Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sandwich Chore Routine

Few chores can be worked into my life unless they can be paired with something that ISN’T a chore, or unless they are absolutely essential. For instance, I can move objects between rooms because I often walk between the rooms anyway, and if I designate an “ingoing” and “outgoing” spot in each room, and if I can motivate myself to put objects in those spots, I find myself eventually moving books to bookshelves and moving cans to the recycling bin. And since I walk past the grocery store on my way home from work I can buy groceries with a minimum of pain.

There are some things that I can’t find a routine for, generally because they cannot be “paired” with neutral or pleasurable actions. On a good day I can clean up the apartment by listening to music, or wash dishes while lending half an ear to a dull DVD commentary, or hand-wash clothes while listening to an old-time radio program…but I can’t find a pleasurable way to vacuum, clean the litterbox, or do laundry. These are things I only do when it becomes necessary, or when I’m in such a good mood that even HOUSEKEEPING becomes fun.

Which brings me to sandwiches. I have nothing against sandwiches and they’re a cheap lunch option, but bringing them to work implies making them in advance, which I find unpleasant. Plus you can only make so many of them, otherwise they get soggy waiting for you to eat them.

Recently I was bemoaning my inability to find time for nail-care, and Vanilla tactfully pointed out that I could do my nails while watching a movie…and glory of glories, I CAN! What’s more, I’ve been experimenting with MAKING SANDWICHES while watching movies, which is the perfect way to distract yourself if you’re trying to finish watching “Performance,” something you yourself may have dealt with in the past.

I’ve managed to make four sandwiches this way and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them. But I know from experience that it’s easy for me to eventually drop these chores, either due to time constraints or the approach of a Characteristically Bad Blue Funk.

Which brings me to a final problem: I have never gotten the hang of buying sandwich supplies at a deli. I feel strange talking to people at delis and I can never remember how many grams I should buy. People, at various times, have reminded me how many grams equals how many slices of meat or cheese, but when I’m IN the deli I forget this information, and I’m afraid that if I get it wrong I will look foolish and autistic.

My conclusion: there should be a "grams-to-slices" sign for new sandwich-supply-purchasers, and every chore should be pairable with an anti-chore.


Anonymous said...

Oil changes are particularly difficult for me. And dusting.

Eric Little said...

When I was younger, and much more f*cked up, I used to be able to write a term paper, watch a football game on TV (with the sound off), and listen to music--while consuming Brobdinagian amounts of Camels and Old Style.

Now I sit in a crypt and am lucky if I can do one thing at a time--usually write. I have to remember to put some music on. At least I haven't reached the point of cork-lined walls--yet.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Jeez, oil changes, I can't imagine how I could make them fun, unless the garage was close to an interesting place to shop.

As for dusting, what works for me is a fun duster. Mine is very colourful and entertaining to use, so I have no problem with the dusting.

But since I can rarely bring myself to vacuum, the dust just goes from the windowsill to the carpet.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Funny how multitasking abilities begin to shut down, either from age, abuse, or atrophy. I find myself getting increasingly sequential.

I used to read four or five books at a time...but I don't think I enjoyed them much, and I could NEVER remember the names of the characters.

VanillaJ said...

OK, go to Vincenzo's:

"I'll take 200 grams of your sundried tomato turkey please, and 150 grams of your Jarlsburg cheese, sliced". Located near the entrance buy some Italian rolls or Portuguese buns.

This will last you 3-4 sandwiches and you will love it. You're welcome.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Vanilla, you are my savior. Every good sandwich reminds me of you!