Saturday, 24 January 2015

I know things are getting past me when I can't even put a band-aid on

I had an earth shattering experience the other day. One of those moments when you know the world has changed and you're not sure it's for the better.

It began very simply. I cut my finger. Not all that badly, but it was one of those fiddly cuts right on the end of my finger, where it tends to bleed quite a lot. Also, I was in the middle of washing the dishes when it happened (of course, washing the dishes was actually how it happened. Or to be exact, washing one of those new-fangled clever cutting thingies which we seem to accumulate in our kitchen). Obviously, I wanted to get it cleaned up and sealed up as quickly as possible, so I could get back to finishing the dishes.

So I run down to the bathroom and grab a band-aid. I have to give my finger a bit of a wipe because it was soaking wet, and everybody knows that you can't put a band-aid on a wet finger. When I get it suitably dry, I rip the paper off the band-aid and I go to put it on my finger. This is where the trouble started.

I couldn't figure it out. The band-aid was different to the simple, old-fashioned ones I was used to. It seemed to have tabs sticking out all over the place. I pulled and prodded and ripped and tugged and eventually managed to get the various tabs off, but by this point the whole thing had stuck to itself (as band-aids do).

I groaned and tossed it in the sink, and then tried another. Same deal. I couldn't for the life of my figure out how to get these band-aids to work. And all the while, my finger is dripping blood all over the sink.

Finally, after I think I'd tossed out about five, I managed to get a band-aid onto my finger. And then, because I wasn't actually able to apply it very well, I added a second, and a third. In the end, rather than a small cut, it looked like I'd chopped half my finger off.

But here's the thing. Since when were band-aids so hard to put on? I remember when I was a kid, I had no trouble putting band-aids on. But now, someone has invented a new and improved band-aid which is impossible to use.

To me it's a sign. A sign of a world I no longer understand? A sign of a world which, to me, is just a little more bonkers than it used to be. When I'm no longer able to do something simple, like put a band-aid on, I know that things are really starting to get past me.

Have a good week - and please be careful if sharp cutting things.

1 comment:

  1. I used to be good at working things out. I never read instruction. I intuited. And I got on just fine. And then one day I didn’t. It was probably an Elastoplast (we do have Band-Aid here but that’s not the brand I think of first) or something innocuous like that and it was downhill from there on. Now there’re so many things I don’t fully get. Like mobile phones or TV remotes or Twitter. I had to ask my daughter how Twitter worked because I couldn’t get my head around it. It simply didn’t make any sense to me. Who was I talking to and why? I remember the look on her face too. It said, “Aw, bless.” I still don’t get Twitter and all I use my TV remote for is to turn the damn thing on and change channels. I make phone calls on my phone: what else would you have a mobile phone for? My wife’s father has Alzheimer’s and he has a mobile phone—he calls it his “buzzer”—and it has one button and calls one person and I think that’s a great idea. Mine would have two, one for my wife and a second for my daughter but I could live with one. What surprises me is how readily I’ve come to terms with these new limitations. I have no real desire to rage against the dying of the light. I’m not ready to die—far from it—but I’m happy not to have to rush abound like I used to. Although I do have to agree with you when it comes to sticking plasters. They’re not quite as user friendly as they used to be.