Oops, I’m turning into Mrs Grumpy 248



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With steamed up glasses perched upon my sweating nose I peer angrily at the minuscule printing instructing me on how to open my new kitchen scissors. With the sense of irony not wasted, I slash at the iron like plastic casing with a kitchen knife to try and extricate them from their cosy nest. I yelp as the knife slips and I cut my finger. Trying to get the wretched things out of their packet I find they are also tied in with wire. Wire? I twist and wrench it trying to get the things loose, and throw them down on the bench with more than a little annoyance. I can’t find any wire cutters. I find an Elastoplast to wrap up my bleeding finger, but tear it in half trying to get the wrapper off. I could almost weep in frustration. It was my last one. I wrap up the bleeding stump (I exaggerate) in a tissue and survey the damage.

I remember my recent acquisition of a nifty looking potato peeler. I bought it because I like the colour. It had other looking wicked blades which did various things like julienne carrots (entirely unnecessary of course). When I did attempt to use it, the blade pinged out onto the bench and rendered the thing unusable. I gave up and got out my trusty old one. And then there was the can opener. My dear old cat Grace who shares my little granny flat will only eat tuna out of a can. I get the Coles cans and try to not think too much about the mercury she is ingesting, but she is nearly 14 and seems very sprightly for an old girl. Sort of my moggy equivalent. Anyway,  I actually broke three regular can openers and one fancy can opener in a row. With her petulant wails assailing my poor old ears, I tried to wrench open that darned can, but the lids seem to be made of a metal that is used on the NASA space program. Another cut. More blood. People are going to think I’m into self harm. But, it is totally impenetrable. Not bad for two dollars a can when there is kryptonite in the mix. So, I tore off to the Good Guys and bought an electric can opener for under 20 dollars. It saved my life and my sanity, and every three days I smugly plug it in and watch it do its circular dance upon the lid and there: Grace has her tucker with no loss of blood to me. And of course there is a saving on Elastoplasts. 

My point is, am I alone in this? Does anyone else find it intensely frustrating dealing with the unwrapping of those little items which are meant to make our life easier? I think of the wrapping on some supermarket items. The poor little ham slices look mummified on their plastic bed. There is so much wrap around them, it reminds me of pass the parcel but with no prizes. And then there is the jar of olives. I wrench and grunt. My poor old face reddens with the effort and I wonder if my retina will again detach with all of the effort. I thump the lid on the bench and then give it another go, and it pops. But again, it was a challenge. And I lost a few olives in the process. Likewise, the sensitivity of a seasoned safecracker’s fingertips is needed to find the edge of the new roll of cling wrap. And don’t get me started on opening a new toothbrush from it’s little plastic case. It reminds me of a difficult birth. Lots of grunting and pushing and finally you get a result before a caesarian is called for. 

But really I am a cheerful soul. I do get some foods from the local whole foods store where the opposite occurs. There, amidst a lot of earnest looking healthy people I negotiate the skinny aisles and try to shovel the mung beans and lentils into paper bags. They give you a little shovel, and you need to hold the lid of the storage container open while you shovel in the goodies and try not to spill them. However the opening of the paper bag is a total mystery. In fact, I suspect it doesn’t have one, as I try to prise it apart, I drop the lot and incur the sanctimonious smirks of the mung bean brigade. Thankfully the girl behind the counter comes to my aid, before there is a landslide of chickpeas.

So, am I the only Mrs Grumpy out there? I’ve only dealt with opening things today. Next time I will deal with the people I am forced to share the road with, but just venting about this lot has been a positive emotional catharsis for me. I’m off to make a cuppa if I can open up the new tea packet without losing blood.

Tell us, have you ever felt like this? 

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Karen Jones

Born in New Zealand, Karen now happily lives in the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She retired early due to ill health and now focuses on her love of walking, writing, reading and spending time with her grandchildren. With a degree in writing, Karen became a blogger and book reviewer for Starts at 60, which has enabled her passions to become enjoyable pastimes. Her recipe for bliss is a well made flat white, a friendly cat and a sea view.

  1. Have you tried opening a child’s packaged toy? Amid the excitement of Christmas Day or a birthday, it is near impossible!

    5 REPLY
    • We have resorted to opening the package before wrapping – and removing all the wire ties etc! Makes it much more exciting when the child opens it!

      1 REPLY
      • This is the best idea, it is dreadful on Christmas morning when it takes so long to unwrap one present and the child is jumping up and down in anticipation urging you on, you know you will have several others to deal with which doesn’t help matters.

    • I always make sure the right batteries are attached but what you do is a great idea! Will try it next time! Will do it carefully and hopefully repack without all the tape and wiring!

    • Grandpa & Grandpa cover all contingencies. Batteries, scissors,tin snips and sticky tape. Sticky tape? Yes. in case the wrong person gets in to the present.

    • Don’t ever buy a swing set that comes in a box for kids at Christmas. You will be up all night and will need a cast of thousands to assemble it!!!

      1 REPLY
      • Ha ha – I remember that well Diane. The trampoline was the worse though – took hours on Christmas Eve.

  2. I just love that because of drug addicted morons they made my pain meds slower working and finger breaking exercise to get them out of the packaging. What genius thought that one up. Have severe arthritis in your hands, be in agony and then watch and feel your blood pressure going through the roof trying to open things. No, you are not grumpy, your in frustrated pain.

    1 REPLY
    • Even a simple Aspro Clear after yard work is a problem. The high tensile alfoil wrap would hold a jet engine together.

  3. I agree entirely with you all on all areas, you’ve covered it well. I keep an old pair of scissors & pliers handy which has to be replaced on a regular basis as they are wrecked doing there job; just to undo the ridiculous packaging we have to deal with today. I too am tired of being put to the test!! Hang in there! ⛵️

  4. Even milk bottle tops can be difficult at times!

    2 REPLY
    • Especially first thing in the morning making that first precious cup of coffee and my hands haven’t woken up sufficiently to get a good grip on the lid.

    • In reply to Sheryl – I can’t open the long-life milk cartons without either splitting the side of the carton thus spilling the contents or jamming the “open easy” lid into the carton which ends up making the liquid spill in every direction except into the cup of coffee. Garbage bags and I don’t have a good relationship either!!!

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