Friday, October 9, 2009

Living In An Automatic World

I remember as a child hearing the infamous words: "Don't Touch!" We heard them so much that I began to wear down my pockets since that was the obvious place to hide my weapons of destruction. Sure, there were days when temptation got the best of me. And sure enough I heard my parents second favorite phrase: "You're grounded!"

But slowly as I began to grow, I noticed a change in the world around me. The need to touch things began to diminish. Doors that automatically opened themselves began to appear everywhere: from the malls to libraries to my local postal office.

I still remember sitting on my first automatic toilet. I had thoughts that my butt cheeks were going to be sucked right off my back side. I held on for dear life waiting for the flushing to stop. But just as I would scoot a millimeter, it would go right into another flushing episode. I now know what those hand rails are for.

When the toilets received critical acclaim from truck stop tourists, I guess the powers that be decided to roll with the idea that "automatic" was good. And so came about automatic sinks. Because children everywhere like to leave water running at full blast, it seemed only right that a limit be put on the amount of devastation one could do after relieving themself.

Maybe it's me, but I'm not so sure this was the best idea. I mean how many times have you needed to wash your hands and the water just won't turn on? So you walk over to the next faucet only to find that you now have a large blob of foamy soap stuck to your sleeve? And still you walk down the line waving your hands like some raving maniac. All the while you watch children exiting from stalls who seem to hold a Masters Degree in hand washing. The ease at which they retrieve water and soap has you baffled, if not a bit more determined to figure out the whole process.

Alas, you discover the secret: If you stand on one leg, while holding your breath for a count of five, and just slide your hands in the line of fire at a 45 degree angle, you will indeed get some water. Probably not enough to wash the entire blob of foam, but just enough to show those hot-shots next to you who is boss.

You continue to hold your head high until you realize you must begin the entire process all over in order to retrieve a paper towel. You do a quick look around, accept defeat, and decide that your Levi's will do a much better job at drying your hands than any super-absorbency paper towel held captive by a robotic box hanging on the wall.

You return to your car only to realize that the cherry on top to this day is leaving your keys in your car. If only you had chosen the model with On Star.


Jennifer said...

YES! Can we say the convenience of automation is sightly annoying the the bathroom environment?! LOL! I totally do that sink dance because more often than not, I cannot get the water to come out! Oh, and what about the soap dispensers? Soap is EVERYWHERE! *sigh*

Insanitykim said...

I HATE automatic toilets! HATE HATE HATE!!!!!

Back home in AK there is a restaurant with heated toilet you know how uncomfy THAT is when you had too much oil and cheese and you're writhing in pain on the hot pot, with a whole bunch of teenagers out at the sink area, talking about their prom, refusing to leave so you can unleash the obscene amount of IBS carnage in your gut...hmmm...I'll stop now.

ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh so true! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one out there who suffers from Automatic Water Deprivation. Inevitably, someone beside me will say, "You have to hold your hand under it," demonstrate, and VOILA! the water magically turns on for them! Doing the exact same thing I was just doing! I am forced to smile and mutter my thanks, all the time feeling completely humiliated and wishing for an acrylic Delta faucet and a bar of soap.
And, Insanitykim, been there done many times.

2 Toddlers and Me said...

Lol! Very funny and interesting post. The beginning grabbed me right away.

I've heard that if you are wearing dark colors when standing in front of an automatic faucet it has a harder time detecting you. Just a thought.

I like your blog. Found you through Mom Bloggers Follow Group. I am following and looking forward to read more.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for visiting me on my SITS Day!

Anonymous said...

My problem is automatic doors. They never open for me, seriously.

Fruitful Vine2 said...

Good morning! You were a few roll callers above me on SITS today and I saw that you were expecting storms. Just wanted to wish you a safe day.

Anonymous said...

This is so funny! Thanks for giving me a good laugh to start out my day. Visiting from SITS. Hope you're having a great day!
pk @ Room Remix

Corrie Howe said...

Yes! We drove down the PA Turnpike last year and discovered everything was automatic...not a good thing for my children, who have special needs issues. The toilettes usually flush on my petite daughter. The automatic things make too much noise for my son. He'd rather "wait" until the next rest stop.

Leaving some SISTa love.

Megan said...

LOL Too funny!!

I'm always afraid the automatic toilets are going to flush before I've finished and get me completely wet!

Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day!! =)

Amber Page Writes said...

This made me laugh...hard! Our toilet at work is automatic, and if you move even half a millimeter, it flushes so hard, it's like a dirty water bidet!

Stopping by from SITS!

Erin M. said...

Hi there!
I'm stopping by from SITS (saw u on the roll call) and wanted to say a quick hello.

This is a fabulous post. I get frustrated with all the automatic things these days, but I am in love with the new super-powered hand dryers. Have you seen them? They might be Dyson or something. You stick your hands down into them and literally your hands are dry in 5-7 seconds. It's nuts. Plus it's green since it cuts way down on all those paper towels.

I appreciate the automatic stuff mostly because I can't stand public restrooms and hate touching things (and don't like my kids touching things, either!)....but when they don't work, I want to shoot someone. SO frustrating!

Anyway, I have two girls (twins) and am a SAHM. I always enjoy finding other mom-type blogs. Looking forward to reading more!

Fahrenheit 350° said...

Love it!