All of us have our own personal unwritten rules that we follow every day.
For example, when getting dressed, I must put a sock on my left foot, sock on my right foot, then shoe on my left foot and shoe on my right foot. It just feels correct.
I have heard there are some societies where people put a sock on one foot and then a shoe, and then repeat the process on the other foot. I’m not sure how they can live like this because it seems uncomfortable and also unfair to the second foot.
I may try it sometime just to break up my routine and to see how it dramatically changes my life, but on most days I follow the regulations for shoes and socks.
Rules like these generally are not written down, so I am writing them here for your benefit. Please see if you agree with them and let me know about other personal unwritten rules that should be included.
Unloading the dishwasher –Everyone has their own order for putting dishes away, but starting with the bottom rack seems to be the preferred order. To me, plates and larger items should be put away first.
Pressing the lock button on the car – This must be done at least twice, especially if the horn does not honk until the second press.
Socks go in a top drawer – Although socks go on the feet and could therefore be in a lower drawer, they must be in a top drawer. I can see the logic if the top drawers are smaller, but in many dressers they are all the same and people still put socks in the top drawer.
Other drawers should also be in logical orders – Underwear needs to be at the top, but there is no reason it could not be in a bottom drawer. It does go on your bottom after all.
Clothing items need to be separated by drawers – I have family members who will throw shirts, underwear, socks and shorts all in the same drawer. I don’t know how they live in such chaos. I can only assume that they are anarchists.
Routine for the shower or bath – Everyone has their own order, but have you ever tried to deviate from your usual washing schedule? If I do, I can’t remember if I have cleaned everywhere so I just end up washing again anyway. Washing your hair is always last, right?
Drying after the shower – It’s similar to washing, but with less water. I may start with my elbows sometime just to see how it feels.
Making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – If it is a sandwich with two pieces of bread, I want to put the peanut butter on one piece of bread and then put the jelly on top. I have heard of people putting the jelly on the second piece of bread and then just smashing everything together, but that seems like it would ruin the sandwich or cause food poisoning, so I won’t risk it.
Brushing your teeth – I think you need to start top on the left on the front side, and then go to the right and then the top middle, then to the back side of the top teeth and then finally down to the bottom teeth. You have to start with the top teeth in case they knock anything down onto the bottom teeth. If I tried to start on the right side and in the back, I would probably get cavities.
Checking to see what is on television – Do you click through the channels from wherever the tv was on when you started, or do you go to the lowest channel possible and then go up? Or do you start with a favorite channel and then go up or down from there? It’s an important routine to set in order to maximize your viewing time and experience.
Putting in contacts – I have to start with the left first. I can’t imagine putting in the right contact first. I don’t know if I could be friends with a right contact first person.
Sitting in the same section at the movie theater, church or other location – I always want to sit in the same areas at church and the movies. I know I like the view, I am comfortable there and it just feels right. If I see someone sitting on the opposite side that I am used to at church, I either assume the church is full, someone is visiting or something is wrong.
Sitting in the same chairs at home – I only ever saw my father sit in one chair at home when I was growing up. We had plenty of other comfortable chairs, but he only sat in one.
Eating in order – I want to eat vegetables first and then enjoy the other parts of the meal. Many people want to portion foods out so you finish all of the items they are eating at roughly the same time.
Sleeping on the same side of the bed – I didn’t know this one would be that important until my wife and I switched sides when she moved the bedroom around. I had trouble falling asleep for at least a week. I am used to it now, but if she moves the furniture around again I don’t know what I will do. I may have to try planning for award acceptance speeches as my friend Andy suggests.
Finishing a blog post with a clever line – Ok, I guess I don’t always do this one.
Any other personal unwritten rules? Feel free to add them below or let me know which ones I am wrong about. Thanks!