Everyone has certain routines, especially surrounding getting up or going to sleep. For example, in the shower I always do things in the same order and if I get out of order for some reason, I forget what has already happened. I will condition my hair without shampooing, or wash my face twice and forget the whole soaping process. Apparently my friend Eric has similar problems, as evidenced by the guest post he wrote:
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I'm a guy with routines. If something comes along that breaks up one of my established routines, it takes extra brainpower on my part to keep everything in the original routine from falling out of place. One of my most frequent and engrained of these routines is how I get myself ready for work and out the door in the morning. Ready? Here it is: wake up, roll out of bed, shower, dry off, eat breakfast, make lunch, put on work clothes, brush my teeth, check that I have wallet/phone/keys/sunglasses (in that order), and boom, I'm out the door. Monday mornings I put on a pot of water to boil a week's worth of eggs as a mid-morning snack, and that comes in between roll out of bed and shower. Other than that, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year (2 weeks of vacation when anything is possible), that's what my morning routine is.
Unfortunately during a recent shower I remembered that my softball league started that night and I hadn't packed my bag before going to bed. For the rest of my shower I was writing a mental checklist of all the things I needed to pack and where they were located around the apartment so I could be as efficient as possible. I made it through the first six and a half steps of the routine when I got sidetracked into looking for my cleats. "Are they in the front closet with the sports gear and jackets, or on the bottom of the shoe pile in my bedroom closet? Hmm, better check now before I forget!" So with my tie half knotted around my neck, I went in search of my cleats, glove, hat, and everything else on my mental list. Eventually I found everything I needed, threw it in a bag that no longer zippers shut, grabbed my pocket stuffers (keys, phone, etc.), and out the door I went, just in time to hear the USS Constitution cannon go off to signal 8am. KAAABOOOOM! I was on time.
About halfway to North Station it hit me - my mouth tasted awful and my teeth felt like they were
covered in a wooly mammoth hair. Twice I slowed my stride and debated whether or not I should turn
around to go home and brush my teeth, but twice I decided that since I was on time and already halfway to the T that I would just do it when I got to the office. Then I got mad that I had forgotten to brush them in the first place, that I had packed my softball bag instead of brushing my pearly whites, and now I was stuck with demon breath for nine T-stops and a quarter mile walk to my office. (Hopefully I didn't offend anyone on my train, and I consciously kept my mouth shut.) Worst of all, as I walked in the building I realized I didn't have a tooth brush in my desk drawer anymore. Crap. But wait, I do have Listerine! At least I can do an alcohol-fueled (21.6% by volume), scorched-earth style rinse and gargle before talking to my coworkers face to face.