Shower Me With Routines

I looked up “routine” in the dictionary.  I hate people who look up words to win an argument.  That shifts the whole argument.  You are no longer arguing over the word; now you are arguing over what the definition means.  Anyway, routine means “a regular course of procedure,” or “an habitual or mechanical procedure.”  Everybody has their routines and that is probably good.  Things get done without even thinking about them.

When we back out of the garage, I reach up and push the button closing the garage door.  It’s just routine.  Then, after I have turned the corner, my wife asks, “Did you close the garage door?”  I think I did, but I really don’t know.  So I turn around and drive back to see.  Carole and I grew up in East St. Louis, so we never leave anything open, unlocked or in doubt.  Sure enough, the garage door is closed.

People have routines in the morning, routines in the evening.  Golfers have pre-shot routines (which includes envisioning the path of the ball – sounds good,  just doesn’t work for me).  Even pets have routines.  Our dog got a treat at 9:00 every evening.  At about a quarter to nine, she would start starring at us.  We started the routine, but she was never going to let us forget it.  As soon as someone would get out of their chair, she would go crazy.  Her routine was to do tricks before she got her treat.  So she would routinely start her repertoire of tricks without even being asked so as not to cause unreasonable delays.  Switching on and off of daylight savings time really confused our little friend.  Her clock worked better than ours.

Routines won’t hold up in court.  Someone testifies that they always check the lock on the back door before the go to bed.  The opposing counsel asks, “Did you check it the night in question?”  Then, the witness responds, “I don’t specifically remember doing it that night, but I had to, because I do it every night.”  The witness is in trouble, because every juror knows how a person can slip up on a routine.

It is tricky business to change a routine.  My routine in the morning before work was to exercise, eat, jump in the shower, shave, brush my teeth, get dressed and out the door – in that order.  Then, we had the bathroom remodeled and it took a while for the hot water to make it up to the new shower.  I had a little extra time waiting for the water to get hot, so I decided to brush my teeth.  While brushing, I noticed the glass on the shower steaming up.  No problem, I decided to take my tooth brush into the shower.  I stepped into the shower and continued to brush.  All of a sudden, I was having trouble seeing.  My glasses were fogging up.  I took off my glasses, but there was no place to put them (most people routinely remove their glasses before they step into the shower).  In the process of disposing of my glasses, I got water all over the bathroom, stubbed my toe and said a few choice words.  No more!  I’m going back to habitual and mechanical procedures.

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