Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Don't Have To

I tend to be a mindless rule-follower.

Years ago, my friend and I were waiting on a quiet subway platform when he dropped one of his gloves – a nice, leather glove – onto the tracks. He looked both ways, hopped down, picked up the glove, then neatly pulled himself back onto the platform.

 “Yes, there are rules, but you can still think for yourself,” he explained.

I’d like to say that moment had an immediate impact on me, but it didn’t.

Every year, I water my Christmas tree because you’re supposed to, ignoring that none of my trees have ever sucked up a drop of water.

Turns out, I’ve been doing it wrong.

This professor of forestry, who, incidentally, never watered his own Christmas trees until he did his study and said none of his plant-physiologist buddies did either, advises, A., buy your tree super-fresh, as in cut a few hours ago. (As if I, in Houston, have any hope of that.) B., he says recut the trunk when you get home, the way you cut the stems of flowers before putting them in a vase. (Duh. Why didn’t I think of that?)

Even then, though, within 12 hours, the tree will cover the new cut with resin.

I might try cutting the trunk but, then again, I’ve done it wrong for years and it’s been fine. The hell with it.

I have always washed raw chicken, thinking I was getting rid of bacteria. When my husband told me that’s not right, I didn’t believe him; he had to send me a link. Turns out he’s right: You should NOT wash raw chicken and other meats because you don’t get the bacteria off but you do splash it all over the kitchen.

So, I’m going to change.

I feel so daring.

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