Random 5 for September 16 – Stupid, comments, smells, relocations, words

A veil of stupid comes down – We had a power outage. I worked for an electric utility for 25 years. I know how it works. It’s not magic. Yet every time I walked into a room I switched the light on (knowing in my head it was run by electricity). It was more than that. I tried to open the electric garage door opener. Since I couldn’t do much, I thought I’d vacuum. Hmmm….I finally picked up a magazine and went to a window to read.

Hanging out with friends – I try to write posts that entice readers to comment. Commenters are cool. Sometimes a conversation goes on between two commenters. Also cool. I have learned so much and laughed hard at some of the goings on! I appreciate folks who hover and don’t comment too!

Anyone else with a good nose? – My nose smells things I don’t want it to smell. Sometimes I can smell my own house. Because I have multiple cats, my house may have a smell. (It would be a warm welcoming cat smell of course.) Does anyone have any experience with electric devices that zap odors? I use plug-ins with scents but I was looking for something that killed the odor rather than masked it.

The new gym – Our front desk guy (who had been moved around and then moved back to my location) is leaving for a warmer climate. He’s moving to Delaware, near the beaches. I will miss him. He knew everyone by name and was very friendly. Not much of that at my new gym.

What would you do? – I walk with an older woman in her mid-80s. She is sharp and very smart but she occasionally can’t remember a word so I fill in her sentences. Just like an old married couple! I can’t help wondering if that’s offensive. If I don’t, she will stutter for a few minutes trying to remember the word. Would that annoy you?

So how was your week?

74 thoughts on “Random 5 for September 16 – Stupid, comments, smells, relocations, words

  1. I think your “special” sense of smell is both a blessing and curse! I definitely don’t have a very sensitive sense of smell, and that does make me wonder sometimes. 🙂 I’m as lost as you are on the question of how much to fill in with an older friend. One of my closest long-term friends is in her mid-80s and she is starting to repeat things A LOT! I’m not entirely sure sometimes how to proceed. So far I just let her proceed and I wonder if I do the same thing? LOL!

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    • The smell thing is a double edged sword. I have smelled gas leaks when others couldn’t so that’s good. I also smell all the bad stuff! I can tell what you ate for supper! 😦 This morning I walked with my friend again filling in when she couldn’t find the word and I watched intently for her reaction. There wasn’t any so she must be cool with it. She’s not shy so I’m sure I would have picked up on something.

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  2. When I was a kid I was constantly amazed by how all my friends’ homes smelled different from one another. I never could understand that.

    I’m never sure either if I should chip in with a word when someone older is struggling. I end up doing it too (a ninety year old uncle of mine is the current person I’m thinking of). I think they don’t mind it, but I’m not really positive. Hmmm. – Marty

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  3. I really hope it’s not considered rude to fill in words for people. I do it ALL THE TIME. I think of it as my version of active listening and how I pay attention to a conversation. I don’t even do it consciously anymore – the word just blurbs out. I hope the people out there who hate it weigh in on this.

    … and yes to the blog commenters. Sometimes I think the comment section can be my favourite part of the post 🙂

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  4. I am glad someone else does that when there is a power outage! It’s just such a habit to walk into a room and turn on the light and yes I have done it with the garage opener too!
    Oh yes, gotta love the comments! Never know what will spark bantering back and forth and have you laughing and perhaps a little red, or also sharing helpful information, perhaps learning something new. Just about anything goes when it comes to the comment section, its what makes blogging fun and adds to the community feeling, eh! 🙂

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  5. I love your random five because I find myself nodding my head in agreement to each one. I do the same thing in a power outage – you are stumbling around with the battery-operated flashlight or lantern in your hand, and you still forget and turn on the light switch. The power comes back on and every light in the house is suddenly on. I don’t know of an electric gizmo to refresh the air … the best one I know is “Smells Be Gone” … I mentioned to you about having a canary and you could not use aerosol sprays, so we used to buy that brand in a pump bottle to get rid of cooking odors that lingered. We did not have an exhaust fan, much to the chagrin of my mother. It did work, but you have to stand there pump, pump, pump and it takes forever. I lose my words sometimes too and not just that gap in the conversation where you completely lose your train of thought, but I forget the word I am looking for – it’s scary. I think it is okay to do that and if your friend seems indignant, or hurt, by what you are doing, just apologize and say that you’re so used to doing this with your husband, and he with you, that it becomes a natural phenomenon for you to complete sentences. I once worked for an attorney who was a stutterer … I felt badly for him as he struggled to complete certain words … I would wait patiently as he sought to get the word out. I never quite knew what to do. His last name began with a “B” (Balous) and when his wife was pregnant with their first child, he decided to flip-flop his middle name with his last name, so it was a “soft” letter “L” instead of a “hard” letter “B”. Less problematic for a stutterer … that is what he explained to me in the only time he spoke about his stuttering problem. So he became Mike Lewis before Emily was born. He changed his name, and then he changed firms right afterward … I figured there was a connection with the name change, but he did not say. I never saw him again, so don’t know how that worked out for him.

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      • That’s interesting. Mike should have undertaken those lessons. He had problems with all hard-sounding words. He was probably in his late 30s/early 40s at the time. Years ago, I had my car rear-ended and some bumper damage was done. My car insurance carrier, Allstate, had me go to an Allstate-approved shop to have it fixed. The repairman had a very bad stuttering problem and could barely get more than a few words out a time. I tried not to ask too many questions as I know he was self-conscious about it.

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  6. I read John your comments about your power outage, and we laughed together. We’ve all flipped switches like that.

    I wrote a rather apologetic post once about finishing people’s sentences for them. The responses were positive, written by people who appreciated the help. Of course, I may not know that I’m not on speaking terms with the others.

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  7. True confession: I have experienced olfactory hallucinations. I wouldn’t tell anyone for the longest time because I was afraid I had schizophrenia, but at this age I guess if I did suffer from that disorder I’d have figured it out by now. I think it’s a symptom of my anxiety. I used to smell dog poo and would check my clothes, shoes, purse and anything else I had with me over and over to find where the smell originated but never found anything. If I could find a single occupancy restroom I’d even strip down and smell my clothes. Now it’s cat pee. It doesn’t happen often anymore, thank goodness.

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  8. I usually suggest words here and there if I see someone struggling. I am also the struggler now and then… and maybe a bit more than that, and appreciate the help. Nothing worse than panicking and watching those around you look at you funny as you are searching your cranium for some stupid – often common – word. Oh, and YAY for commenters… makes my day!

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  9. I always had it figured, that if someone finished your sentences, then that means the person knows you quite well. Either that, or they are just highly intuitive. My cats on other hand, if I move slightly at a certain hour, they all head downstairs. They know its meal time. They have this amazing inner clock that goes off right at the last second of the hour. “Look, its ma! She moved! SUPPER TIME!” 😛 Oh, and after gawking at my pc all week, I finally found a cute red and white cat purse that simply says with a cute little cat, “I love my cat” As for my nose, its quite acute! You can buy for the dirtbox, especially with multiple cats, a spray that you use after you scoop it, it eliminates the odor in the box really well. Think its Hartz brand. You don’t need much of it either. I was box every two days, scoop daily. Works pretty well for my multi-cat house.

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  10. Hi, Kate – I completely agree with you about comments. They always bring such interesting insights.
    About filling in words for your friend. Everyone is different, so I am not sure about her. I would much prefer for you to fill in a word for me than to leave me stumbling. My two cents worth! 🙂

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  11. I was thinking about the filling in the word thing just yesterday when I was talking to my 95 year old mother. She was searching for a word and I knew what she wanted to say but I let her search. At the time I was thinking that I was doing her a favor by making her use her brain, thereby keeping those little gray cells working but then I thought that maybe she would begin to feel frustrated that she can’t remember things and perhaps I should help her out. Flipping the switch when the electricity is off…all the time!

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  12. I too automatically flick off light switches, even when the power is out…or even when people are still sitting in the rooms using them. Oops!

    Also, I had an extended span of menopausal symptoms and as a result of the sleeplessness, forgot words frequently. More often, they were simple words, like b-a-t. I was always thankful for people stepping in to help out to end my struggle in trying to remember a word. Everyone is different though, so maybe asking her the next time it happens would resolve your unease?

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  13. Ah, the smells hitting the old sniffer. It was a standing joke that I could sniff out warm sausage rolls from 100 yards when Mum tried to hide them.
    We also tend to get a whiff here of something not so pleasant, and it’s not Maggie, bless her.
    Craft moments are numerous, electric or not. Torches and candles now easily accessible.

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  14. I tried to make coffee once during a power outage. (Maybe I shouldn’t admit that in public.)

    Well, if you can’t find an electronic odor zapper that’s effective, take comfort that your house CAN’T smell as colorful as ours: The living room smells like dog, the master bedroom like cats, and the laundry room like used running shoes. But hey, every Friday the kitchen smells like scrumptious pizza!

    I appreciate it when people find the word I’m looking for. It helps the conversation move along.

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  15. Stupid? Been there. Once asked a farmer why he kept the bull on its own (away from the cows). It looked lonely. I was 15!
    Comments? Agree! It is nice when I see a dialogue happening between commenters.
    Odors? Ray! His odor is everywhere. It’s not offensive to me …. but it is distinctly dog. People know we have Ray living here so ………………………! I will always resolve my problems, and assume other people will resolve theirs (because I won’t), so Ray’s trademark odour stays.
    Finishing my sentences for me (and similar). … I lose interest in the conversation very fast. 🙂

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  16. Due to migraines, I would rather smell yucky cat than any cover-up perfumed air fresheners. I haven’t found anything that zaps odor altogether, though since I have just the one, it isn’t too bad (or so I believe). Generally, the new clumping kitty litters do a good job of odor control.

    I sometimes misplace a word verbally because of age and migraine meds. I would rather someone fill it in than watch me struggle. No one who knows me will think I’m dumb (I hope). It happens to all of us eventually. Of course if someone would rather struggle, then I guess we have to respect this!

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  17. 1. Turning on light switches is a habit that we don’t “think” about . . . so (like you) I find myself automatically reaching out to turn on the light during a power outage, especially during the day. (At night when the place is in complete darkness, that overrides my automatic flick of the switch).

    2. Ditto

    3. No experience is odor zappers. I use vanilla spray to mask unpleasant aromas.

    4. I laughed at Delaware being a warmer climate than Philly. By how many degrees?

    5. Some people would find that helpful and would appreciate it. Others would find it annoying and resent it. So . . . you might have to ask her which camp she falls into. (That said, I find listening to stuttering annoying so I would keep filling in the blanks.)

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    • Laughed at the Delaware comment. It’s about two weeks earlier with summer and two weeks later with winter and a little less snow. For the lady, I’m afraid she may not like it and not sure I can stop myself! Maybe that’s the real issue here! 🙂

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  18. I think it’s so kind you help that woman out. I’d do the same…I mean, hey…we’re writers, we can fill in the blanks.

    You have nice, friendly, respectful readers. I, on the other hand, attract the Taliban. I try not to take the barbs personally as I delete many of them, but we are only human after all.

    As far as noses go, I too have a Sherlock Holmes schnoz, to quote my friend Ed, so, why don’t we think about leaving them to Science. Whaddya say?

    Here’s to the Random 5 I always look forward to.

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