Betty Stone: A day in the life of ...


Betty Stone



For some of us it is not easy to get out of bed in the mornings, and some days make it seem hardly worth the effort. The other day I staggered to the kitchen intent on fixing myself a bowl of cereal with some raspberries for breakfast. I had a new box of cereal. I never expected it to be difficult to open. 


Have you noticed that recently "they" have started using Super Glue to seal packages? I would like to open a package neatly, so that I could close it tightly. I pulled and pulled trying to break the seal. Then I tried to punch a hole in the paper with my fingernail. Poor nail. Finally, in a starving frenzy, I jabbed it with the kitchen scissors and ripped it apart, taking all my aggression out on the tough paper. 


Now for the raspberries. They came in a rigid celluloid box, hermetically sealed tight enough to protect them from atomic fallout. Somewhere on one of the corners there had to be a tab to pull it open. There it was, but it refused to separate from its partner. The side ridges would separate, but if the neighboring corners would not let go, how was I to get to the raspberries? I jabbed through the container with the point of a butcher knife, thereby destroying the container. At last, breakfast! 


Back to the bedroom. Time to brush teeth and take pills. I took the top off my new vitamins, proudly mastering the childproof cap, and uncovered a bottle top sealed with heavy foil that I could not pull off. Again I tried to jab it with my fingernail. Split that nail off, too. Fingernail scissors pierced the foil, rescuing me, but then I couldn''t get the cotton out. Fingernail scissors to the rescue again as I managed to snare the cotton with them. By the time I got the cotton pulled out of the bottle, I needed those vitamins! 




The saga continues 


On to the chores of the day. Take the garbage out. Put in a new garbage bag. When I finally came to the row of little perforations and pulled the bag off the roll, I couldn''t find which end opened. The fourth side I tried reluctantly opened the bag. 


The mail came. I had a couple of packages. One was a box. Nowhere did it say, "Open here." Every side was so tightly glued, even the butcher knife had difficulty prying the flaps open. When the job was at last done, I remembered that somewhere I had a box opener. Too late. 


Ah, the other package was just in a big plastic envelope. Do not be deceived; those plastic envelopes are tough. They won''t tear; they just stretch. This one did not even want to give way to scissors. Did you know there is a plastic wrap that scissors, at best, can barely manage to chew through? 


Lunch time comes. Maybe I''ll have a nice pineapple sandwich and some soup. Oh, good, the pineapple can has a tab to open it. The tab breaks off. I''ll just have to use the can opener on both fruit and soup. Neither can will fit the can opener. The little thing that grabs and holds a can refuses to fasten. I retrieve the old jab-and-stab opener from the recesses of a dark drawer and proceed to mutilate the heel of my hand. 


Lunch over, I go to my computer. You know what that means! The terrorists in the computer abduct the article I have just typed. Wipe it clean away! Refuse to regurgitate it. It''s gone, gone, gone. 


I quit. 


In the evening I decide to treat myself to a DVD. More cellophane to wrestle, and then the disk gets agoraphobia and will not leave its plastic home. I pull at it until I think it will break into shards. I punch at the little wheel in the center forcefully. Then with its version of the Heimlich maneuver, the box spits out the DVD. I put it in the player. It won''t work. 


I quit again.  


Some days are just too much. But, I can''t call it a day without realizing that I did not have to grow or pick those raspberries or pineapple. I did not have to milk the cow to wet down my cereal. I didn''t even have to take the garbage to a dump.  


I should be -- and am -- glad there are medicines that not only make me healthier, but might even keep me alive. I order something through the mail, and it comes to my door. And the computer? Well, in spite of the computer, life is good. 



Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.


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