Handwashing

Cat Caddy | Handwashing

I have OCD.

And because so many people say, “I’m so OCD about organizing my DVDs” and “I have like, so many little OCD things I do, lol!” I always have to follow this statement with “…the clinical kind.” As in, the kind that interferes with your life.

I’ve lost count of how many times in a day I wash my hands. By the time I’ve gotten out of the bathroom in the morning, I’ve washed my hands at least three times. To say nothing of how many times I sanitize my hands in between proper washings. Basically every time I touch something.

Before you even ask, the answer is yes. Yes I do.

Don’t you know that washing your hands that often is bad for you? That you decrease the body’s resistance to bacteria that way? That science says we should play in the dirt instead of sanitizing our hands all the time? Aren’t your hands raw from all that washing?

YES!

Besides being fodder for pop culture amusement (you have to admit it’s a pretty interesting and entertaining mental affliction), repetitive hand washing isn’t really about getting clean and ridding the body of germs. It’s about providing a tangible means to mitigate anxiety through the illusion of control. You could think of it as being like humming or carrying a security blanket. Except it’s inconvenient. And it takes forever. And it makes your hands raw. And it’s never enough.

I have a problem.

Apostrophes

Cat Caddy | Apostrophes

Every time I see a misused apostrophe, I take it as an affront. A personal insult. You did this to me, and now I have to make you pay. I’LL MAKE YOU PAY I’LL—

So in the interest of my continued sanity, I thought I’d create a helpful guide for everyone who is still confused over the matter. We all know that apostrophes belong in contractions and possessives and DO NOT BELONG IN PLURALS STOP PUTTING THEM IN PLURAL WORDS PEOPLE THEY DO NOT BELONG THERE DAMN IT! But sometimes it can be an easy mistake and we might forget which word an apostrophe belongs in. So here’s what I do.

Whenever I see a word with an apostrophe, I just read it full-out. So it’s becomes it is, John’s becomes [object] belonging to John, Mommy’s becomes [object] belonging to Mommy. These are all either contractions or possessive nouns and so the use of an apostrophe is appropriate.

It’s raining becomes it is raining. Its pain and agony becomes the pain and agony that it possesses. (And there’s no apostrophe in that possessive case because the apostrophe has already been designated for the contraction of it is, so this case is admittedly a confusing exception to the rule.) So what does banana’s and mango’s for sale become? What does it’s shoe become?

Banana is and mango is for sale. The shoe belonging to it is. That doesn’t making any fucking sense!

Hello mommy’s! Hello mommy is! See what I mean?

Whenever I’m writing a word I do this to make sure I’m using apostrophes correctly. Doing this exercise makes it really annoying to read the punctuation butchery you see all over the internet and out in public. Especially on professionally printed signs. You mean to tell me you went through the whole process of writing, designing, laying out, and manufacturing and NO ONE pointed out this error?! Not to mention the money wasted printing out an apostrophe you didn’t need. Money that could have been better spent hiring an editor.

Also, here’s a special note to mothers writing on the internet:

Mommy = One mother.
Mommy’s = [Object] belonging to one mother.
Mommies = Multiple mothers.
Mommies’ = [Object] belonging to multiple mothers.

So don’t say mommy’s when you mean mommies. Don’t say mommie’s or mommies’ when you mean mommies. And don’t ever say mommys.

Some people get a little overexcited. They s’tart adding apos’trophe’s whenever they s’ee an S, becaus’e it help’s people to know that a word i’s plural, and clearly, plural word’s alway’s get apos’trope’s. Just for fun, try reading that sentence as if those apostrophes actually belonged there:

They s-is-tart adding apos-is-trophe-is whenever they s-is-ee an S, becaus-is-e it help-is people to know that a word i-is-s pluasdgijadsglkadfglkjdsflgj!!!!

Stop making this mistake!

Tipping

I’m going to come out and admit something: I kind of have trouble with tipping.

It’s not that I don’t get the idea behind it or that I don’t appreciate the difference it makes. I used to be a barista, and shit yeah I lived on the extra income. I also slipped into something of a resentful mindset towards people who failed to leave me anything, especially on complicated orders.

But now that I’m on the other side of the counter these days, I find myself troubled by what’s expected of me. Should I tip my change when I’ve already tipped a dollar? But I need the change for my coffee tomorrow! Is this barista going to think I’m a cheap asshole for not just throwing my 15 cents in there too? Sjsdfhglsjfghlsfg!!

I don’t do well with unspoken social rules and systems. I’m great when I know exactly what is expected of me. But when I’m faced with a situation where I’m supposed to just know what to do and how to do it when there are no official rules on the matter except what everyone generally agrees is acceptable at the moment, I get freaked out. And am probably unintentionally rude more often than I’d like. The thought horrifies me!

And the tipping scene is changing every day. I know of a place where the workers are paid eight dollars an hour to bag your product, hand it to you, and run your credit card. And they have a tip jar set up. For the workers, the extra few bucks are awesome, sure. But am I expected to tip in that situation? Why? How much? Am I an asshole if I don’t?

I didn’t used to tip at all for most things. It was because I had no idea you were supposed to. Of course this was inevitably brought to my attention, and then I realized I had been a total dick by going to these places all the time and not even thinking about the gratuity! It helped to later get a job in an industry where tips are generally expected (although some people still contest the validity of tipping your barista). Now I try hard to remember to tip.

But that’s the thing! It’s one of those deals where you end up being damned either way. If you do tip, you don’t tip the right amount. Or you inadvertently insult whoever is servicing you because of the way you did it. Or maybe you did it when their back was turned and they didn’t even notice, thus making them assume you’re just a cheap jerk anyway. Or, right when you think you’re in the clear because you know no tips are expected, bam. It turns out they are now!

And then when YOU’RE relying on tips, you have your own set of rules for what you expect. When I was a barista, my tipping preferences generally went like this: The golden standard was a dollar for blended or espresso drinks. It was alright if people didn’t tip on tea, drip coffee, or general pastries (it wasn’t a lot of work and those products were not very expensive). If I did get tipped on tea or drip coffee, it was a nice bonus. Occasional tippers and change tippers were totally okay; I just appreciated that they were leaving anything. But people who didn’t tip at all, ever? Or people who didn’t tip at all while pocketing their 15 cents? Assholes.

Was that fair? I don’t know, but it’s sort of the mindset you adopt when you come to rely on any extra source of income you can get. I try to live by my own standard, because then I know that whatever happens at least I’m not being a hypocrite. But now that I’m the customer, I still worry that the barista will want to spit in my coffee when I’m not looking.