Thursday, 10 December 2009

The power of concise - Taming of the Preen

Laundryscape photo by Cecilia Macaulay

Just because you come that way, doesn't mean you have to stay that way.

Most of the nice things that come in jars never asked to be dressed in the equivalent of Hawaiian shirts and painfully loud lettering. But really, its not their fault.
Once I invite them home, I gently undress them, arrange for them to feel a little more comfortable in my cupboardscapes.

Please meet my new improved stain remover, made infinitly tamer by a simple subtraction: all the clutter on the label.
My extra motivation this time?

Imagine you have a garden party invitation celebrating the Emporor's birthday, with all the Japan-connected creators in Melbourne attending.
Imaginge on your filmy, rippley organza slip dress, made for garden parties, is a stain. Shadowy but detectable, particularly to the immaculate Japanese.
You don't want to trawl though all those warnings and persuasions on the label, you just want to teach that impudent stain a lesson, and go on with being a spotless mermaid in foamy white silk.

I didn't read the label. I didn't even do a simple chemistry review, that would tell me silk is essentially some protien extruded by a silkworm, and as far as the bleach is concerned, a silk dress is just one big stain waiting to be dissolved.

I won't make that mistake again, because now my new stain remover only tells me the things I need to know, the things I will predictably pretend not to know when faced with strong temptations, and strong wepons.
Let it sit only one or two minutes.
Never use on silk or wool.
Turn the cap to 'off position' after use.

Thats the kind of Haiku Im in need of right now.
The chemistry behind that last line I'm yet to work out, but I now know that if they bother with an instruction, they probably weren't just doodling.
I will obey.

Concise, useful and beautiful.
If my supermarket stain remover package can transform in this direction, so can we.

As an added bonus, here are the social lessons from my new improved preen container is telling me:
1. Cut the advertizing. Once you are in somebody's life, you can relax and stop promoting, defending, making excuses for yourself. They know exactly how valuable you are already. Go straight to the good suff.

2. Let them know clearly from what direction your troublesomeness will come from, so they can head it off . Not Punctual? A loving wake-up call. Easily worn out? Plenty of recharge rests along the way.

3. Make sure you have an 'Off' position, and get someone to put you into it at regular intervals. All this irrepressability can wear a girl out.

The party days of the bleach-scorched mermaid dress are now over. Bias cut, natural fibre, she clings like a corset, yet feels like a cobweb. As my flawed but still beautiful work dress, it will be buoying my spirits as I draw, write and create. Less admiration, lots more love.

There are two sides to everything.

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