While it is often said that age brings wisdom, this is not always true. After all, older folks like me often do very unwise things. However, age does bring opportunities to learn wisdom, mainly from events arising from a failure of wisdom.
Some lessons are fairly minor. For example, I have learned the importance of always shaking the mustard. As you might have also noticed, the first squeeze of mustard typically results in mustard pee rather than actual mustard. This can be a bit annoying, especially if you are packing a now soggy sandwich for latter. The solution is easy enough-always shake the mustard and save yourself from the sogginess.
Other lessons are somewhat more serious. As a specific example, I learned a lot when I was helping my girlfriend pack up her stuff in anticipation of her move from Tallahassee to Orlando. On that particular day, we were moving her treadmill and weight bench to my house for storage. I had to take apart the treadmill to get it out of her apartment and found that although I had brought twenty different Allen wrenches, none of them quite fit. This taught me that it is a good idea to bring every damn size of tool, especially since it seems that every company has a different sized Allen wrench for every different product they make. I forgot to mention that on my way to move the treadmill, it started to rain-even though it had been sunny. This taught me to always pack some plastic and duct tape when moving other people’s stuff.
After the treadmill was ready to move, my girlfriend wanted to move her weight bench outside. I made the classic error of not asking her if it was secured for the move and the even greater error of not checking it to see that it was, in fact secured. Naturally, it wasn’t. So, as we moved it, a major piece of metal came slamming down on my finger. This taught me to make sure that anything I am moving for someone has been properly secured for the move.
Seeing the blood spraying out from it, I first checked to see if my finger was still attached. It was, but I could not see the extent of the damage. So, I went to her bathroom to clean of the blood and determine if I would need stitches. I could see that the wound was probably not in need of stitches, but I was still bleeding and needed to put a stop to that-at the very least to keep her from becoming annoyed by my repainting of her apartment.
I asked her if she had any gauze or even band aids. She, of course, did not. This taught me that when helping people move, it is a good idea to bring my own first aid kid. Realizing that the toilet paper was not going to cut it, I looked around and then though “ah, she’s a chick, so she has to have some feminine products.” I spotted the maxi pads and pressed one against the wound. I was now faced with two problems. First, I needed a way to secure the pad. Second, I had a maxi pad on my finger, which was clearly a threat to my Y chromosome. The solution to both problems was, of course, duct tape. It held the pad in place while simultaneously balancing out its feminine influence. This was yet another lesson in the awesomeness of duct tape, thus confirming the old adage that you should never leave home without it.
The treadmill and weight bench eventually made it to my house, with only a little more of my blood being shed (a small leg wound). This experience confirmed my past lesson about moving. First, try to avoid owing anything that you cannot move yourself. Second, it can be well worth it to pay a professional to move things that are really annoying to move. Third, if you have a girlfriend, she will always expect you to help her move. Fourth, if you have a truck, she will expect you to move all her heavy stuff and you will probably end up bleeding at least a little.