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Pachy's avatar

Old habits die hard?

Asked by Pachy (18572points) August 13th, 2016 from iPhone

Did you learn a way of doing something in childhood that you slavishly followed into adulthood and then discovered a much easier way to do?

English muffins were a special treat when I was growing up. For years I watched my mother split them with a fork before toasting, a process I continued to follow without questioning but always secretly found messy and, depending on the muffin brand, sometimes barely worth the effort. I had been brainwashed by my mother and I never considered there was an easier way.

Then, not long ago, It hit me to use a knife and I’ve been blissfully slicing them that way ever since. And that’s only one example of old habits I’ve managed to break as I’ve aged.

I know this sounds kinda stupid but who says elephants are all that smart?

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20 Answers

janbb's avatar

Your mother was right though. Splitting with a fork helps create those delicious nooks and crannies that attract butter!

After marrying, I switched from my Mom’s way for folding socks and t-shirts to my husband’s way – both of which were simpler. I still do my Mom’s way though for good shirts and polo shirts.

In a larger sense, I have recently begun dealing with problems and anxieties in a better way than I always did. When faced with a difficult or potentially problematic situation, I almost immediately try to figure out a “plan B” so that I don’t obsess about dire possibilities. If there are genuine anxieties, I try to figure out which is the main source of anxiety and push the others aside until the first is resolved. Case in point, this week I had a tooth extraction and a new router to install. I decide the course of action with the router and then that I would not think about it again until after the dental work was done.

Coloma's avatar

Haha, well, nothing quite like that, but…I have done a lot of self awareness work and getting in touch with old programming and I chose to raise my daughter completely differently than I was raised. My mother was a very difficult woman and we had very different personalities, she was very emotionally immature and resented my independent nature. She would have liked me to be her lifelong servant, no questions asked. That wasn’t going to happen and she did not deserve my devotion and respect even though I had compassion for her issues.

She also was an alcoholic and had a lot of mood swings. It took me until my teens to really see what the deal was with her. I made a conscious choice to raise my daughter very differently, being emotionally present, available, active in her school and activities and giving her, what I think, was a rather unique and creative childhood with a creative and silly goose mom. We can change our programming, but like anything, we first have to be aware of it and question its validity. Congratulations on discovering that a knife works much better than a fork.

I hope you had a rousing moment of tossing that fork back into the drawer with an emphatic “Fork Off!” haha

Pachy's avatar

Thanks, @janbb, but actually, splitting the brand I’m using with a knife actually does leave lots of crooks and crannies—else I’d go back to using a fork, which I know is the “proper” way. Maybe this wasn’t the best of example of an old habit dying hard…

janbb's avatar

We’ll have to have an English Muffin Toast-Off some day. I’ll concede but only after tasting!

And Edit: I “decided” the course of action…....

Pachy's avatar

DEAL !!! I’ll try not to muff my muffin.

Stinley's avatar

I like to do things my own way. I like to be efficient so if someone gives me a process, I will analyse it to make sure it’s the most efficient way to do it. If I’m being honest, sometimes I spend more time reengineering processes than I will ever save. However some things my parents taught me are the only and right thing to do. Like buying your children’s shoes from a shop that has staff trained in fitting shoes. My husband says that it is a waste of money. I have no evidence that he is wrong or that I am right but I always buy their shoes in a shop that fits them

johnpowell's avatar

@Stinley :: “If I’m being honest, sometimes I spend more time reengineering processes than I will ever save.”

I love the shit out of that sentence. Here is why.. I play this horrible game. I cheat with scripting. It is a single player thing so I don’t find this as actual cheating. The only pleasure I get is from modifying scripts to be a bit more efficient.

Stinley's avatar

I love you jp but I don’t know what you are on about! But I get that you know what I’m saying.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

My mother was a meticulous clothes folder. Even underwear. I traveled a lot and, years ago, learned to roll my clothes in such a way that was fast, space-and-time efficient and have done it to this day. I roll everything except dress shirts and place them in drawers. I also fold socks over once at the top, instead of folding them into a ball. My mom would have a fit, but it works for me.

janbb's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus That socks change is the one I made in my marriage.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I guess the way I make tea. There’s a process. I was taught it as a child. I follow it carefully. I think habit developed in response to the scathing looks my father delivered after I served him a cup of donkey pee.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Yes. For example, My father taught me how to fish. Using his knots and rigging. I currently don’t really use anything like he taught me in saltwater. I still use his old tricks in freshwater, but I use my own knots.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I still put ketchup and MAYONNAISE on my meat loaf sandwiches because my mom did.

zenvelo's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus of course mayo and ketchup are perfect for a meatloaf sandwich! Sometimes our parents taught us best.

@Earthbound_Misfit there is a proper way to make tea, As my Scottish grandmother taught her daughter in law (my mom), take the pot to the kettle, a cup of boiling water for the pot, then empty, put tea in pot, and pour boilin water in the pot. Then steep four minutes.

My grandmother would rap my knuckles with a spoon if I didn’t do it that way.

Coloma's avatar

I just like mayo on my meatloaf sandwich. :-)

MrGrimm888's avatar

Not to pollute this thread, but mayo AND ketchup are required on a meatloaf sandwich. Green peppers and /or mushrooms are welcome.

If you’re eating a meatloaf sandwich, you’re not counting calories.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Exactly @zenvelo. You have to follow the ritual. I know a Hawaiian gentleman who would agree with us.

Coloma's avatar

@MrGrimm888
I like mayo and ketchup on my hamburgers but just the mayo on meatloaf. I also hang my TP OVER, that is the requirement. haha

MrGrimm888's avatar

I can make that work. No problem. Makes me hungry. ....

jca's avatar

@Coloma:: Yes, TP over. I learned that from Ann Landers or Dear Abby long ago.

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