Interesting Care Instructions

King Richard’s Faire is in about a month and lately I’ve been thinking about including information and care instruction cards with my purchases. I wanted to see what other people did, so I looked around on the internet. This opened a huge can of worms as I’ve been reading all kinds of crazy things.

I know. Crazy things written by people on the internet!? Get out. That never happens.

I was hoping that I’d get some easy direction on what to include based on what others do, but instead, I still haven’t decided on whether or not to actually include care instructions. I am leaning towards yes, but I actually noticed that these are completely missing from the online stores and websites of some of my favorite potters. My guess is that they’re relying on common sense and answering questions on a ‘one on one’ basis when they’re asked.

Then there is are a lot of claims that I’ve never heard before, even in the most misinformed and superstitious circles. I plan to blog about it at some point… but I’m not sure I can handle that kind of angry and ranty post right now.

Instead, I want to share some of the other mind boggling things I found: the obvious.

Here are some examples of care instructions that I think would make even the most ignorant of layman face palm. I’ve started off with the worst and tapered off to some that you might see as being necessary when thinking of some people you know.

Maybe you have an Uncle Fred that put laundry detergent in the dishwasher or a friend named Sam who sets the stove on fire a couple times a month.

Avoid Dropping

Let that one sink in.

Hey there! I know you were planning on dropping your pottery ON PURPOSE, because why try to avoid it, right? You bought this specifically for dropping, and you expect it to hold up when you use it for this purpose. So, I’m here to make sure you realize that you’re actually NOT supposed to be trying to drop your pottery. I won’t tell you what happens if you do drop it, but I will tell you: Avoid Dropping.

Furthermore, if I include that, does that mean I need to also say things like, “Not recommended for juggling”? Wow. I’m going to need more space for all of these care instructions!

After I told someone about this, they also helpfully recommended the following: “Avoid throwing, hitting, punching, chewing, attempting to eat, dropping into vats of acid or lava, throwing at people, throwing at pets, throwing at dragons, using to stop cars, using to stop rampaging wild life. Not a substitute for modern medicine, clothing, transportation or travel. Please consult your local pottery expert before use.”

Wash before first use.

…because I would directly eat out of something people at a fair have been picking up all day.

Actually, this is really pushy. Technically you don’t NEED to wash it before your first use.

Maybe you’re one of those people who like to live on the edge. You are the type of person who won’t wash your hands before leaving the restroom. It only says ’employees must wash hands’, and you’re a customer, so that obviously doesn’t apply to you.

So are you going to waste perfectly good room in your sink or dishwasher!? Heck no. It’s a bowl whether or not you wash it before using it. It will hold your cereal just as well either way.

Ew.

Dry thoroughly before storing.

Wait. There are people who put away their dishes when they are wet!? Dishwashers have ‘dry’ settings. People who wash by hand use ‘drying racks’ or ‘drying towels’ (aka dish towels, as in, for using to dry your dishes).

Who are these people who need to be told both to wash their dishes AND make sure they’re dry before putting them away?

One friend of mine put it to me this way, “Babe. Common sense isn’t common.”

May become hot when used in microwave

Did you know that things become hot when you put them in the microwave?

But wait, ceramic bowls get hotter than a plastic bowl! Maybe we need to let people know that heating up soup in the microwave with their new handmade pottery bowl may result in a really hot bowl.

It is true that some ceramic dishes get hotter than others… but this is not a factor of handmade pottery by any means. For instance, a friend of mine mentioned some dishes she got at Ikea that get hotter than her other dishes. She was okay without the warning. Her first instinct wasn’t to cuddle her dishes full of hot food that just came out of the microwave and is careful when she takes them out.

Sad part is, this is one I’m actually giving some consideration and thought to. Thanks, internet. I think you broke me.

Do not use directly on stovetop.

Apparently some people are confusing pottery with pots. I can see that. These two words use a lot of the same letters.

Yes, I know there are special pots out there that claim they can be safely used directly on the stove top, but this is a special feature. There are also glass pots and pans that can go on the stove, but we know not to put any other glass on the stovetop. In general, if it’s not metal, why would you assume it goes on your stove top?

How are there not more fires and dead people in general?

Dishwasher safe, hand wash recommended…

…and it goes on to say how it’s safer to hand wash things.

Look, I don’t know how things work in your house, but I break more things hand washing. I honestly don’t feel comfortable judging if you’re someone like me, or someone like the people writing this care instruction. That’s right. I found this in multiple places.

Dishwasher means I pick it up and put it in the dishwasher. It stays in there safely washing and drying until I open the dishwasher, lift it, and put it away. I guess I could drop it putting it in the dishwasher or taking it out, but I don’t usually prewash stuff, so it’s not very slippery when I put it in. It’s dry when I take it out.

Hand wash means it soaks and clinks around with whatever else is in my sink being washed (don’t clink too much!). It gets picked up, soapy, and handled while slippery until it’s clean (don’t drop it). Then I rinse it (don’t drop it), inspect it to make sure it’s clean (don’t drop it), and put it on a towel or in a dish rack (don’t knock it off the counter).

It’s not just me either. I’ve had roommates break their share of pottery (and other stuff) handwashing. I haven’t had a single dishwasher casualty yet, and all of the pottery goes in there.

Someone even talked about things ‘clinking around’ in their dishwasher while it was running. Maybe it’s time you got a new dishwasher, or maybe you don’t load things right? If I put a cup in X spot in my dishwasher, it is in X spot when I open it. It’s not a clothes washer… If your dishwasher has a spin cycle, yes, I recommend hand washing.

Now, I do know some pottery is not suitable for the dishwasher and needs to be carefully hand washed, but then your care instructions should say “hand wash only”, and that’s it. If you think your pottery is going to ‘loose life and luster’ over time being washed in the dishwasher (whatever that means), maybe you should say ‘hand wash only’. More importantly though, let’s talk about how your pottery is alive. Personally, if I had sentient pottery, it’d be allowed in the bathtub and shower.

Note to self… Only use literal language when writing care instructions in case someone like me is reading them.

Dramatics & Nightmares

Blaster Master NESThis post is brought to you by Blaster Master for the NES. When your pet frog jumps down a hole, you follow like Alice in Wonderland. The only difference, besides the frog, is that Alice didn’t get a tank at the bottom of the hole. :)

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, or know me personally, you know that I am single and pretty stubborn about staying that way in recent times. Regardless, this doesn’t make me completely removed or foreign to the dramatics that forever follow on the heels of lovers, loves, more than friends, and even WTFs.

When that thing clenches your heart and you are pulled into what seems like an endlessly complicated swirl of events, you have to gain perspective. The only way to do that is spread your broken hearted cheer, because the subject (you) is always too close to the situation.


People who may be pretty bad at their own interpersonal relationships have surprising perspective when you go to them with the timeless situations that have transcended time and culture. I propose that the phrase ‘love is blind’ doesn’t just mean you don’t pick who you fall for, it also means that it blinds you to what is actually happening around you. You just don’t know what you can do to avoid as much heart ache and embarrassment as possible.

To anyone who is in this situation currently and hasn’t found that poor friend’s ear to snag I offer the following bits of perspective in no particular order…

1. You can’t logically argue your way into continuing a relationship with someone. I’m not going to pretend I haven’t tried. Even if you can stave off the inevitable for a bit longer, let’s consider that it took a lot for your other half to come to you with a proposal of breaking things off. I’ve known people to continue relationships they want out of for weeks, months, even years without letting the other half know about it. They may or may not have thought about it with your perspective, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever bond that kept you together can’t be repaired with Elmer’s glue. If they’ve considered it enough to say “We need to have a talk.” then it’s not worth trying to argue. They’ve found enough reasons, even if they won’t share those reasons, and even if they’re stupid. The issue is not yours and the battle is not yours to fight. Short of mind control, you can’t change how a person feels. You can’t argue a person out of the way they feel. If they are going to change their mind and come back, they have to do it on their own.

2. Only good things is a fairy tale. It’s not always this bad is a sign to get out. We’re talking about the L word, so I’m going to have to use some cliches. It has to rain sometimes, and when it rains, it pours. Every person has their rough spots. Every pairing doubly so. A better litmus test is how you deal with those moments when they come, and yes, how often they come. People resist change, including cutting off something that is no longer mostly a good thing. If you’re defending to your friends, “She/He/It’s not always this bad.” then it’s a sure sign you’re who I’m talking about. On the flip side, you can’t run at the first sign of bad weather. Rough spots can bring people closer as well, like all of this rain we’ve had this week has made things begin to bloom. (Okay, now I’m making myself gag.)

3. It’s never you. If you’re being broke up with, of course it isn’t you. The other person has identified reasons, be they irreparable problems with the relationship, or problems with their own feelings and position. At a stretch, we could say, it’s both of you. But really, it’s the one breaking up that can’t see you together beyond the present. The one breaking up is done trying. I’m not saying they are the bad guy necessarily, but I am saying that you can’t go down the path of “I should have”s. One more kiss or one less disagreement isn’t going to change a pattern, or like I said above, someone else’s feelings.

4. Chances are, they don’t know themselves. Of course we’re going to ask why. Of course you will be given reasons. But, really, if the reasons behind why we fall for people is so cryptic, organic, strange, and unexpected, would you expect no less from the loss of these feelings and the break up?

5. Life goes on. The worst, least helpful, most cruel cliche I’ve saved for last. As much pain as you get yourself into, it will fade from the forefront of your mind over time. You will find someone else better than the last, especially when your head clears and you realize they weren’t so amazing and you weren’t quite right for eachother anyways. More importantly, you can exist and thrive without that other person in your life and you will. What made you attractive to that person in the first place is how awesome and vibrant you are on your own.

None of these things I’m saying will get you through that darkness following a bad ending. That is really something you need to push through on your own, but it doesn’t help to be surrounded by sympathetic ears and distracting personalities.

So this dramatic scene passes, and the nightmare ends, and the world keeps spinning into a new day bringing with it another slew of possibilities.

Parent Pressure Balance or Break

 

Warning: contents under pressure. Additional pressure may result in blowing up or petering out: in short, getting absolutely nothing productive done.

 

Painful areas

I know that for many people, a small amount of external stress can be a motivational tool. For people like me, I need very little. I might be slightly allergic. When I get too much I become sluggish, have trouble breathing, and have urges to watch stupid television (even without basic cable). I am naturally instilled with a love of working and learning. As a backup, I also come standard with a guilt complex that makes me do things even when nobody is watching. Get your own Cindy for only x/hr plus vacation days and benefits. She will get what she was supposed to done, do it well, or will lose sleep trying. You need not do anything except occasionally smile at her. Giving her cookies may increase productivity.

 

I’ve heard parents are supposed to know their children the best. They’re supposed to be able to push the buttons that make the child do what they want when they want it. If this is so, most parents (or children) are broken. How do they get busy child to clean her room? Well, they think, let’s treat her like she’s an insolent slob and shame her. Let’s threaten her. Said child goes to start cleaning their room, and then gets treated like an insolent slob or punished. Suddenly, child doesn’t want to clean their room and won’t, where she would have before if you’d just asked. Parent’s take note. If you push too hard in one direction, your children, no matter how far into adult hood they wander, will push the opposite way. Or, the will fall down. The direction does not matter.

 

I recently moved back to the area I’m origionally from. I’ve been gone about five years. In those five years I somehow managed to find a steady stream of interesting work, while I was still a student even. I aimed high managed to not work at fast food chains. Even for the worst of those jobs, I sometimes had to spend weeks looking and not getting the jobs I sometimes felt I was over-qualified for. Sometimes I got it on the first try.

 

Now I’m doing this song and dance again. I have a degree, refrences, and work to show for it. Still I don’t have fifty people breaking down my door asking me to work for them for $60,000 a year. This is no suprise to me, but it’s still a lot of pressure. Additional pressure is not needed at this time. I can read my bank statements and bills. I understand enough math to know how interest works.

 

I know I’m not the only person that is going, or has gone, through this.

 

So this is to all parents out there. If you want us to become productive, independent beings who will take care of you some day, first you have to have confidence that we can do things. Even people who don’t appear to be completely ego ridden and narcissistic are hard enough on themselves when they are trying. We need parents to be on the team cheering for us, especially past childhood, even more since we aren’t even on that team.

 

Show your confidence in us by not telling us what to do. You may think you aren’t, but your disapproving head, shaking suggestions might as well be mind control. Even though you, the parents, are the pillars of success and all that is right in the world, you got there by figuring it out on your own. Chances are, you ignored your own parents and still do to this day.

 

Parents out there, we appreciate that you help us all you can. Take us out for meals, make us care packages, and listen to our trails and tribulations without god-like judgment. However, be sure what you’re giving us is help. Don’t weigh us down with extra pressure, because we’re trying to learn to solely help ourselves, and that pressure alone could very well make us stand still, fall, or break.

 

This has been a public service announcement- brought to you by non-ham-like ham (but not spam) and the letter Y.

 

Poke me gently. I’m under a little pressure.

 

Oh, and I think the interview went well. Thanks for asking.