Bitches about 21st century picky things

If it’s the little things that matter, it’s also the little things that sometimes drive me nuts. I’m speaking about things that don’t really matter but somehow put a kink in my customary rituals. One of those things for me is labels on clothing.

I don’t know much about women’s underthings, but ever since I’ve been a boy I have been buying the same kind of men’s underwear, specifically jockey shorts. Now I know you don’t want to hear about my jockeys, but forever and a day they have always had labels sewn into them to tell you what size they are.

Didn’t matter whether they were Jockeys, Fruit of the Loom, Denver Hayes, or whatever, they always had cloth labels that said what size they were. I’ve worn some shorts for years and washing after washing, I know the labels still say the same thing.

Then, all of a sudden, they didn’t have cloth labels any more, but printed labels. Cost saving, right? Sure, but after about three washings the size information disappears. Why is that important? Because, like a true male, I cannot remember from purchase to purchase what size I wear. If I can’t remember what size I wear I inevitably buy a size or maybe two sizes too small, which after I’ve opened the package I can’t return because in most Canadian stores there is no return on undies

You would think the size would somehow be engraved on my memory, but oh no. It’s one of those trivial things I can’t be bothered to store in a grey cell somewhere, with the result that I am constantly mis-sizing. Before I could just look at a label before I went to buy, and get it right every time. Grrrr!

Another thing that bugs me are the “best before” dates on food. I religiously look for these labels (the result of years of domestic training) but I know in my heart that no matter what they say they will NOT be best before the dates shown. I have bought best before cream with a date that shows it to have a month to go, only to open it and find it curdled. I can return it, of course, and I often do. But what use are the dates when you have no idea how long the product has been on the shelf.

Next on the list of picayune things that rustle my psyche are the tiny little labels on fruit. I know they’re bar codes to help the dumb cash registers tell what the cost of the fruit is, but my intestines must now surely be cluttered with self stick labels saying “McIntosh Apple 9052” or “Pear Bartlett, 3214”. And if I remember to peel them off, it takes ages to get my fingernail far enough beneath the label to get rid of it.

I know I’m whining, but isn’t it possible just to buy fruit by the gram or kilogramĀ  or ounce and pound, rather than by the individual label? There’s a scale at every cashier’s wicket. And just think of the extra labor affixing all those tiny labels to every apple, pear, pomegranate, or avocado that’s grown. Farmeers can’t find enough labour to pick the ferschlaggen crop, without having to label everything.

The more I write the more I can come up with the little things that irritate me. We have some great technology in the 21st century–just not in labelling. Sorry for the rant. I think I’d better quit while I’m ahead. Peace!

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