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Friday, August 28, 2015

WHY THE PAT DOWN?


WHY THE PAT DOWN?

Before I leave my home, I perform a pat down.  Is it an OCD thing?  Kinda, mostly it is just because I am an idiot.

When I  commuted to work by train, I needed five things before I left the house;  a handkerchief, my wallet, my cell phone (beeper in earlier years), my train ticket and my work ID.  I regularly forgot at least one of these items and it would cost me money or time and was a pain in the ass. 

I soon got into the habit of the pat down.

Without consciously thinking about what I was doing, I would pat my back left pocket (wallet), my back right pocket (handkerchief), my left front pocket (cell phone), my shirt pocket (work ID), and my inside coat pocket (train ticket).  If any pocket was empty I stopped and realized I had left something behind and retrieved it before it was too late.  The pat down method was almost fool proof, but I did look a little silly. I didn’t do the pat down just once, it was a ritual performed periodically all day. 

I also have a car thing.  On two occasions I have locked my car with the keys still in the ignition (the old VW bug and my Jeep Wrangler doesn't have those remote lock things on the key.)  Realizing you have left the keys in the ignition while you are in the process of slamming the door shut is a sinking feeling.  Your mind is screaming "NOOOO!" while your body is unable to halt the momentum of the slamming car door.

Because of these car incidents, I never close the door without pausing for several seconds.  I don’t even realize why the pause and then I remember the car keys.  I double check usually by patting my pocket for the keys and then I slam the door.

It might look weird, but the only way for me to remember what I forgot, is to remember to check for what I forgot before I forget it. 

That is why the pat down.  

20 comments:

  1. better safe than sorry. better silly than sorry, too. :)

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  2. A pat down before leaving the house seems perfectly fine to me, we were raised to check everything before leaving the house, for a while there was a checklist by the front door so my own kids could learn the same.
    But...a pat down periodically during the day does seem a bit OCD.

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  3. Everything I need is in a handbag... everything that is except the phone. That is in my left hand pocket so a semi-pat down is essential. It would be awful to go out without it! Strangely enough I do my semi-pat down about fifty times a day.

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  4. Yep. I do that same routine. But I've developed another ritual which is to put all the stuff I need each day in the SAME place.
    My wife snorts at this habit. But she spends a good chunk of her life looking for car keys.
    They tend to be more displaced in obscure and unnatural places on mornings when she is in a hurry.

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  5. Oh, I thought you were praying....head, heart, right, left.
    But really, a good idea, to prevent an incident before
    it happens. I do the same thing every Wednesday
    before my drive to Bozeman.

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  6. I'm paranoid about the car key thing. I must check my purse three times before shutting the car door.

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  7. You have a system that works and that's a good thing. Nothing worse than forgetting something and even worse is that door slamming shut when the keys are in the ignition. Been there and done that.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

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  8. Kinda like when a dog circles before he lies down... or a cat... never mind.

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  9. Seems like a great system; I wouldn't try to alter it since it seems to work too!

    betty

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  10. Reminds me of an old joke:

    A priest & a rabbi are seated next to each other on a plane. An hour in to the flight, the captain comes on the speaker & says, "Ladies & gentlemen, we have an emergency & have to land immediately. This could be rough." As they are landing, the turbulence is unbelievable, and the priest happens to notice the rabbi making the sign of the cross.

    The plane lands safely & as they are getting off, the priest says to the rabbi, "so, when the chips are down, you acknowledge Jesus?". The rabbi says he doesn't understand & the priest tells him he saw him make the sign of the cross. And the rabbi says, "Oh, that. I was making sure I still had everything I needed-- spectacles, testicles, watch and wallet."

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  11. I've had that sinking feeling while the car door is slamming shut that you described so very well ... in fact, I've had it several times. Not lately, but let's not tempt fate ...

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  12. I have my own routine for possessions, too. Back when I did shows and smoked, the lighter always was in my right pocket, the keys in my left. Doing laundry one day, I noticed my right pocket edge was worn through, the left showed no fraying at all.

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  13. That is why women carry purses. I have done the car thing and have spare keys in my purse plus hidden on the outside. I only paid a locksmith one time.

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  14. That sounds like a good system. Of course I've seem lonely frustrated guys doing this but I think that's another issue.

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  15. Absolutely...a routine like this works!

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  16. Was there Macarena music playing when you did this?

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  17. Sweetie is just the same. He pats his pockets to check for wallet, keys, cell phone, and anything else he needs.

    My routine with car keys is easy -- i keep them on a lanyard, and make sure i put the lanyard around my neck as soon as i turn off the ignition.

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  18. Your habits seem to be helping you more than they would get in your way. So, I would not worry about what any one would call those habits or even think when they see you pat.
    PS My car would not let me close or lock the door if I were to leave my keys in the ignition.

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