Friday, October 28, 2011

Hair Salons

My next blog post was going to be about an article my mom gave me concerning germs in all our kitchens. But I was just at my hair salon yesterday to get a new "do" and highlights (turned out FABULOUS, thanks for asking!).

My hair stylist is really awesome. That's why I followed her from the salon very close to my house to the one rather far from my "territory" where she moved to a couple years ago. She's a perfectionist so my hair is always completely perfect after she's done with it. It takes her about 3 hours to highlight, cut and style and cut again - just to get every hair in perfect alignment or whatever! I appreciate it! (I have to say this in case she ever reads this blog - but I really, REALLY do mean it too!)

Anyway, since I'm a germaphobe I always notice what people are doing to spread germs about. The salon is no exception. How many times have I watched her drop a comb, a clip, or some other thing she's using and then pick it back up off the floor and put it in my hair?!

Have you ever stopped to think of how filthy a floor is? Where have you walked today? Where have other people walked? What kind of germs are we picking up on our shoes as we walk around everywhere?

For example, my husband got duck and geese crap all over the bottom of his shoe when we were feeding the creatures at a pond over the weekend. Now imagine him walking into my salon for a haircut, duck poop germs on his shoes, and the stylist dropped her comb on the floor. It's kind of like smearing duck poop in his hair when she picks the comb back up and runs it in his hair, don't you think?!

Then if he doesn't shower before going to bed that night, his face is rolling and moving around that pillow where his duck-poop-hair is! Gross, huh?!

I also notice all the brushes on her station that are full of other people's hair. She uses those in my hair. How do I know these other people's hair is clean? When I go in, my hair doesn't get washed until all my color has been done first. The clips and combs to separate my hair for the color and tin foil is going on unwashed hair. Luckily, I do happen to wash my hair every day, so it IS clean. But what of the other people's hair?

I never see her taking out or putting anything into that big canister of blue sanitized liquid that combs and whatnot are supposed to go into. Never!

Then I go to bed that night, no shower until the next day, toss and turn, my face all over the pillow where my germy salon-done hair is, mouth drooling (yes, I'm a drooler! *sigh* )  and picking up who knows what kind of germs in my sleep?!

It's something to think about! Take notice the next time you go in for a haircut and/or color! What kind of germs are going on your hair from unclean salon tools?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dinner Out - OY!

The hubby and I went to Novi Andiamo's for dinner last night. This is a rather upscale restaurant, for those of you unfamiliar with the small Michigan chain.

We had a $20 certificate for the restaurant and we both got the October Prezzo-Fisser Menu special; an appetizer, entree and dessert for one pretty darn good price.

As we sat there, I noticed a couple things to make a germaphobe shudder. The first thing happened to the table of four people sitting next to us. Their waiter brought out their entrees on a large tray he was carrying. Three of the entrees were under metal domes to keep warm. The fourth entree was exposed to the air and was directly under the waiter's nose and mouth, just about an inch or two above the food!

I cringed thinking of the guy breathing all over this one entree! YUCK! What if he coughed, or a tiny bubble of snot came out of his nose as he breathed or something?! Ugh! Seriously, the uncovered food was just RIGHT UNDER his face - he could have practically stuck out his tongue for a taste! Of all the entrees to be left uncovered, did it have to be the ONE just under the guy's mouth?! Sheesh!

The next thing I found disturbing was the guy filling up the water glasses for all of us. He kept carrying the metal water pitcher around by the lip where the liquid comes out. Dude, there is a HANDLE on the pitcher for a REASON! USE IT!

As much as I love to eat out, things like this are such a turn-off. It's scary to put your health in the germy hands and practices of some people in the restaurant industry.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cell Phone Poop

The recent buzz has been about a study that came out of the UK last week regarding fecal contamination on cell phones.  According to CNN, one in six cell phones in Britain tested positive for E. coli bacteria, or poop as we all know it.

"This study provides more evidence that people still don't wash their hands properly, especially after going to the toilet," Dr. Val Curtis of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said.

Furthermore, when the people were surveyed for the study, 95% claimed they wash their hands with soap and water. Yet 92% of their cell phones and 82% of their hands showed various bacteria. And the dreaded E. coli bacteria was on 16% of hands and cell phones. Sounds like too many people are not being truthful! Liars, liars, pants on fire!

"'People may claim they wash their hands regularly but the science shows otherwise,' said Dr. Ron Cutler, of Queen Mary, University of London. A person can transfer fecal bacteria by touching door handles, food and mobile phones and, from there, to other people."

Seriously disgusting, isn't it?!

Check out this video report:

People, WASH YOUR HANDS!!! SERIOUSLY!!! Aaaargh!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Shaking Hands

I think hand shaking has got to be about the worst custom, especially for a germaphobe. I just hate it when people want to shake my hand. It drives me nuts! Over the past several years, I have come to the point of outright rejecting the revolting hand shaking custom. It's MY hand and I do NOT want it being handled by anyone (husband being the exception - IF his hands are clean!)

I can easily and without any qualms reject a stranger's proffered hand that I know I'll never or rarely see again. Someone like a sales person or other such people who want my business, I guess I don't care much if they think I'm odd. I just tell them, "I'm not into shaking hands."

The biggest problem is at church though. There is always, very unfortunately for a germaphobe, a greeting session during the beginning of the service. We're supposed to greet and shake hands with everyone around us to show how warm, nice and friendly we are, I guess. I really HATE it! Dude/ dudette, I don't know where your hand's been and I don't want your germs on a vital body part of mine that is used to rub my eyes, scratch my nose and pick up food to stuff into my mouth. Do you know how easily I get sick?!?! Egads!

I've seen too many people in church, sitting in front of us, who pick their noses, pick at their heads, pick at scabs or zits, cough or sneeze into their hands, chew on their fingers or nails, and then they want to shake everyone's hands? Not mine, buddy!

There's also those official greeters at the door I have to try to dodge. How many people's hands have they touched before they want to spread all the germs to my hand? Ewww, no way!

Most of the time I'll just give everyone a hug so they don't think I'm stuck up or haughty or something. These are people I might have to see every week, after all. I still tell them I'm not into shaking hands, but I offset it with a nice hug so we're all happy little clams.

Clams, hmm, that actually makes me think of the little clam creature all safely tucked inside its shell, never opening up unless it wants to. I bet it doesn't have to worry about getting sick from some other clam wanting to touch it and spread germs around. It doesn't have to worry what others think of it, all shut up inside its protective space. Everyone just knows it's a clam and it's supposed to be locked away from all possible harm. Gee, I wish I were a clam!

If I feel I can't get away with rejecting a hand shaking episode, I make sure I use my hand sanitizer before I touch anything else again. My husband always shakes people's hands, so I'm always ready with the sanitizer for him.

I also refuse to touch the collection plate passed to everyone for offerings or any of the Communion trays. My husband automatically takes them as they're being handed to me because he knows I won't touch them. Sheesh, since we sit in the back row, it's as bad as if we'd gone around shaking all the germ-ridden hands of every single person in our section of the church! Yuck!

Yes, hand shaking is a very serious pet peeve of mine. I would think more people would be aware of how germy hands are and how easily illness can be transferred by them, that no one would want to shake hands anymore. I like Howie Mandell's fist bump. It's a much better idea, don't you think? Let's all boycott the hand shake until we rid it from the earth! YAY!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Public Pens

Have you ever thought about the community pens you use? Like when you're signing in at a doctor's office? How many germs are you picking up there from all the people who are sick, besides the regular gross germs from people who don't have clean hands?! Ewww!

And then there's the pens you use to sign credit card receipts. How many unwashed hands have used them before you? Another big ewwww!

The worst pens are the ones that are attached to those ePads, or electronic signature capture devices, used so prevalently in retail stores now. There's nothing a germaphobe can do to get around a pen like that.

For all standard pens used to sign paper with, I always keep my own pen in my purse ready to take out and use. I never use the proffered community pen. Those pens give me the "willies"!

But what does one do with those electronic device pens? I freak everytime I have to use one of those! A couple of times I've taken out a tissue to handle the pens with, but the cashier and other customers look at me like I'm a real weirdo! It's a bit embarrassing to be such a huge germaphobe sometimes.

At some retail stores I cannot even write a check without still having to sign on that electronic device! I am so disgusted by those pens. I know they are chock-full of germs.

UPS and other delivery companies also make you sign with that nasty pen on the electronic device. Why can't we all just go back to the standard pen and paper?! Then I can use my own clean pen and not have to touch something that hundreds of strangers with dirty hands have touched before me!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sneezing and coughing

I went to see Dolphin Tale yesterday. The theater was full of families with little kids. I was glad I got there early so I had a good choice of seats. I always sit in the very last row because I don't like having people sit behind me. One never knows when the person behind them could be sick.

So I'm sitting there, eating popcorn, watching previews and waiting for the movie to start when this older man and lady climb the stairs, and then the man is heading to the seats by me. He touches the seat directly next to me and then leans over me with his face next to my ear and asks if he can share my popcorn. WHAT?! REALLY?!?!?!

I'm in a bit of a shock when I snorted and shook my head no. He ends up sitting with one chair between us. When I finished my popcorn I actually think about giving him the bag so he can go get himself a free refill. But I decide I don't want to encourage any weird behavior or thoughts of his towards me. My husband often says I'm a weirdo magnet.

So now the movie is playing. Many of the youngest children are up and out of their seats, playing in the aisles, fidgeting, wanting more snacks, etc. Then I hear one of the kids sneezing their little head off somewhere below me. I'm glad I'm not sitting down there!

A little bit later, one little girl who has been one of the worst fidgeters is moving up the aisle, playing around. She ends up sitting with some other people she obviously knows just a couple rows below mine. She's standing there, doing whatever fidgeting little kids do when they're not sitting and watching a movie as they are supposed to do, when she starts sneezing her little head off. I watch her continuing to sneeze all over the people's heads who are just inches in front of her. YUCK!

This is precisely why I do not ever like sitting in front of people. I want the very back seat, away from anyone who could breathe, cough or sneeze on me.

Last Christmas Eve service at the church we attended turned into one of horror for me. We sat in the very last row, as usual. All was good until more and more people kept coming in. That's a good thing, right? More people in church should always be a good thing.

Well, it turned bad when more chairs for extra rows of seating were put out. And now the last row we were sitting in no longer was the last row. Now we had another couple rows behind us, plus a few more chairs to the side of us.

I felt very anxious and nervous when a bunch of people sat behind us. That anxiety went through the roof when the teen girl directly behind me kept leaning forward into my "space" and I could feel her breath on the back of my head. I pointedly turned to look at her with her face so close to me, but she kept doing it. 

Then the coughing started. There were two of them coughing behind us. Plus one of them had very congested, wet sounding breathing. I'm ready to bolt out of my seat. I am beyond distressed at this point. My husband knows I'm freaking out inside and barely able to contain myself.

It wasn't long before I decide I can't take it anymore. Despite being in the midst of a very reverent service the night before Christmas, I stand up and make my way past the others in our row. My husband and I leave the church and go back home.

It's better to be safe and well than sick and sorry later, right?!