Directions You’re Gonna Regret


Every had one of those moments where you decide to follow the directions and then instantly regret it?

The image above shows the directions I followed, which I instantly regretted. Why? They seem relatively straight forward, right?

Not exactly. If you were paying attention, the food is contained within a pouch. The problem is the pouch. The food literally does not need to be cooked in the pouch. But, you decide to follow the directions anyway. So, as a result, one wouldn’t think to cover the top of the pouch…I can see that lightbulb flickering…you are starting to get it…because while to food is in the pouch there is no convenient way to cover the top of the pouch with something that will keep the now heating food from exploding all over the inside of the microwave. POP! SNAP! CRACKLE, CRACKLE, BOOM!

So the written instructions on the back of the food product would more accurately read:

  1. Tear or cut open pouch.
  2. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) for 45-60 seconds. Microwave ovens vary; heating times may need to be adjusted.
  3. Wait for “fireworks” noises to be heard over the humming of the microwave.
  4. If you live dangerously, wait for the time on the microwave to expire and you hear the beep or ding. If you don’t like to live dangerously, curse loudly and pull open microwave door immediately.
  5. Remove pouch from microwave while surveying the messy damage. If you like burnt fingertips, grab anywhere and throw in a little squeeze for kicks; otherwise, carefully grab a small corner at the top edge of the pouch.
  6. Empty remaining content of pouch into a bowl or onto a plate. If the pouch is lighter than when you put it into the microwave, deposit pouch directly into the garbage.
  7. While cursing or muttering under your breath, grab cleaning supplies (we recommend all purpose cleaner and paper towels) and clean the entire inside of the microwave before the next co-worker needs to use it. Return cleaning supplies to proper location after use.
  8. If you are still hungry, ENJOY the small amount of remaining contents from the pouch. Remember, it may be hot (depending on how long it took you to clean the microwave) so use caution. If the remaining contents are not hot, please return them directly to the clean microwave and cover the dish with a paper towel.
  9. If you are not still hungry, return directly to work and try to be productive while your stomach growls all afternoon.

Here’s how it should read since the instructions are out of order or they left out a few steps:

  1. Tear or cut open pouch.
  2. Empty contents into a bowl or onto a plate.
  3. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) for 45-60 seconds. Microwave ovens vary; heating times may need to be adjusted.
  4. Enjoy.

There, now isn’t that better?



Do you have an example of when you followed the directions and then regretted it? Share in the comments below!

If I Could Turn Back Time

One of the “Daily Prompt” topics caught my interest this week. “If I could turn back time…” has been on my mind a lot lately. It has been on my mind because I (or we, because it involves more than just me) have been locked in a court battle with my ex-wife over my daughter. It has been going on for 10 months now and, as you can imagine, every day that passes is agonizing. Each day that passes is like another weight added to my shoulders. I did not start this court battle because I was being difficult or vengeful, but because my daughter REQUESTED it.

Last Spring her mother got engaged and my daughter didn’t seem very excited. Well, she was excited because it was something new for her mom but she wasn’t excited in the sense that children get excited about something. Right after school lets out my daughter is with us full time for two months over the summer. At the beginning of summer, she very explicitly said that she did not want to  move with her mom because she would be leaving the only school she had ever known, a large extended family that she was highly connected with, and many friends that she was finally starting to enjoy. Needless to say, this request seemed daunting since the courts here in Washington are not friendly to fathers, but I knew I had to fight this time. I knew I had to fight for her, something I failed to do when she was young. That is where the thoughts of turning back time came back from.

The following is an excerpt from something I wrote during the healing process as I was trying to deal with the loss of a marriage, the loss of a family, and the loss of my child. I only share this portion of the writing because this is really the only part of the past that I wish I could go back and change.

I remember that day like it was yesterday . . . Her eyes are brown, her hair is red and curly.  She has a smile that lights my day and a laugh that makes my heart dance.  I had to chase her around the dining room table that day.  I was leaving for school that morning and she was not going to be home when work no longer kept me away.  She was leaving with her mom later in the day, but, innocently, she did not know it.  She was just playing the game we played every morning before I left for school.

This day had been coming for a couple of weeks and I knew, eventually, I would have to suffer through it then, and for the rest of my life.  As I put on my jacket, I could hardly hold back the tears.  How do you say goodbye to someone who does not understand?  Each time I looked at her my heart was breaking, being torn to shreds, and I could not avoid it any longer.

“I’m leaving for school.  Can I have a hug and a kiss?” I asked as I knelt by the door. She looked at me out of the corner of her eye, ever so slyly, smiled, and said, “No!”

Then she bolted for the next room as fast as her little legs could carry her.  Her little feet CLOMP, CLOMP, CLOMPING across the floor.  She giggled as she ran, just like every other morning, but this morning the “No” felt like a dagger.  It stung.  She does not know this; of course, she is only a year and a half old.  I chased her into the next room, heart crumbling with every step, forcing a smile to my face.  When I caught her, I held her in my arms and, finally, she threw her arms around my neck, puckering up for a kiss – just like every other morning.  This morning was not like the others though.  This morning was the morning that meant I would only see her occasionally, every other weekend.  This morning was, “Goodbye.”  Of course, she does not understand goodbye yet.  To her, goodbye means closing the bedroom door and then dashing back in seconds later.  Thankfully, she does not understand just yet.  She did not know then that there would be weeks between seeing her daddy.  She was too young to understand that then, but she will . . .

I remember those days like they were yesterday . . .

Now, nearly eight years after the day described above, I regret that day. I didn’t fight for her then and I thought what I was doing at the time was best for her. How little I knew. I have watched a little girl slowly lose her childhood as her mother makes her into a “little adult” at the age of 10. I have tried to keep her balanced during her time with me, but honestly it is hard to fight an influence that is so pervasive.

Now, it has been 10 months of agony and there doesn’t seem to be an answer in sight as to what the court may decide. I want to rescue my little girl. I want to rescue my daughter. I want to turn back time and make it right so that we wouldn’t be here, doing this fight, now.

IF only, if only I could turn back time.