February 11, 2021 – No muss, no fuss.

My friends, it’s a good thing I was sitting down when I called the local dry cleaner to find out 1) whether my curtain panels were ready, and 2) what the total cost was for the service. Holy smokes! “$39.06,” answered the gal who took the call, to which I incredulously replied, “$39.06, for two curtain panels??!!” “Yes, $39.06,” she coolly reiterated. I thought at first that I’d misheard her, but clearly I hadn’t since she told me not once, but twice. You’re not surprised? The cost seems perfectly reasonable? If that is what you’re thinking, you’re likely not a penny pincher or a nickel squeezer, such as myself. I’ve also been known to squeeze my share of oranges and avocados, but that’s completely unrelated. If I had known what the cost would be ahead of time when I swung by the dry cleaner’s last week to drop them off, I would have swiftly retrieved them and headed right back out the door.

That seems like a lot to clean two panels! In fact, that’s about what I paid when I purchased them brand new from Kohl’s. Yes, they were on clearance, but that’s beside the point. If I didn’t have six additional matching panels that hung in my bedroom, I probably would have told the lady to keep the damn things. But I was between a rock and a hard place. It was either pick them up, pay the exorbitant fee after vowing never to return, and hang them back on the curtain rod in my bedroom OR leave them at the dry cleaner’s and continue using the dog’s old blanket to prevent all of the people at the hospital from peering into my bedroom at all hours of the day and night. As much as it hurt my pocketbook, I decided to go ahead and pay for the service and bring them home. The other curtain panels never would have accepted and likely would have ridiculed the dog blanket had I left it as a sad substitute, so it’s probably for the best.

The last time I actually used a dry cleaner was so long ago that I cannot even nail down a year. It has seriously been THAT long! I’m a no frills, wash-and-wear, keep things simple kind of gal and proud of it! Anytime I buy an item of clothing, I check the ‘care instructions’ to ensure it doesn’t say ‘dry clean only’ before I head to the nearest register. Years ago, I bought a few items without checking the tag to determine whether they required ‘special handling’ and I soon discovered that generally when a tag says ‘dry clean only’, it means just that. You can try and bend the rules by tossing the garment into the washer, followed by the dryer, but I can guarantee you that it will no longer resemble the item you initially purchased. It will definitely be permanently misshapen and more than likely a size or two smaller than before you put it into the washing machine. Trust me. I have done it enough times so you needn’t bother.

I wish the fashion industry would consider changing the clothing labels. It would make my life a lot easier. If they were just to have two, it would be perfect. One could read ‘low maintenance’ (for items that can be washed in a washing machine with detergent and water) and the other could read ‘high maintenance’ (for everything else). Even better would be to have a ‘low, low maintenance’ label for things that can be washed and worn and never require the use of an iron. That’s the label I’d be watching for when shopping for clothes! The last time any of my tops or pants had any contact whatsoever with an iron was when I was employed, and that was nearly 11 months ago. I don’t want to be bothered with all of that extra time fussing with my clothes. In my house, they go into the washer and then into the dryer, and then they’re either folded or placed on a hanger. That’s it. There are no further requirements.

It’s kind of how I am with most things, no muss, no fuss. When I get ‘cleaned up’ and get dressed, we’re talking 30 minutes or less. From the length of time it takes me to get ready in the morning or afternoon (depending on if I wake up before or after noon), to the types of food I cook, to the way I keep my house, to the kind of car I drive, the less ‘fuss’, the better. When I enter the bathroom, I hit the 30-minute button on the ‘fart fan’, and in that time, I can get a shower, wash my hair, dry my hair, and get dressed. That time also includes applying lotion and deodorant. I could save a couple of seconds if I omitted the deodorant but I wouldn’t do that to you, it would be cruel. The food I like to ‘cook‘ has a tendency to fall into the ’30 minutes or less’ category as well. Most dishes I ‘prepare‘ resemble the food you’d likely order at a fast food restaurant. Homemade cheeseburgers and fries, pizza and salad, fried chicken with corn and beans, tacos, spaghetti with garlic bread, chili, and pulled pork sandwiches.

If you were paying attention, you’d notice that ‘cook’ and ‘prepare’ stood out in the previous paragraph. I do cook but I also don’t mind getting a little help now and then. No, none of the food items I mentioned are actually purchased from a restaurant, but they’re not necessarily made from scratch either. I do make the cheeseburgers, fries, salad, tacos, chili and pulled pork from scratch, but the other dishes usually come ‘prepared’ from the grocery store. Why cook a pizza from scratch when you can buy a frozen pizza for $3.99 and dress it up? Why go to all of the trouble of preparing and cooking fried chicken when you can just wait until Cheap Chicken Monday at Albertson’s or Safeway and pick up 8 pieces of delicious fried chicken for only $4.99? The same goes for spaghetti sauce. Why go through all of that hassle when you can just buy a jar of ready-made sauce and doctor it up a bit with some ground beef, mushrooms, onions and garlic?

I realize these are ‘shortcuts’ and my mother would probably disapprove, but if I’m the one on kitchen duty, that’s how I roll. No muss, no fuss. Speaking of how I ‘roll’, I also look for the same thing in personal transportation (aka my car). The less bells and whistles, the happier I am. If a car salesman approaches me and starts telling me about all of the wonderful additions on their latest models, the heated leather seats and the back up cameras and the voice activated controls built into the dashboard, it totally turns me off. I want basic. I want upholstered seats that I can shampoo if I spill something on them. I want a rearview mirror and a couple of side mirrors to determine what is taking place behind or beside me. I don’t want anything that responds to my voice (other than another human being or an animal). Sorry, Alexa. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.

The more complicated things are, the greater the likelihood that stuff is going to break or malfunction or get ‘hacked’. No thanks. Yes, I know heated leather seats are wonderful in the winter and that backup cameras can come in quite handy when pulling into or out of a parking space and that it’s really nice not having to adjust knobs on your dashboard when you’re driving in order to increase or decrease the temperature or alternatively, change the radio station. That said, have you ever met anyone whose heated leather seats worked longer than 5 years? Nearly everyone I know that purchased a vehicle with that option only has one seat that still works correctly. Backup cameras and voice activated controls? The problem I have with those is I know what ‘heat’ does to components. It fries them. I’ve had to replace the crappy Toyota manufactured ‘stereo system’ in my vehicle three different times because of excessive heat.

One day my radio will work perfectly fine, but after two days in a row of 105+ degree temperatures, instead of radio frequencies on the display, I see something more akin to what you’d read on a seismograph (to detect the duration and force of an earthquake). I’d just rather not press my luck by having any more gadgets than absolutely necessary. Although, I did agree to power windows with my most recent car and I don’t honestly think I could ever go back to manual windows. I’m to the point where it’s tough to chew gum and walk at the same time, I cannot imagine trying to drive down a street (or a major highway) while manually raising or lowering a window. Thanks so much for stopping by! I love to write and I try to infuse humor into everything I do, and I hope I was able to make you smile (especially if you had a really crappy day). If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.

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