What I Think about While Ironing Snowflakes

Today the kids made paper snowflakes. Dozens of them. In order to make them lay flat, I offered to iron them. It was so blissfully quiet up in my room, and ironing snowflakes is surprisingly therapeutic, so I just relaxed and let my mind wander. Here’s where it went.

Hmmm, ironing snowflakes. Who does this? I don’t remember the last time I ironed anything at all.

Do people really iron sheets? Or is that an old-fashioned notion? I’ve heard of this practice, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would ever do or have done this.

Speaking of inane things people do, why is the @ symbol short for “at”? It makes sense now for e-mail addresses, but before e-mail, why the shortcut for one of the shortest, simplest words in the English language?

I always thought @ should mean “approximately.” The shirt costs @ $20. That would make much more sense since it would actually save people some time and energy. I mean, it takes approximately .03 seconds longer to write “at” than it does “@.” (See? I could save several full seconds writing that it takes @ .03 seconds longer, if the world made sense.)

I suppose @ is a technically mathemetical symbol, not an abbreviation. That’s why I was an English major, not a math major.

Speaking of which, when you divide two muffins into two pieces each, you get 4 halves, which is 4/2, which is 2. But 2 divided by 2 isn’t 2, it’s 1.

But since you’re really dividing them in half, would you say 2 divided by 1/2? Well, if that’s the case, and we multiply by the reciprocal to get the answer, we have 2 x 2/1, which equals 4. But the answer to this problem can’t be 4, because it’s 4/2 (which is actually 2).

So maybe you’re really multiplying the 2 muffins by 1/2? But 2 x 1/2 = 1. Clearly cutting 2 muffins in half doesn’t equal 1 muffin.


Okay, I know that when you split 2 muffins each in half, you get 4 halves, or 4/2 (which equals 2). But how would you express that as an equation?

2 divided by 2 doesn’t equal 2.

2 times 2 doesn’t equal 2.

2 times 1/2 doesn’t equal 2.

And 2 divided by 1/2 doesn’t equal 2.

What equation would you use to define this problem?

Oh wait, 2 times 2 halves. So 2 times 2/2 = 4/2. Yay! But then again, 2/2 = 1, so I might as well just say 2 times 1 = 2.

Mathematically, those muffin halves don’t exist.

Dude. I just blew my own mind. Now my head hurts.

Again, the reason I’m an English major. And the reason I thank God I have a full math curriculum for my children.

Speaking of God, where did the term “God awful” come from? It just doesn’t make sense at all.

Speaking of more things that don’t make sense, why do they still have a floppy disk as the symbol for “Save” in Microsoft Word? A floppy disk which isn’t actually floppy, and which is so far out of regular use that my computer-literate children don’t know what it is? What would make more sense these days? I think a piggy bank would be cute. You know, for “saving?” That would be fun.

Speaking of fun, “Some nights I wish that my lips could build a castle. Some nights I wish they’d just fall off.” Some of my favorite lyrics of any song ever.

Speaking of lyrics, does that song by The Band say, “Take a load off, Annie” or “Take a load off, Fanny?” I hope it’s Annie. Cuz I’d like to take a load off.

Speaking of loads, I left a load of laundry in the dryer. Perhaps some of it will need ironing, but who are we kidding? I won’t iron it. I don’t iron.

Except for snowflakes. Obviously.


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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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