Visual cues are powerful. Auditory and olfactory cues are too but my guess is that for the majority of folks, visual cues are the strongest of the sensory cues. Why do I mention this? Well it turns out for Mom visual cues are in fact the ’27 Yankees of cues. For her, visual cues dominate the cue community the way Bill Cosby ruled Thursday nights in the mid-80’s.
For me it’s a little less certain. Like Will Smith said in 1991’s classic Summertime, “Makes me wonder how the smell from a grill could spark up nostalgia.” Olfactory cues carry some influence with me. The aforementioned smell of a grill sure makes me want to tailgate and eat a cheeseburger. The smell of leaves burning can change my mood from whatever it was into one that craves pumpkin beer. Vomit covered with that sawdust stuff sure makes think of grade school. Also the leadership qualities of every Republican not named Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio.
When it comes to auditory cues tell me you aren’t instantly transported to Monday night when you hear Frank Gifford and the MNF theme song? Tough not to go back to fall of ’88 when you’re unlucky enough to run across a Rick Astley song on the radio. Still tough for me not to take off running when I hear a starter’s pistol fire. John Kerry’s voice sounds a lot like the sawdust vomit.
But for Mom visual cues trump all. For example, we have a charger station in our house. For those of you uncertain what I’m talking about, it is a small box looking thing with a power strip and all the electronic device chargers plugged into it. I don’t mean a place where Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow and Don Coryell hang out. It is located in our study. But Dan Fouts can come over any time. That dude is awesome. Anyway, the study is located right next to our kitchen. The two rooms are connected through a doorless opening. There is absolutely nothing that prevents anyone from walking between the rooms freely without obstruction or delay. It’s not like you’re going into Russia, it’s like going into Wisconsin.
The reason we have a charger station is because Mom and I had developed a habit of plugging our phones into an outlet directly above our kitchen counter and adjacent to the sink. Every night our phones were plugged in and left on the counter. With their accompanying power cords. Then Riley got an iPod. Then Mom got a Kindle. Then Riley got a phone. Then Kinsey got an iPod and a phone. Then Bailey started using everybody else’s stuff and running down the batteries. So we had multiple devices with multiple power cords plugged in and laying on the counter ALL THE FREAKING time. And I react negatively to clutter. I don’t believe “out” is a spot. If something is “out” it means it is not in its spot. Plates do not go on the counter. They go in the cabinet. The counter is a work space not a storage space. Yes, I realize they are some things that do in fact go on the counter. Like fruit or something will go in a bowl. Fine. The fruit’s spot is the bowl. Electronic devices do not go on the counter. That is not their spot. Which means they need their own spot. That spot is the charger station. The charger station’s spot is on the desk in the study. If it were on the counter, then electronic devices, while plugged into the charger station, would also remain on the kitchen counter. Which defeats the purpose of having a charger station in the first place. It also starts a vicious cycle of me being irritated by all the devices and cords followed by me smashing said devices with a mallet and ends with me having to spends hundreds of dollars buying new devices.
And that ain’t happening.
So we have the power station located in the study out of the kitchen and off the counter. Where’s the problem you ask? Well out of sight, out of mind for Mom. Unless she sees her phone in the morning, she’s walking out the door without it. So what you say? She forgot it, she’ll have to figure out how to live for the day without it. People were living without mobile phones for years. Even up to the late 90’s. Plus how do you forget your phone? Doesn’t everybody do the self pat-down procedure before they leave the house? Phone, keys, wallet, badge. That’s my checklist. Left front pocket, right front pocket, right rear pocket and right side of my belt. Done. Every morning. Freaking full proof. I rarely, if ever, forget stuff. It happens, but its extraordinarily atypical. Mom forgets her phone a couple times a week. She’s like the Jay Carney and pretty much everything he says. This morning ten minutes before she left I said, “Don’t forget your phone.”
She forgot her phone. The only thing more annoying is her propensity to not answer the damn phone when she does remember it. Grrr…
So we’re having a discussion regarding visual cues when the real discussion is the functionality of the various lobes in her brain. They evidently aren’t talking. And that, of course, is somehow my fault.
So I’m pretty sure you know how this ends…