That ?Don?t Blink Syndrome?

Picture this scene. After a long hard day, you finally make your way to bed. Your nice soft mattress awaits you. You ease your tired bones under the blankets. You arrange your pillows, pull up the blankets, and there you are in your own perfect comfort zone. You sigh in bliss. You turn off the light, anticipating the return to your dream zone…but wait.

Your perfectly adjusted pillow has developed a mind of its own. It seems to have gone flat, and in fact now seems bent on shunting your entire body somewhere else in the bed.

Your blankets join the conspiracy, tangling in impossible knots around your feet and seeming to actually produce their own BTUs. Sweating and frustrated, you finally manage to make some order out of what once was a perfectly innocent bed. Only now you can?t sleep.

I know I can?t be the only one this happens to. And I know it isn?t the only thing this happens to. I like to call it ?Don?t Blink Syndrome.? The minute you take your eyes off something, it will suddenly develop a life of its own.

Another popular occurrence of DBS involves pasta. You know you were ravenous when you got to the restaurant. You ate the salad and it seemed to mind its manners. Out came the steaming platter of spaghetti and meatballs.

Leaning over the dish, you inhaled and savored the aromas of oregano, garlic, and tomato. Wasting no time, you attacked it with your fork, determined to do justice to this wonderful meal.

Your only mistake? When you inhaled the herbal bouquet, you might have shut your eyes, just for a moment. That?s the cue for the spaghetti to start breeding.

Of course, it?s discreet about it, hiding under that sauce, but it is multiplying faster than you think. You eat for what seems like hours, even days, with the only sign that you?ve made any progress is those meatball crumbs and half-soggy breadsticks.

Finally, you can eat no more. But that?s too much food to waste, so you ask for a to go box. This is the spaghetti?s cue to knock off the multiplying and start subtracting. You take the box home and pop it in the fridge to eat tomorrow.

The next day, anticipating the feast before you, you?re somewhat taken aback by the pitiful few forkfuls of pasta with almost no sauce sticking to it. Why, you may ask, did that happen? Because you took your eyes off the box. DBS strikes again.

Of course, we all know what happens at holiday meals. You only mean to take a tiny dab of this, a few bites of that. Of course, you?re blinking the whole time you?re filling your plate. By the time you know it, you have mounds of food that you?re not sure you really want to eat.

Many people experience DBS while shopping. You brought a list, but oh wait. There?s something you forgot to write down. Better get that. Hmm, that looks good, better get that, too. Do you need condensed or evaporated milk? Get both.

Because you?ve been blinking, what was supposed to be a simple $25 trip to the store has become a $50 extravaganza. (And why on earth did you buy pickled pigs? feet?)

DBS magnifies itself in this case if you go shopping with children or to a store with clothing, or both. I myself notice a heightened occurrence when I go to the feed store, especially during chick week. I keep blinking and before I know it, I?m headed home with five bags of various feed, another brooder lamp and about 20 chicks.

Kids are born infested with a lifetime supply of DBS. As babies, you don?t want to take your eyes off of them, but lack of sleep always seems to win. When they?re toddlers, you don?t dare blink for fear of what they?ll get into. When they?re grown up, you realize you might have blinked too often. How did they grow that fast? How did they get that smart? It must have happened while you blinked.

Nature takes it a little easier on us. Truly spectacular sunrises or sunsets linger, but there?s always that one magical moment. Blink and you?ll miss it. That perfect leaf drifting through crisp fall air only lasts a heartbeat. I?m pretty sure I?m blinking every time that big fish hits my hook.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for DBS. You could try staring at things all the time, but people might think you were a little off in the head, and besides, something would just be changing behind your back.

So blink, but make sure to keep your eyes open for the important things. You won?t regret it.

More from Shana Thornhill
The age of never is coming to an end
I read something in a book once about getting older (if you’re...
Read More