So often these days, it seems way too easy to overlook the obvious. The sign says, “Pedestrian Crossing,” but hardly any cars actually stop to see if any pedestrians are trying to cross. The announcer on the radio said, “Roads are icy,” but there is still a serious accident due to people speeding on the roads. My wife tells me, “Get some more milk or we won’t have any for cereal tomorrow,” and it goes in one ear and out the other. Needless to say, there was no cereal that next day. What is it about things being obvious and yet not being seen, followed, or understood? There are many reasons, such as:
** We think we know best, regardless of the obvious information. It’s like the whole “Click It or Ticket” campaign. If you were clicking your seatbelt before the campaign, you kept on doing it. You already knew that your seatbelt can help to keep you safe, so you were already doing it. If you weren’t clicking your seatbelt before, you still aren’t doing it now. You didn’t care before, so why should you care now? If you don’t care about possibly dying because you didn’t click it before, why would you care about getting a ticket now? Which one is worse?
** We’ve seen the signs so often they fail to even register anymore. It’s what I call the “dulling effect.” It’s like when the sign says “Bridge ices over before road,” but we’ve looked at it so much when we pass by in good weather that we forget completely when it’s colder out after a good rain. We’re flying along the road, which isn’t icy at all, and then suddenly we’re on the bridge and it’s slick enough to make us spin out, or worse. Or on the back of the CD case, where it says “Unauthorized copying is punishable under federal law.” We honestly forget it’s still there, or we just don’t care because we’ve seen it so much. But we copy anything that we possibly can. I remember when there were a few CDs that were made “uncopyable” and everyone flipped out over it so much so that the record companies changed that really fast. But the signs are still there, if we care to look or follow.
** How about when a friend of yours changes her hairstyle and you completely miss it (right, fellas?), so then she’s upset that you didn’t compliment her on it? It should be obvious, right? Especially if she’s gotten it cut at a length that’s different, or if she’s colored it, put in streaks, gotten new bangs, or straightened it when it was initially curly. Other females will undoubtedly notice this obvious change, but for some reason guys are oblivious much of the time. Is it because men don’t pay too much attention to hair because they’re paying too much attention to other attributes a woman has? Or is it because men give the “quick glance” and miss it that way? Regardless, something that should be physically obvious isn’t, in this instance, for whatever reason.
** Some things are so obvious we think others will think of them, so we dismiss them. It’s like if we see several people stopped at the scene of a recent accident, and we assume someone else has called 911. Well, think about it. If we’ve assumed it, odds are other people at the scene have also assumed it. If everyone assumes someone else is going to call, that means no one calls, and time could be very important in such a situation. Or when we assume the DVR will copy the Celebrity Apprentice because we set it to copy the show a long time ago. It should obviously copy, right? But what we think is obvious is thwarted by the people who label the shows. Instead of it being listed under the Celebrity Apprentice, it is listed under All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, and therefore doesn’t copy. Which is really stupid. It’s the same show.
** My favorite one is the toilet paper. For some reason guys don’t notice when they’ve finished the roll, or know what to do when the roll is finished even if they do notice. Some guys toss the roll core in the trash. Score one point for them. But they don’t replace the roll. Perhaps they think the toilet roll fairies (i.e. women) will come along and take care of it for them. Some guys leave one square on the roll, and that’s their excuse for not changing it when someone asks them about it later. At the time, of course, they didn’t even realize they were leaving just one square (and if it’s not two-ply, really, what’s the point?) and it needed to be pointed out to them.
So, it seems that “obvious” needs another definition, or we really need to look at things on a case-by-case basis. If you’ve had trouble with wax buildup in your ears over the years, maybe it’s obvious that you need to clean them out once a week, but to someone who is first experiencing the trouble it’s not. Or if you’ve had extensive dental work done, it’s obvious to you to brush and floss your teeth after every single meal, but to someone who has never had a cavity it’s not. What’s obvious to the goose is not necessarily obvious to the gander, and so forth and so on. So, don’t ever assume things are obvious to everyone. They’re not. Make it clear.
And yes, the time machine can travel through time AND help you win at gambling.
By the way, this was based on the daily prompt about choosing a quote from your favorite movie as the title of your blog post. Bonus points if you figured out my favorite movie based on this quote. 🙂