This week I want to look at some of the things good people fight about. No, I’m not talking about the election, or COVID-19, or any of the big news stories of 2020. These are arguments that have existed long before this year and will exist long after we happily wave goodbye to 2020.
What am I talking about, you ask? What are some topics that can take sane loving human beings and throw them into an uproar? There are several, as a matter of fact. Let’s start with one that exists in my house: how to load a dishwasher.
I have owned several dishwashers in my life, and I have discovered that individuals have very strong opinions on how to load the machine. Some put knives blades up, some put them blades down. Do bowls belong in the bottom rack? If they do, which direction should they sit in? Many questions, and it seems people are prepared to fight for their view.
Let me be quick to say that while the adults in my household all load the dishwasher differently, I have learned to accept these differences without putting up a fight or rearranging things to my satisfaction. I look at it this way – the only thing worse than an incorrectly loaded dishwasher is one that no one else loads.
Then there is the issue of how to hang toilet paper in the bathroom. Even though the patent for the toilet paper holder shows the paper going over the roll, there are those who insist that the correct way to do this is for the paper to go under.
Me? I’m an over-the-roll gal. My daughter-in-law, Amanda, puts it under in her kids’ bathroom, but she has a good reason. With a toddler and two cats, to do it the proper way would mean a lot of toilet paper getting unrolled. Sometimes you must break the rules for the sake of your budget and sanity.
Want something else to fight about? Here’s one. Ask someone to pronounce the following word: “pecan.”
Chances are you’ve heard this word pronounced several ways. Is it PEE-can? Pee-CAN? PEH-can? Peh-CAHN (which is how your humble columnist pronounces the thing)?
According to Google, Americans are supposed to pronounce it puh-KAAN. Of course, this will not settle the matter, because people are extremely attached to their pronunciation and will insist Google got it wrong. According to a 2016 Washington Post article by Steven Petrow, 70% of Northeasterners and 45% of Southerners pronounce it “PEE-can.” Which means my pronunciation is frowned upon by a lot of people. Sorry, guys, but you can call it whatever you want and if you’re nice about it and don’t give me a hard time I’ll give you some.
Lest you think it’s only Americans who fight over crazy things, I have a story from CNN about a food controversy that has Britain divided and arguing: how to butter toast.
I am not kidding. A TV chef over there has recently demonstrated her method of buttering toast. She instructed viewers to butter their bread hot from the toaster. Next, she told them to apply another layer of butter, then sprinkle it with salt.
Believe it or not, this caused controversy. Some found it worthy of derision. Others defended her lesson. One person lamented that her instructions were five minutes they would never get back.
To be honest, while I’m a butter-it-once gal myself, the thing that gets to me about her instructions is her addition of salt. Salt? On toast? The only thing I would consider sprinkling on buttered toast is cinnamon sugar – keep that saltshaker away.
So those are some things we fight about. Silly, but probably safer than some of the more serious subjects. So, take a stand, and be proud of it. After you load the dishwasher, please.