Never notice (until you do)


Under the cabinets in my kitchen are a couple of those touch lights.

You probably know the ones I mean. Usually round, maybe three inches across, and commonly run by batteries. They use sticky tape or screws to be set up in virtually any location you might want extra light but really don’t have the time, desire or ease of running new electrical supplies into. Sheds, closets and so on.

I have literally never turned them on. Might be no batteries in them. Might be batteries that don’t work in them. Might be a hidden wire I don’t know about involved (which if I did know about it might explain some of the other issues I’ve been dealing with since we moved in).

Point is, they’re there, and I just never think about them.

Only time I even notice them is perhaps once every two or three years, when I glance toward one particular cabinet while climbing up the stairs from the basement. I get to see the bottoms of the cabinets from that view. In fact, as I think about it, I’ve seen them twice. Both times coming to the same thought: “Hey, those look like battery powered lights. How come I never saw those before?”

You may be wondering why I would say the same thing about the same light twice. Answer actually comes from the main bathroom of the house. In there, under the medicine cabinet and above the counter, are three of these disk lights. I spotted them one day while cleaning the bathroom floor. Then immediately forgot they existed until I began writing this essay. Insert here joke about getting old, forgetting things, and ending up confused.

Point is, they’re there, and I just never think about them.

Have you ever seen those posts on social media feeds where people say something about a product’s design or a common phrase or whatever, with the intention being to stun you by providing information? A hidden symbol in a company’s logo… a term that’s so old the original meaning was forgotten, but once explained it seems to make sense… a takeout food package that can be flipped around in five or six moves to turn into a picnic table with plates, utensils and seating for six… you know the ones I mean.

I hate those.

I admit, some of them I chuckle about because everyone knew that item that apparently mystified this one particular genius. Some of them I shrug my shoulders at because no one cares. But mostly… I just hate them.


The light under the cabinet idea.

I’ve been making my way through the dark corners of my kitchen for years without this information. I’ll be making my way through the dark corners of my kitchen virtually every day in the future without using this information. And, if it had been up to me and really a major problem, solving this particular issue wouldn’t have been something I approached with a discount store stick on plastic light.

Years ago, a friend of mine was bragging about the fuel gauge on his car’s dashboard. He was trying to educate us about how it showed which side of the car the cap was. He went on for days and days about how we all needed to be paying attention to things like this. Another friend burst his bubble. She pointed out that for his car, it was just a coincidence. The reasoning is a long story we need not go into right now… and yes, there are little arrows that we are all becoming familiar with that point to which side of the car we should put next to the gas pump before getting out to refuel… but the reality, as she pointed out, didn’t matter. After showing him the thought was wrong to apply to all cars, she also pointed out the thought was right for his car. On his car, that picture did show him where the cap was.

Often, it’s about habits and personal preferences and, to be honest, the coincidences that stick with us. So as long as the information and solutions work for us, in many cases if it’s not going to change the world, it really doesn’t matter how it gets set up.

They’re there. I just never think about them.


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