Resistance to Change and Toilet Tissue and Birds and Stuff

I was thinking about adaptations, about how “equipped”  living organisms are to survive within given environments.

And also, I was thinking about how ill-equipped I often ‘feel.’

          Some birds that are incapable of flight—– like Penguins and Ostriches (because they do not fly), have eggs that are round as opposed to oval. Is this because they don’t lay their eggs in nests that are high off the ground, so it’s okay if they roll a little? I mean most eggs are ingeniously oval in design. Try to roll an oval egg and it won’t roll as far away or nearly as well as a round egg will. Oval eggs make sense for nests that are high up in trees. I was thinking, maybe the oval egg is a survival adaptation that evolved to help ensure species survival because of the very fact that it won’t roll out of the nest as easily. BUT there’s a flaw in this thought: Emus, Rheas and other flightless birds have oval eggs, not round ones. However, there are NO tree dwelling birds with round eggs…

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Aah the conundrums of life that occupy my thoughts. Is ‘resistance to change’ a healthy adaptation I possess? Or is it a fluke?  In particular, when I’m really stressed, it’s hard to change or otherwise alter in any way, my routine.

Take toilet paper for example. Recently, I was ‘coming down’ from a period of healthy productivity and heightened social interaction when my housemate (we share all the expenses) decides he will change our toilet paper brand.

At first, he just switched because his doctor had joked, “You need to drink something in preparation for the colonoscopy that’s gonna’ keep you running to the toilet! You better get some soft toilet paper!”

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I can understand that. But the colonoscopy has been over for a month now and he’s still using the so-called ‘soft’ brand. Personally I don’t see how embossing the layers makes it soft but that’s just me. Now Charmin is soft but too soft for my septic system so we can’t use it as it clogs the pipes but I digress. Anyway we were in the toilet tissue aisle when he threw the ‘soft’ Cottonelle in the shopping cart.

I say to him, “Hmmm we’ve been buying Scott tissue for five years now because it has more sheets on the roll. It lasts longer. It’s cost effective. It just makes more sense. Cottonelle we buy twice as often…Why—?”

Okay, so there we are in the WalMart and I’m about to ask him why oh why must he change everything when he SHOUTS: “Because it’s tearing my ass up, okay!!!!?”

Alrighty then. Cottonelle it is. (Damned if we should buy both, now that’s real unthrifty.)

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So I’m a flight bird dwelling in a pretty high tree, continually trying to keep my ill-designed round eggs from crashing to the ground. Or so it feels.

Because, I ask myself, what good is “resistance to change” as an ingrained trait that causes me more woe than goodwill?

Fear of the unknown. Resistance to step out of my comfort zone, even in the small areas of life. Protection of the tried and true. Insistence on sameness. Trying to ‘hang on’ in an unpredictable world to something that’s unchanging. Continually asking, ‘why is change necessary here?’ Flexibility not a strong suit. Risks due to change must be analyzed! Chaos theory is real!

But isn’t fear itself a healthy mechanism for survival? Doesn’t resistance lead to new insights? It’s based on valid views (at least in my mind!). Doesn’t it mean I’m not a ‘follower?’ All that may be true, but like the tree that bends in the storm (as opposed to remaining fixed and immovable); the flexible tree survives. I’m working on ‘give and take.’ I’ve said before, I AM a work in progress. I’ve got to work on this. Here’s an interesting take on this topic:

There’s debate in the scientific world about whether or not a wolf’s howl echoes or not. Many claim that wolves have adapted a means of communication (howling) that is impaired by echoes and therefore they’ve adapted to this by howling their conversations to each other at a pitch that WILL. NOT. ECHO. But some naysayers call this a myth, of course they echo! I’m not a scientist and I haven’t conducted any experiments so I can’t answer this definitively. I can only shrug and think how ingenious this adaption is, if in fact it is true.

Suffice to say, I have to hold strong to who I am, and believe that my idiosyncracies and ingrained traits (that annoy others to no end) might just might be there for a reason. My resistances may play a part in challenging those around me (or forcing them) to be patient listeners. I gotta’ go now. I don’t know about you, but coffee is such a colon opener. There’s some ridiculously embossed toilet tissue awaiting me in the next room. I know that’s “too much information” but it’s on topic.

Note to self: Need to buy more Cottonelle. We’ve run out again, because unlike superior (ass-tearing?) Scott tissue, there aren’t 1000 sheets on the roll.


2 thoughts on “Resistance to Change and Toilet Tissue and Birds and Stuff

  1. I heard something on the radio recently which said that people are programmed to remember bad events better than pleasant events. Entirely down to survival – if you remember that the snake bite really hurt you are unlikely to poke another snake. You don’t need to remember which brand of ice-cream tastes best to survive. They also reasoned that depressives (who tend to focus on negatives a great deal) are not as crazy as they sometimes think they are. There is a good reason to be pessimistic. If you happily believe that the cobra won’t kill you because the last one missed when it attacked then you’re unlikely to survive.

    They also said that there is a bell curve in human responses. Some people are more scared of height than others. Some would do better to be more afraid, others are disabled by their fear. The sweet spot is probably in the middle – a healthy respect for gravity.

    I’m not convinced that anyone can prove we instinctively remember the negatives rather than the positives but its a neat little theory. Some resistance to change can’t be a bad thing.


    1. I love your post! This is absolutely true. Under duress, the brain starts squirting away and it bathes the event in cortisol. Sure, as a result of that I CAN remember every detail of my dog getting hit by a car or where I was when Elvis died, yet we aren’t programmed to remember things that are more mediocre and less stressful.


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