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One word: Plastics

From time to time, we all board the struggle bus. In fact, for some of us, it’s dern-near impossible to parallel park, make gravy, or strike a match.

But the other day, as I engaged in a battle of wills with one of my longtime nemesis, I said to myself, “Self, surely you’re not the only idiot who struggles to open a plastic bag.”

In case you’re wondering, at that moment I was referring to those plastic bags supermarkets provide for the transportation of fruit and veggies. Oh, there have been times when I’ve won a skirmish with my foe. I’ve then confidently strode to the apples and oranges, dropping them into the open bag with the aplomb of a basketball player who has just dropped a buzzer-beating three into the basket.

Usually, though, the bag wins. Indeed, I have difficulty differentiating the top of the bag from the bottom. What’s more, the plastic clings to my hands. I attribute the latter problem to the static electricity surging through my body.

In case you’re wondering, it also takes me minutes to open a trash bag and I never use Saran Wrap. Never. I tried when I was younger and more adventurous, but the result was always the same. Instead of covering my food, the plastic wrapped around my hand before I formed it into a ball and tossed it in the trash.

Plastic bags (and wrap) aren’t the only things that own me. I also cannot fold a fitted sheet. If you’re saying to yourself, “Self, that’s not so bad. No one can fold a fitted sheet,” then you need to peek inside my mother’s linen cabinet. There, you will find fitted sheets folded so perfectly that you’d swear they had just come out of the package.

Mother tried to impart her sheet-folding perfection to me. I remember her telling me to punch the corners together. I do that. Then, I continue punching until the sheet resembles a pile of used towels discarded on the bathroom floor.

In addition to plastic and sheets, I also have difficulty with those online tests that make you prove you’re not a robot. When I encounter one that’s populated by numbers and letters, I squint and ask myself, “Self, is that an uppercase B or an 8? And is that next letter a lowercase c or an e?”

It always takes multiple attempts before I’m allowed to download the artwork or order the free pack of flowers. So, imagine my happiness when some websites switched to images instead of numbers and letters.

And then imagine my frustration when I repeatedly failed to select the photos featuring road signs. After a recent poor showing, I’ve decided websites are probably programmed to allow admission after a certain number of tries. After all, the programmers most likely realize it wouldn’t take a robot several attempts to click on the pictures of lawn chairs.

I’ll bet a robot can also open a plastic bag, use Saran Wrap, and fold a fitted sheet.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

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