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.


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.

Wednesday Night

I was recently talking to one of my Portland friends. She told me about a failed attempt to hang out with someone who she thought wanted to be friends. It turns out the person all but dug away in the dirt to avoid the impoliteness of saying “Uh, not interested, weirdo”.

That leads me to Wednesday night and my continuing quest to understand people from a first person point of view. Sure, I was able to tell my friend before hand that I wasn’t sure about this girl. This girl has a bit of a judgmental streak, and for weirdos like us, we just can’t comply. In the case of all the people in my own life, I’m fairly clueless.

Wednesday night was my last IT class. We finished out WAN build lab after designing, subnetting, documenting, installing, group policying, pinging, and yes, even establishing a VPN connection.

Afterwards we were off to a bar where the night was on our instructor’s dollar. I figured I could:

A. Not drink since I have an hour drive or
B. Drink enough so that I wouldn’t mind sleeping in my truck.

On top of this theory, every thriftiness bone in my body wanted to get the most value out of the night. On top of that, before the night began I found myself offered:

A. A place down the street to stay and
B. A ride to that short distance.

I would have ordered drinks, sipped water in between, and stopped when I felt content but:

A. There was no water served complimentary (and I’m bad enough at getting the wait staff attention and deciding on a beverage)

B. Even after I was kind of done, shots kept being brought over on large round trays.
C. I started eating stuff but got distracted.

Before this night I had only thrown up two times in my life that I could remember. Now the count is up to three.

1. The first time I can remember, I was six years old and had the flu. I didn’t know I was going to throw up because I was not familiar with the process. I went into my parent’s bedroom and uttered, “Mom, Dad, I don’t feel so good.” before emphasizing the statement with the ultimate exclamation point. If I would have understood what was happening, my bedroom was right next to the bathroom.

2. I was hospitalized. No, not hospitalized for drinking, but for some malady that I was stuck with an IV and given anti-nausea medication with morphine and vicodin afterwards. I slept a lot on a couch in the kiln shed for days (as this was my tent days). The fact that mice and bugs were likely sleeping with me didn’t even phase me I was so sick.

3. Wednesday night.

Before I was sick, I observed both people getting wasted (with the full intention of driving home) and people who weren’t drinking (because they needed to drive home). I chatted up people with less and less clarity. Then, so and so hair washer from Communication Revolution: Quashed!, if you remember that post, wanders over.

At this point, I do remember what happened, it’s more of the order of operations that gets vague- so anyone who might read who was there, I apologize for anything I mixed up.

He wandered over, started making some vague confessions about how he knows I wanted to be his lab partner along with some vague, drunken implications of how he’d miss me. I confess to the company around me, my lab partner (on my left) and someone who sat on the other side of me those six months (on my right) being stood up in February. I admit that I haven’t really talked or interacted with him since, and he with me. And now, suddenly, awkwardly, he was talking to me like we were old, close friends.

He comes back over, from behind, playing with my braids. He admits that he was sorry we didn’t hang out. I clarified that he stood me up, like he had to wash his hair or something. He clarified he stood me up because he was worried about what his girlfriend might think. I clarified that I just wanted to hang out and not hook up. He clarified that of course we were just going to hang out in a very unconvincing way.

I have to ask if what just happened actually happened. I was told that yes, yes it did. That this dick just admitted he stood me up to wash his girlfriend’s dog’s hair and that he was expecting to hook up with me.

The king of awkward wasn’t crowned yet as he hadn’t yet told me about my boobs. Now he admitted that wow, I had really nice ones. He said that the shirt I was wearing was very nice and that my boobs were very nice and they looked very nice in that shirt. I couldn’t tell you how many times he mentioned my chest. I was asked if I dressed up for the last class. I told him that most of my hot summer weather clothes were like this. This was an odd throw back to some things that were said when we were communicating via net send. He then implied that I looked good. That was flattering. Flattery like that, versus having your boobs talked to shifts the line over to Creepyville, population: this guy.

He told me he was sorry he’d stood me up and that we should hang out. He said I had his number and I should call him. I don’t think he was looking at me to answer. It was that good-looking, charismatic guy thing where he obviously thought that my boobs had answered for me, and of course we’d hang out some time.

Why do assholes like me?

This is about when I started feeling sick. One could argue that the reasons why this was were listed further up in the post. One might say that the more recent events broke the camel’s back. Some might even go as far as to point out that it was an appropriate reaction to what was said and done right before hand.

Still, it’s pretty embarrassing and not something I would like to take up on a regualar basis. I can say with some confidence it’s not something I’d ever really want to do again.

So, the guy sitting on my right, the guy who had been sitting at my right these past six months, helps me up and over to the ladies room where I proceeded to give the cleaning staff a challenging and fun filled evening. The sink was closer and I have bad knees. The sink also clogs faster.

When a someone stands by when you’re at your worst and doesn’t make you feel any more guilty about it afterwards, you know you’ve found a great person. So, Righty follows me into the restroom shortly after to check on me, having received permission to be in the sacred temple of Women’s Restroom. By now my time sense is completely gone, so I don’t know how long we were in there with me confessing how much of jackass I felt like and him confessing that he’s done crappy things in his life too, and he’s happy to help. I shouldn’t worry. That made the evil looks of the wait staff as they brought me ginger ale a little easier to take. I don’t blame them. I’d be giving me evil looks.

Wednesday: the best of people, the worst of people.

Someone who teaches for a living and does it well is still essentially doing their job, even if the people being taught are eternally greatfull for not getting someone who sucks. When one is graduated and is no longer in a teacher-student situation with a person, and you’re just people, there’s no real underlying motivation to go above and beyond. There especially is no clause saying you have to give that person a place to crash, your bed, clothes to sleep in, cab fare, and a juice box.

And once again, no additional guilt was given. It was: easy-day, being called a ‘little rock star’, and saying that we’ve all been there.

So, now that I’ve arrived there, I will admit that it’s still not something I get. I don’t expect to go there again any time soon.

I appreciate all the messages I got asking me if I was okay, and really, I am. Even more so since I was surrounded by good people, along with those who suck.

I don’t know what will happen with said people as I have experienced time and time again how hard it is to make long and lasting connections with people, especially when you give them such a positive, lasting impression. I do know that they’re likely not to offer me anything to drink.

Historical posts:
Communication Technology
Communication Revolution: Quashed!