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Friday, February 26, 2010

Touching Things

Do you ever think about how many times people touch things?  And, how many people in one day touch each particular thing?  Yesterday it crossed my mind while at the post office.  As I am primarily a pencil Gal since closing the office (I was a black pen Gal back then; legal field and all) I had to use the pen the postal official offered.  Ewww.

I made a mental note at that point to be sure and put my deer tine pen back in my purse.  [Sweet D gave it to me umpteen years ago as a birthday present.  I signed every formal document with that pen.  Love it!]

I was looking at the 'other' pen available while signing my receipt and it hit me -- how many people have touched these pens....  I'm sure no one has thought to wipe them down on occasion.  Sick people, dirty handed people, 'who knows where their hands were last' people, had been there before me.  And, they had touched that pen.  :-S

Today at the grocery store it hit me all over again.  I love the concept of the electronic signature, but...  Okay, I really think it is cr@p because half the time they don't even work correctly and the signature appears like a scribble.  How are they going to compare a scribble to prove that it is not my signature but that of fraud if none of the electronic signature pads work correctly?

So, after seeing the person in front of me pay out (and, not using the electronic signature pad) I approached it unhappily.  I could pull out a wet-wipe but I'm sure everyone would find me to be a 'freak'.  [Do I really care?]  The only wipes I had in my purse were made by "Charmin" so I thought people might actually take issue with that.  [Hey, they are the same as any other wet wipe except they are made to be flushable...  no foul there. LOL!]

Two years ago, my children both became very ill.  No one they had been around in weeks had been sick.  Then, it hit me.  We had been to the video store and rented videos.  Do you think they ever wipe those cases down?  I bet not.

And, how many movies are rented for the sick and ill to entertain them while bed ridden?  Think about it.  So, now every time I rent videos (I rented some today on my morning outing -- True Blood episodes I haven't seen (YAY!), the Hangover, Couples Retreat (Hubby will probably find both hilarious) and a Garfield movie for the kids) I think about how many people have touched them and all the eeeeewww their covers hold.

Just like the grocery cart at the grocery store.  Once, when the kids were real little I was spraying down a grocery cart with lysol before I unloaded the kids from the vehicle to the cart.  A man stopped me and explained that he had been a manager of a grocery store chain for 20 years and he'd been an advocate for  installing a spray/sanitizing unit for the carts but to no avail.  He commended me for taking the time to spray down the cart.  [Patting self on back] So, see?  Not really a freak. ;-)

I went through a phase when I had the office where I hated and almost refused to shake peoples hands.  Especially, the men (no offense guys).  I would find I'd almost rather give a kind of pat hug (face away from face) than make contact with their hands.  Because we all know that hand washing is a pertinent part of a healthy lifestyle.  But, we have also all been in the bathroom and seen how many people don't wash their hands before leaving...  Maybe they are opting for germ-X from their purses (I've not been privy to the men's room but I'm fairing that they don't always wash their hands either and they probably don't tend to carry germ-X in their pants pocket) but, one can't be sure.....

I know, I know.  If our children are never exposed to the bad germs and we keep them germ-X'd and bubble-ized then their immune systems maybe stifled and compromised.  TRUE.  A little dirt never hurt anyone.  But, after all -- it's not the dirt that bothers me.  It's the thought of the dirt and who and what touched it before that weighs on my mind.

Okay, off to wash my hands....  And, take a Q-tip with alcohol to Macxine and her keyboard.

Happy, wait.  IT IS! IT IS!  It's FWFD of the weeeeeeeeeeeek! ;-)



Melissa said...

I'm a nut about washing my hands. I know I (and my kids) am bound to touch nasty stuff that looks innocuous (like the pen at the post office), but I find it easier to wash my hands instead of sanitizing everything else. And as long as you don't touch your mouth, nose, and eyes with dirty hands, you'll be okay.

PS - I can't stand to see my kids touching their faces, and I freak out if they touch mine. And people who lick their fingers? Ew.

Kristi Faith said...

Yes, it's quite gross once you really think of all of it. I hate money. That's the grossest of the gross. :)

Melissa said...

Kristi - I used to work in a bank once upon a time. Ew. Gross. Disgusting. We used to handle payroll for a septic company, and the men who came in . . . let's just say the smell was enough to make you lose your lunch.

Farmer*swife a/k/a Glass_Half_Full said...

Septic? Hurl! LOL!

I know, that's the whole thing. If we start thinking about it it tail spins and suddenly we (well me) find ourselves wanting to live in a glass bubble. :-)

Prohomemaker.Com said...

I'm with you on the public-pen-phobe. I now, as a matter of course, take one with me when I know I will be signing something, etc., such as at the bank. Another thing I do is just take my reuseable bags into the grocery store with me when I know I am just picking up a few things. Totally avoid germy cart that way.

kcinnova said...

Okay, now I am freaking out just a bit... I hadn't thought about those electronic "pens" before! Eeeewwwww!!!

I think instead of wiping down the public items, I'd just use my own hand cleaner afterward on my own hands. Which I don't do as often as I probably should... on the other hand, I'm usually pretty healthy so maybe I have built up some great immunities by being exposed to all those nasty germs so often?