If All Else Fails

What a wonderful informative world we live in. Seems like everything we buy has directions enclosed. Every new fangled thing that we buy tells us what to do, from the “open this end” on frozen dinners to how to plug in your new video tape recorder. These directions are not only printed in the English language, they are printed in Spanish, French and German, so everyone will have a chance to understand how to operate the latest gadgets on the retail market. The directions for all the new items that we buy nowadays must cost the consumer a small fortune, the cost of the printing the booklets and the plastic bags that they put in to protect them have to add a few dollars onto anything we buy.

I always save the directions to everything I buy and put them (still in the plastic) in a safe place. I have a drawer in the kitchen that holds the directions on such things as how to operate the washing machine that I had twenty years ago. What I always fail to do is read the directions. My philosophy is…if all else fails - read the directions. When I have tried to operate something without success for a long period of time. I will usually give up and turning to the directions, only to find that they are not where I thought they were. I find the directions to the toaster that burned up five years before and I have to tear the house apart to find the directions for the item that was purchased last week.

I have to admit I have had my share of aggravations because of my stubbornness toward reading directions. From spending fifteen minutes, and saying some unprintable expletives on the food processor that I can never get the top hooked on right to failing to record my favorite soap opera because I did not know that you have to push the play button as well as the record button to make it record. The latest episode of, “I don’t have to read the directions. I know everything” was last weekend. For my birthday, Mr M bought me the latest in new cameras. I am sure when he went into the camera store, he told the clerk that he wanted a camera that would think for itself. (you know, the kind that any dummy could operate) because he was buying it for his wife. I have never been known as a great photographer. Well, let me tell you, he found one, this camera does everything but talk. It is a Ricoh 35 MM AF 70 system that has a PDS sensor, DX automatic, film monitor, green light, red light and yellow light. This little old piece of machinery even reads the light and has a flash cube that pops up automatically and it will take your own picture if you just set a button and stand back and wait a few seconds. All of this, all on its own. Well, you would think that with a camera like this I could be as good a photographer as Ansel Adams, right?…Wrong!!

We drove to South Dakota to visit our family last weekend and of course I brought along my new fangled camera so I could capture all the good memories that we had to leave behind when we returned home. I bought the film and loaded the camera before I left home so I wouldn’t have to waste time putting film in the camera when the perfect shot came along. We took pictures of Grandma and Grandpa and all the kids at a get together at grandma and grandpa’s house on Friday night, we took a picture of grandma’s old home place and other interesting things in a drive on Saturday afternoon. Saturday night at a barbecue at brother Don’s house with old friends, we decided to take some more pictures for the family album. This is when we noticed that we had taken 32 pictures on a 24 exposure roll of film. Yep! You guessed it, old, “I know everything without reading the directions” me, had put the film in the camera wrong. Instead of memories to be placed in the family picture book, I had one slightly disgusted hubbie, (to say the least), a 24 exposure unexposed roll of film, and some explaining to do.

It just goes to show you, no matter how many directions are enclosed and even if they are written in four different languages, they will do no good if you insist on leaving them in the plastic…in the box…in a safe place.