Reader,

     Have you done the Daily-Post-Weekly-Writing-Challenge yet? No sooner had I posted my first letter to you, when I learned of this magical, word-press-sponsored, creativity-boosting smorgasbord (what a delicious word) of writing topics. If you haven’t jumped on this crazy hay ride of giggles yet, I strongly suggest you check it out.

     As for me, I would like to focus on my daily “comedy of errors”. It would not be a stretch to describe my life with that phrasing, but during the summer a more specific cast of characters come together to perform their bumbling, screaming, laughing, sneezing roles on a stage right in front of me. You can come watch them July through August, Monday through Thursday, 4 half-hour shows daily at my swimming pool.

     Firstly, I call it “my” pool only because I help run it, and not because I hold any kind of deed claiming legal ownership. I am the Supervising Lifeguard at an outdoor swimming pool in Northern Washington State. In addition to the glamorous job of guarding the pool, cleaning the bathrooms, doing all the paperwork, and taking well earned but good natured flack from my little family of lifeguards, I teach swim lessons to small children. If you have not yet had to joyful experience of caring for a child, you probably haven’t taken on swim lessons yet. Let me give you a summary of the average day.

9:20am: Shaking from fear of the little terrors headed our way, and the freezing morning fog rolling off the Pacific to shroud our outdoor facility in mist, we, the swim instructors, crouch in the 3 foot wading pool awaiting our doom.

9:22am: Please, please, pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease stop screaming little girl/boy/monster spawn, and get in the water. No, there aren’t any sharks here. In fact, nothing could live in this water with the amount of chlorine in it. Look, all of those bugs floating on the surface are dead because of it! Even that beetle over there is… OH SWEET BABY RAY, SOMEONE THROW IT OUT OF THE POOL. KILL IT, KILL IT! RUN CHILDREN, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

9:23am: Beetle has been safely removed and discarded. All instructors and children are safe to reenter the pool.

9:25am: We have successfully convinced all the children to blow bubbles out of their nose. Now if they would only do it in the water.

9:25 and 8 secondsam: On second thought, there is a lot of snot coming out of those noses. Maybe we should just blow bubbles out of our mouths.

9:30am: 2 kids have to pee. Wait… ok only one kid has to pee.

9:34am: Now that we have the whole class back together again, lets hold onto the side and use our big kicking legs! Please try to keep them to yourself, and under the surface of the water.

9:34am: Small tsunami ensues.

9:40am: 20 minutes of carefully planned teaching guides have been soaked, there is a dead bug in my gruesomely tangled mass of wet hair, and each of the students has taken a turn spitting water in my face as he/she/it has resurfaced after a bob. Hurrah for 10 minutes of play time!

9:50am: LESSONS ARE OVER, SO GET OUT!

10am: Rinse, repeat.

     This itinerary is not as varied as the typical day. All of these things happen regularly. However, once in awhile you get one of those especially thrilling days in which a kid poops, and or vomits in the pool, forcing lessons to be cancelled and rescheduled for a later date. Freezing and wet, we as the Lifeguards are forced to clean up the mess, file a report, and then GET BACK IN the water to finish later lessons. However nothing tops what we at the pool fondly refer to as “The Reluctant Swimmer”.

     Few of the younger children enjoy adventurous water exploration when their fear of drowning is fresh and raw in their little minds. But there always exists in each session of teaching an extraordinarily obstinate child with the delusion that they control their world. This delusion is most often encouraged or enabled by their parents. Screaming, crying, kicking, hitting, and biting all at the same time should be physically impossible and must be exhausting; the Reluctant Swimmer is able to keep maintain all of those things for 15 minutes without stopping for breath. In an effort to stay out of a pool he/she/it could easily stand in, the little darling with hurl lisped and slurred comments of rage that, while technically harmless, contain as much venom and hatred as the cruelest swear words. Once in the water, it quickly becomes obvious that this child is not afraid of the pool. Quite the contrary, this kid knows how to spit water in our face not as a necessity, but as a specific maneuver. All the whiles, as you attempt to maintain your sanity and the other students’ safety, the parent hovers concernedly and impotently at the side of the pool saying nothing to assist you or their child. There is no one method that works every time. If you encounter this predatory animal, play dead until it grows weak from ravaging your flesh, and then run. Or give it a good, quick dunk.

     I love my job, and I think children are precious. All I can say is that all Gremlins start out as adorable Mogwai.

That is all.

Who I Am is Much Less Interesting Than Who You Are

Dear Reader,

     I mean what I say in that title. Truly, whomever I am addressing, you are more interesting than I. I wish I knew you for no other reason than that you fascinate me. I hope you feel fascinating!

“What a strange thing to write and throw out into the internet,” you might think.

     You are right. It is one thing for me to write vaguely and anonymously to a whole internet of potential readers that I find you interesting. Give me a chance to explain. I find you interesting (much more than myself) because I don’t know, understand, empathize, or even think about you day to day. We haven’t met, and yet I passionately believe that you have something to offer me. I can say with security that I have something to learn from YOU. It doesn’t matter how pleasant, smelly, sociable, angry, inquisitive, or ignorant you are. You are a new soul waiting just outside my reach with so much potential for change.

     Now that I have made my explanation, I need your help. You don’t have to give me a summary of your looks, occupation, life story, and future plans. I only want 2 simple things.

1) An interesting fact about you

     -AND-

2) One piece of wisdom you have gained through life experiences. It can be as specific or as broad or as metaphorical as you want.

I will use myself as the example.

1) Though I do not excel at any other video or computer game, I am a more than usually skilled Tetris player. One might say that when it comes to Tetris, I am a “baller”.

2) I have 2 front-runners for this, and I never have a problem with more than one piece of shared wisdom, so feel free to post 2 as well.

Firstly, the truly ignorant are those who do not want to search for truth. Secondly, never try to substitute dish SOAP with dish DETERGENT when running the dishwasher.

That is all.