Feb 242015

potato chip bagUp until last week I had no idea how to open those sealed plastic bags that chips and other processed foods come in. Every time I tried to open them they’d explode and the contents would fly everywhere. My only hope was scissors nearby, and that couldn’t be replied upon.

It was embarrassing, so my whole life I’d avoided things that come in those bags for that reason. I’d never questioned why other people could open them so easily, and I could not. It was just a thing that makes people different. I don’t get poetry, others do. I can reach things on a high shelf, others can’t. I have brown hair, other people have blonde. Basic human diversity. That was a super power other people had, and I lacked. You just live with it.

I was complaining about this to my SO last week, and she grabbed a bag and showed me how to open it. I had no idea it was just a simple mechanical process. Basically a physical algorithm, with one step. All this time I thought it was an innate talent. And no one who knew the secret had bothered to tell me otherwise. (Although in fairness, most of them didn’t know of my handicap, due to the avoidance thing)

This is just one more thing I have to thank my SO for. :) But it does make me wonder how many other simple things that make my life frustrating I could fix simply by knowing a thing.

  7 Responses to “Hidden Super Powers”

  1. Huh, that’s interesting. Maybe I can learn how to work perforated things without mangling them instead of separating what’s supposed to be separated.

    • If it’s something you can fold, it helps to fold it along the perforated line, then unfold and fold it the other way, at least once and sometimes twice.

  2. Eh, cool of you to owe up to a thing like that :)

    I’ve never thought of bags as a difficult obstacle. Makes me wonder exactly what you did before. Could you make a video? Would be fun.

    When trying to understand what went wrong, I keep getting this image in my head of lacing a shoe and somehow making the shoe fly out the window instead… :D

    • Lacing a shoe is also a skill, while throwing one is not. It’s just that, as society, we expect that to be the case for young children. I can easily imagine a young child throwing a shoe out the window instead of lacing it correctly.

    • LOL! :) Maybe I’ll record the old method and put it up. I can end it with a “Thanks Obama!”

  3. So I realize that this is really a story about simple things we don’t know and a bonding moment you had with your SO, but…

    In the counterfactual world where opening chip-bags is a superpower, isn’t the obvious workaround just to carry a pair of scissors around with you?

    In fact, this just happens to be a convenient solution to a lot of other problems that people have. Instead of needing to obtain the necessary superpowers to tear-paper-neatly, break-string-or-wire, or open-plastic-packages, just substitute one piece of amazing technology! And if you factor in all of the unconventional uses for a pair of hinged metal plates, you’re probably even further ahead than that!

    Instead of developing a crushing inferiority complex about not being Super Man, just acquire Batman’s utility belt. Technology is magic, after all.

    • >Instead of developing a crushing inferiority complex about not being Super Man, just acquire Batman’s utility belt. Technology is magic, after all.

      Cannot agree enough. :) But I’ve found that carrying a lot of things around everywhere is inconvenient. I do have a backpack I try to take most places, but I often forget it. :/ And there’s some places that it’s just not very socially acceptable.

      But more than that, I didn’t like doing it because I felt stupid going for scissors when other people didn’t have to. I was very self-conscious and kinda embarrassed about that, so even when scissors were right there (as they always are in my kitchen) I wouldn’t go for them.

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