February 10, 2021

I'm NOT one to complain, BUT . . .

If you're interested in where the "I'm not one to complain, BUT" lingo came from . . . check out this post. If not, carry on. These are the things lately that are making me nuts, and they aren’t necessarily related to the pandemic.


When the hand soap in the little dispenser runs low, Coach will add a few centimeters of water to the dispenser as if that has now extended the life of the soap. He gets this habit from his mother. No comment.

I come along and decide to wash my hands (so this SEEMS related to the pandemic because we are all very focused on hand-washing, but I was washing my hands long before it was a crime not to - as I know we all were, my point - Coach has been doing this for a long time). 

I've been correcting him forever, but he's often not in close enough proximity (at work) to hear me holler about it, so I fear my frustrations are not always heard. Trust me though, I know we have conversed about it. Still he persists. He and I have things to discuss at times that are very pressing and we embody the ‘two ships passing in the night’ scenario that makes it hard to remember to discuss soap dispensers. 

When a small puddle of water shot out at me from the dispenser in the bathroom a few weeks ago I LET HIM KNOW THAT HIS PRACTICE OF ‘JUST ADD WATER’ IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. This is not pancake mix.

This man is a biology major. How can he be confused to think that a bit of water extends the life of a drop of soap? He tried to defend himself, but I made it clear that this practice was not amusing and as far as I'm concerned - not to happen again.

I KNOW that I have a photo of several of these large soap refill containers. I bought them a while ago and they were CRAZY over-priced, unless I bought a butt-load of them. I can't find the photo and didn't have the energy to drag them out of various bathroom cabinets to pose for a photo. I tried several google photo searches including 'big jugs.' Well that almost ended badly, but apparently no one in my photos registers as having big jugs so strange photo collection avoided.


I am the main user of the desktop. I also have a laptop. I have been keeping the laptop on the kitchen counter. The kids occasionally use the desktop and they usually ask me if they can use my laptop, maybe for something quick while in the kitchen. As of this writing (Oct. 9th), they are all still remote learners which means our house continues to be a busy place full of ‘where’s my chargers’ and ‘can’t you keep those babies quiet’ and ‘is there going to be a baby napping in my bedroom later?’

My kids and Coach make fun of me for keeping a good 70 tabs open at once. I like all my stuff open at the same time, and because I suck at technology I also keep things open out of fear that I might not be able to find them again. I have absolutely no idea how to bookmark something, and if I did - how would I then find the bookmarks?

As you can see, it is not always easy to be me.

Occasionally I will sit down at my desktop and I will notice that a kid has done something: checked email, shopped for shorts that would fit a size 14 girl (that one was a dead giveaway), etc. When I click out of their window, I often discover to my shock and horror that ALL OF MY TABS HAVE BEEN CLOSED.

If a kid is around, they can sometimes recover them, but not always.

A few weeks ago, I opened my laptop to find the following search:  ‘Girl names that start with D.’ That would not have bothered me in the least, BUT all of my tabs were closed. I could not retrieve them.

The girls sheepishly admitted that while they were attempting to name their future offspring, Mini challenged Curly to come up with a girl’s name starting with ‘D’. This non-earth shattering search had me floundering to figure out how to re-open the tabs I use. I was super nervous, for instance, that I would not be able to figure out how to get back into Blackboard for the class I was taking at the time. 

Anyone want to be a wise-ass and suggest that maybe an aging-before-her-time person should not be taking an online class if she may or may not be comfortable getting onto the class’ platform?

Let’s just say that my children now seem to understand that searching for pictures of puppies and funny videos should never be done on one of my devices.

Well, I didn't get very far on my gripe list. There are more things on my NOT ONE TO COMPLAIN, BUT . . . list, but seeing as I sometimes get wordy, I'll save the others for next time.

Anyone have a family member 'add water' to soap? Close out your tabs? Or otherwise drive you batty?

If you're looking for something to complain about (or celebrate, depending), I'm planning on limiting myself to 2 posts a week . . . for now. Lots going on in Shenanigan-ville. On weeks when I gotta share, well - then additional posts will pop up. This is me, living on the edge.


Nicole MacPherson said...

Ooooh that would also drive me crazy. Coach! No! Someone told me once when I was annoyed about how you can never get the nail polish out of the bottom of the bottle, that you should add nail polish remover to the bottle. What. I mean, how would that work. WHY IS THAT AN IDEA.'s early here so if this comment doesn't make sense, sorry. WATER IS NOT SOAP COACH.

Pat Birnie said...

First - you wrote this October 9??? And we had to wait this long to hear it? You must have many more pandemic gripes by now! That is hilarious but for sure annoying idea that adding water to soap makes more soap. Now, when my shampoo & conditioner bottles (which are non refillable and very pricey) get to the bottom I add a bit of water to eke out the last ounces...but that’s different. Is this possibly what Coach’s mother did and he’s just got it wrong?

Beth Cotell said...

My husband's family used to do the same thing. Whenever I would visit and use the hand soap it was always a splash of water with a tiny bit of suds in it. It was maddening. Especially when there was always a giant refill bottle in the hall closet! His parents were born in the depression so I am assuming that's a trick they learned from their parents.

And JUST LAST NIGHT, my daughter was at the computer (my computer) and said, "OMG MOM! Why do you always keep so many tabs open???"

Suz said...

Watered down soap and closed tabs are both punishable offenses. The nerve.
My coach, when the soap is getting low will just put the soap dispenser in the kitchen on the counter; my signal that it needs to be refilled. I know you have a lot more people and shenanigans going on in your house; you'd probably lose your mind at my house where it's quiet and always tidy. LOL
YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE A BOOKMARK. Sorry for yelling, but it will save you a lot of time. That being said, I currently have 12 tabs open....I do like to have many open mostly to remind me of what I need to do next because I'm absent-minded.

Kari said...

OMG, I know people who add water to soap bottles too! It drives me crazy. Because it messes up the consistency. Gah.

I am the same way about tabs and my husband will say, "you know there is a favorite bar, right?" YES! I KNOW THESE THINGS! Like I am not a blogger for ten years. GAH.

I didn't think I was going to need this post as therapy this morning. Why thank you! :)

Also, I write posts way before and never get around to publishing them. I have a post in my hopper from 2013. I wish I were joking.

ccr in MA said...

Ooh, I have a complaint! My mother doesn't trust the washer to get clothes really clean without completely filling with water, no matter the size of the load. Which I could easily shrug off as, whatever, let her do what she wants, but then she complains about how long the cycle takes! It would take less time if you let it decide how much water to use, mom! You don't get to complain about that when you set it that way! (She totally gets to complain; but it bugs me.)

Ernie said...

Nicole - Your comment DOES make sense - putting nail polish remover in an almost empty bottle of nail polish seems counter productive or just plain silly, really. I think I have finally made my self clear with the DON'T ADD WATER argument. Perhaps the pandemic germs are what finally got to him, but I really think it was my tone of complete frustration. Of course I first witnessed a watered down hand soap when we were dating . . . in his parents' house. I'll stop there.

Ernie said...

Pat - I DID write this a long time ago, and I've been constantly bumping it for more pressing posts every since. How can you tell when I wrote it? Inquiring/clueless minds want to know.

I approve of adding water to shampoo and conditioner bottles. Hand soap is a different animal, if you will.

You hit the nail on the head - his mother did used to add water BUT NOT TO SHAMPOO, he learned to add water to hand soap from his mother. Truth told. She used to do that in her home and I noticed it when we were dating. Appalled. We've been married for 24.5 years and I think I've finally convinced him that it is an unacceptable practice. As our many of his mother's 'habits' . . . most of which are not household task related. That's a whole other kind of post though.

Ernie said...

Beth - I don't think they had softsoap available when people who survived the depression were alive. Maybe, I guess they could've depending on their age. My grandparents survived the depression and I suppose they encountered softsoap before they passed away. I can still see the bar of Irish green soap (pretty sure that isn't the correct name) sitting on my grandparents' soap dish in their first floor bathroom. Coach's parents are well off and they DID add water to hand soap bottles - they really had no excuse.

The tabs! Yes. Sarah's comment was so timely. When I plug my laptop into my TV to do a class my kids scoff at me. Why so many tabs open? It feels like the same as my list of things to do on my kitchen counter. I can't close one until I'm done with it or I'll forget that I wanted to do something there.

Ernie said...

Suz - You have me laughing today with your 'punishable offenses' and your 'sorry for yelling'. Hee hee. I have started to assign a kid to "go refill all the hand soaps in all of the bathrooms (with soap, is implied)" every few weeks, which has helped. I held a covert meeting with the offspring: KEEP DADDY AWAY FROM THE EMPTY SOAP DISPENSERS.

I would definitely go a little nutty in a quiet orderly house. When my house is quiet, and I am alone (so rare), I get a little panicked. As in: what should I do/clean/organize first. I'm more accustomed to trying to unload a dishwasher while the tots are playing nicely in full view in the family room. If I'm not challenged to clean stuff or sort laundry between diaper changes, it's less satisfying. ;)

No exaggeration, I probably have 65 tabs open. There I said it. It's a habit. It just seems so much easier to bounce back and forth to stuff. Was recently shopping for flights, but I think I can close those windows. But yet, there they are . . . still open. Once something is bookmarked, where do I find it? This is why God created teenagers. I just need to ask them.

Ernie said...

Kari - For awhile we bought pancake mix and we loved that it was 'JUST ADD WATER' - so my message to Coach was THIS IS NOT PANCAKE MIX. It isn't really cleaning hands as well once watered down and hello, last I heard PAN.DEM.IC.

I've been blogging since 2013 maybe, and I still don't know how to bookmark. Was that a skill that was supposed to come with my blogging sign on? Did I forget to read the small print? I never claimed to be anything buy clueless.

I have so many posts from a long time ago. I had a bunch organized for when I was going to Dublin in April, well that didn't exactly happen. And those posts are going to pop up here one of these days when regular life slows down, but slowing down business doesn't seem to be in the cards just now. My people are nothing if not constant suppliers of material.

Have a good rest of your day. It is actually snowing here AGAIN. I just noticed and since you are a stone's throw away, I thought I'd mention. Enough of the snow, dang it.

Ernie said...

ccr- Oh no! That is irritating. These machines nowadays take less water. They're efficient and all that good stuff. If she wants to complain about something, maybe she should complain about her water bill. I hope I didn't just jinx you - that might be next. Oh, maybe buy her a bottle of bleach and say THIS WILL CLEAN THE CLOTHES, WATER REALLY ISN'T DOING AS MUCH AS YOU THINK. Maybe I should turn my blog into a Dear Ernie blog seeing as I'm clearly a great problem solver.

Pat Birnie said...

Hahah. I’m not psychic- your 5th sentence reads “as of this writing (Oct...”

Ernie said...

Pat - Hilarious. I thought maybe when you saw my post it was labeled 'drafted on Oct 9' or something. I even reread this before I posted it and I didn't remember that part. Maybe I'm bored by my own dribble.

Gigi said...

I consistently have so many tabs and other applications open on my work laptop that occasionally the laptop will tell me that I have to close things before I can open another application because I'm using too much memory.

Shoot me an email and what browser you use - I can show you how to bookmark your sites AND find them again. It's not as hard as you might think.

Charlie said...

Well I’m not one to complain but, I’m not sure how I feel about only two posts per week… Seriously though my husband does exactly the same with the hand soap, so annoying, I try and beat him to it and throw out the bottle before he can add the water! My laptop also has multiple tabs which my daughter cannot understand

Ernie said...

Gigi - Glad to know I'm in good company. I'm sure it is NOT as hard as I believe it to be. Just tonight the desktop froze and I had to restart it. Perhaps too many open tabs are to blame? Of course this was the night my dad asked me to print stuff for his online bible study. We got it printed just in time.

Ernie said...

Charlie- Aw, shucks. Well, if I know myself then I'm guessing 2 days a week will not be enough for me to overshare. My poor little Friday posts often go un-noticed and I'm thinking people are too busy to keep up with my drama. I literally have lists and lists of things in my blog ideas folder (I joke - because I don't bookmark and I don't know how to create a folder either, but you probably could've guessed that, so not a folder format - but still lots of blog topics). I might just need that extra day to do the writing for the other days.

Kids today - they just don't understand how hard it is to be us and have multiple balls in the air or in this case multiple tabs open to keep track of multiple balls in the air.

Let's all get our significant others to agree: SOAP DOESN'T WORK AS WELL WHEN WATERED DOWN. STOP IT.

Bibliomama said...

I love complaining, especially about my (really quite awesome) husband. Did you read about how I booked a stressful medical procedure and texted him right away to tell him to put it in his calendar that he would need to drive me and wait for me? And he said "sure thing babe" and then booked himself to give a super-important sponsored webinar AT THE VERY SAME TIME? I don't keep a bunch of tabs open, but I had constant problems when I did my library tech diploma online - I loved that I could do it from home but the platform was a constant irritation and I was always lost. Once I showed up to an open-book exam without the book because I hadn't opened the tab with that information (it's cool, I still got an 80).

Gigi said...

Yep, too many tabs and too many applications will freeze a computer. Pushing a button repeatedly because it's not moving fast enough can also freeze it.

I can also show you how to create a folder...if you wanted. By the time, I teach you all my tricks your kids will think you've been taking a computer class on the side! ;-)

Ernie said...

Ali - I did NOT read that post, but yes that would set me off. Coach is famous for not moving patients when I am desperate, but I've noticed a few golf rounds have worked out just dandy IN THE MIDDLE OF PATIENT TIME.

OMG- I am cringing at the thought of an open book exam with no book. I've taken two online classes over the last year at two different schools and I get so worked up that I'm not going to know how to get back into the school's email system or something. There is only so much space in my brain and scraps of paper that I won't lose to write down all of the sign ins and passwords.

Ernie said...

Gigi- Oh, my kids constantly make fun of me because I double click on everything. I don't get it, some things require a double click. So I just lead with that. I will reach out for my tutorial soon. Life is just a little over the top busy at the moment. I consider myself unteachable, but I trust you to crack my code of cluelessness.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, before I even finished reading the second paragraph about the watery soap my brain was screaming “MY MOM DOES THAT!!” It drives me crazy!! She’s in her 60’s and she’s definitely more tech savvy than I am though, I call her for computer advice pretty regularly. Actually I require her advice/opinion on things almost daily. But dammit if she doesn’t stop pouring water in the soap, I’m going to have to print off this comment section and leave it near a soap dispenser!
I also have a ridiculous amount of tabs open at all times, glad to see we are in good company here :)

PS- only 2 posts a week makes me a little sad :)

Ally Bean said...

I relate to your closing of the tabs dilemma. I'm taking an online class this winter and I FORBADE my husband from closing any tab, clearing any history on my desktop computer. I need all my brain power to learn the things, not keep finding the way to get to the things online. Priorities.

Ernie said...

AM- I'm here to help. I will feel so useful if you print the comments and casually leave them near her soap dispenser. Report back on any progress. Yes good company in the open tabs department.

I will not be giving my offspring computer advice, but I WILL probably have to cook meals for Mini indefinitely and drop them off at her house so she can feed herself/her family one day. She decided to make pudding last night. When she took out the box, I was like: DOES IT SAY INSTANT OR COOK AND SERVE. My very bright daughter was dumbfounded. Could not locate the words. About to pull my hair out, but I refuse since my hair is just too thin.

More posts could become my thing once again. Who knows. I admit that I sometimes feel guilty as if I'm requiring people to READ MORE than they might want to. I know it's a blog and read what you want is the vibe, but I don't want to tax my dear readers. Plus I am trying HARD to focus on writing my book and sometimes when I feel overwhelmed with the book, I hit the blog and it becomes an easy excuse not to buckle down.

Ernie said...

Ally - Oh my, the tech savvy brain power that is required for an online classes. That stressed me out. A few times I had to upload a short video of myself and it almost crippled me - how would I find the video once I recorded it? What if I selected the wrong video - like a blooper of myself? Not to mention the additional reading assignments in other links. DON'T TOUCH MY TABS.