Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Who does that? Whose got the time? Yet, those are still the directions on the bottle of shampoo. If your hair won’t come clean after one shampoo, you’ve got bigger problems baby.
Tags on a mattress: It is forbidden, under penalty of law to remove the tags.
Who leaves them on?
I rip tags off of everything…immediately.
I once worked my way around a friend’s apartment discreetly removing the tags that were still on her futon, chair cushions, couch and pillows. I couldn’t help myself.
Was she just lazy or following directions, hoping to avoid the tag police?
What about waiting a half hour after eating, before going back into the ocean or pool. “You’ll get a cramp and drown”. That rule never made any sense to me. Maybe it did happen to Margie’s cousins, kids, nephew. Never mind that they didn’t know how to tread water, it was the bologna sandwich that did them in. So, our moms enforced that rule to-the-minute. As a kid, I could inhale my lunch in 2.5 seconds, so a half an hour was an eternity. But to my mom, that rule was law.
Some people follow directions to the letter.
For me, directions, tags, rules for games, most rules in general, are always just….a suggestion.
The ones I can’t get around, like flossing and taxes, I adhere to begrudgingly.
Maybe it’s America. So much fear of liability. You can be sued by anyone, for anything. It’s not that way in other countries.
That’s why I love the Italians. In Italy there is a kind of “live in the moment” attitude that renders laws and rules…obsolete.
To the Italians they truly are only suggestions. Which makes them my people.
I was in Rome for a couple of weeks when every day it was well over 100 degrees. They call that August. There are many, many gorgeous fountains in Rome. Each had a sign that basically said: Stay out of the fountain. But by the number of men, women, little kids, grandmas, dogs, even nuns; standing and splashing around, you would have thought the sign said: Come on in, the water’s fine! Even the politzia turned a blind eye.
Several years later I went back and the signs were down. Why waste good wall space? Godere!
My husband, who is also European, so maybe it’s in the water; has a motto that I’ve grown to love, and have adopted as my own: It is easier to ask forgiveness, than to ask permission.
Meaning, if you know the answer most likely will be no, if you know a rule is about to be broken, and no one’s getting hurt, just do it. Gasp… I know, I know. But there are so many joyful, playful, beautiful things in life that somewhere along the line became “not okay.” Some killjoy decided it was a bad idea to swim too soon after eating or rip a tag off a mattress or shampoo only once or splash in a fountain on a hot summers day, and they ruined it for everyone.
I’m not advocating hurting anyone, defiling public property, or acts of debauchery.
I’m just saying, it’s okay to color outside the lines, to find joy whenever and wherever you can.
Rules are made to be broken. Tear some tags. Laugh in a library. If there are no cars, cross the street just before the light turns green. Oh you rebel! And if you’re caught in the fountain, don’t be embarrassed, just smile and say: I’m sorry, it’ll never happen again.
Until next time.