Life’s a Puzzle

Puzzle or Enigma ?

        Life’s a puzzle, and to show what I mean, sit back and fold your arms. That’s right. Just fold your arms.

        It’s comfy. You’ve done it often, but now, look at your arms. One is on top, with the hand folded  under the other arm. Nice, but now try to do it the other way. See, I said try putting the other arm on top.

        Ho, ho, ho. That’s a different story. And it is a puzzle. Oh, we can do it with a bit of effort, but it doesn’t feel ‘right’. Or natural. It’s awkward and your arms get tangled up in a mess.

        Okay, after you’ve given up on the that, fold your hands. Yeah, the same way your Grade School Teacher told you to do and you’ve done it a million times since then. There’s one thumb comfortably on top, and the other tucked beneath. And now . . . and you know what I’m going to say . .. open them and fold then again with the other thumb on top. We’re all thumbs aren’t we?

        As you ask others to do these same two acts, you’ll think, as I did, that it must be connected with being ‘right or left’ handed, but it doesn’t. Or maybe we’re just creatures of habit or instinct, and who knows which is which.

        Stay with me and if you think I’m through, you just don’t know Ethel. Far Eastern people say that women always begin walking with their left foot first, and males start with the right. I dunno about   others, but yes, I begin with my left foot, and haven’t had the guts to ask others.  

        We all have our oddities. I’m right handed, but, I deal a deck of cards, put the silverware on the table, distribute napkins, or other hand-outs with my left hand, and have done so without a thought, BUT, when my first computer was installed and I sat down to use it, my first act was move the Mouse, which had been placed to the right of the keyboard, over to the left side.

        “I didn’t know you were left handed” was heard, and I quickly answered that I’m not, but that it just ‘works’ more easily and swiftly, if on the left.

        ‘They” say men dress by always starting with putting the same leg into their trouser legs and women the other. But yes, I do start with the same leg, pulling on panty hose, slipping my feet into shoes or tying shoe strings with the same pattern. And, I find I do many tasks with either the right or left, and also find the other way seems wrong when I try to switch.

        I don’t know if specialists have a name for such acts and they seem too randomly scattered to be put in one heap. But it’s real. A friend and I once traveled often together, and I soon learned that for both of us, it was better if I got up early, dressed and went downstairs to read the paper, enjoy a coffee and wait for her to meet me when she was ready.

        Otherwise, it was helly for both of us. It actually upset her to see the helter skelter way, to her, of what I did first, second or last. She had long hair, with a very unique hair style and would sometimes do and re-do it several times before every hair was in the right (same) place, and that drove me nuts.

        I sympathized, for it was something she could not change. She said that mowing the lawn was one of her chosen and well-liked tasks, but one ‘lawn day’ she was ill, and her husband good-heartedly mowed the lawn for her.

        He had no cut-and-dried map of How to Mow The Lawn, but just did it, and pleased that he had taken a hard chore from her, he left for work. And, now, believe me or not, she had to get up and re-mow that lawn in the ‘right’ way, so that the paths all lawnmowers leave were going in the ‘right’ way.

        For her, it was torture to see those pathways going ‘wrong’. That’s compulsive behavior in some form of another, and we all have them. No? Well go back to those first ideas of folding your arms. Your hands. Putting on your hosiery, your shoes, or using your computer Mouse. Ho, ho, ho. It’s a puzzle, and, well, if it’s not for you, it is for the rest of us.

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