When you are two or even ten, bending over to pick up whatever is on the floor is something done without thought or regret. Sometimes it includes an eye roll because of the inconvenience involved. I mean, bending, really. As we make our way through the twenties It might take too much effort and into the thirties and beyond, that’s a lot further down than I remembered, things on the floor begin to take on a different meaning. That rogue bite of last night’s lasagna is much more than an eyesore or a statement of modern art on your sock.
At some point in self- dialogue, the negotiations begin. Obviously, this mystery piece of plastic doesn’t belong to the refrigerator door or my phone, so it’s fine where it is. There is no three-second rule with crackers. The denial stage: Nope, didn’t see it. It only hurts when I walk directly on top of it. Jam? That’s only the current stage of fruit. Wine stage comes next. And the inevitable state of acceptance: It looks just fine where it is.
What makes this even worse realizing it isn’t just a matter of laziness or age, it’s both. The bending over sound, the one that started for some at age twenty, has gone from a squeak of protest to a full-on, unmistakable Umph or for the hardcore, Groonnk.
There is only one workable solution: develop a great, subtle kick. Sharp and to the side, at a moment when others are least expecting it. Send your floor item to someone else’s space, where it becomes their problem. Let them Groonnk as you watch in fake disgust. Try it out and let me know how it goes. Just don’t kick it to my side.