Thursday, November 18, 2010

How Silly Putty Saved my Skin and Primark Saved Thanksgiving

Bad Habits

Both lines of my ancestry boast several generations of self-declared and unapologetic pickers.  My plight was inevitable.  I can't go a day (or an hour even) without scratching a new constellation in my skin somewhere.  My fingers are constantly feeling for imperfections and, on finding them, show a determination, normally unseen outside the realm of a child seeking ice cream, to pick and scratch and dig until their craving is satisfied.  Which is never.  Enter Silly Putty.  I noticed that my skin looked the worst at times when my hands were bored (ie, reading books, researching online, or any other activity which requires my eyes more than my fingers).  Finals week preparation is the absolute worst time for my face as the added stress causes my fingers to seek their targets with more aggression and tenacity.  Last term I thought of a possible solution.  For the last four weeks I have carried a blue egg of Silly Putty with me everywhere I go.  And I mean EVERYwhere.  I use it in class during lectures, while studying in the cafe or when reading a book at home.  I can't believe the difference.  Because it can only be in one hand at a time, I still manage to pick a place here and there before I thrust the putty into the offending digits, but all in all it's been a brilliant solution if I do say so myself. :)  The real challenge will be finals week this term.  I hope the putty remains intact until then! 


Everyone knows the secret to a good turkey is a paper bag.  Clearly the English don't cook turkey; not one grocery store here provides paper bags to customers (some of them not providing any bags at all).  My mom would be so upset.  I found myself stressing over this fact several times in the last few weeks, unsure of what to do next.  Luckily I had a brilliant realization.  Primark!  For those of you who haven't been to Primark in general or the Oxford Street location specifically I will try my best to describe it.  Imagine you live in a city of 12 million people.  Everything is expensive (ok, really truly that's not fair because yellow peppers are super duper cheap and it makes me incredibly happy).  Then comes the wal-mart of clothes and accessories with its two story building in the heart of one of the world's busiest shopping districts.  Now can you see that when you walk in it looks like Black Friday every day of the year?  Shelves are upturned, people are pushing, kids are crying, the line for the fitting rooms is so long that patrons resort to undressing in public to try on clothes near anything with a vaguely reflective surface.  It is madness, chaos, and confusion defined.  But for the best turkey ever I will venture to this black-hole and hopefully surface with two (intact) paper bags.  Wish me luck!