Paperless is Best

One of the things about the modern world that is making my life overall work so much better is the trend towards paperless options. I can go to my ATM and it will let me choose printed receipt, no receipt or email me a receipt. And I recewntly began using the "Email me a receipt" option and I am loving it.

I already do a lot of online banking, so they already had my email. I would have started using it sooner if I had realized they already had my email. I hesitated to use it because I was like "Aw, crap. Then I will have to type my email address into the ATM." but, nope. I said "Email it to me" and it was all "Okey-dokey. You are all squared away!" and I was like "Dayam! I should have done this sooner!"

I don't think I actually have a paper allergy. What I think is that paper is a lot less clean than when I was a kid.

A lot of paper is recycled these days or has some "post consumer content" in it. This is the "environmentally friendly" option.

I have read that a lot of our cardboard boxes get collected up in the US for recycling and get sent back to China and made into new boxes and then get sent back to the US. And I have to wonder how much mold and crap it grows on the ship in each direction and I have to wonder how many times some of that same cardboard has been subjected to chemicals and what not and put back into circulation.

And now Covid-19 is known to live on cardboard longer than on other surfaces. I wonder how much other crap gets transmitted by paper that goes unrecognized, because I know I hate handling papers. God. It makes me sick to handle papers -- and cardboard is typically worse.

This is a contributing factor to me quitting my volunteer work. I live in a small town and going to public meetings here is the only time it's a big fat fucking deal that I hate handling papers. And I have never found a good answer for that.

I began telling a little white lie that I have a paper allergy just to try to sidestep the ginormous fucking dramatic conversation about "You have WHAT???" "Oh, you know, a relatively recently discovered, relatively mild form of a highly deadly and incurable DREAD DISEASE genetic disorder."

I don't care if people know, the problem is the enormous amount of social drama that revolves around it and assholes act like I'm the one being dramatic. I'm not being dramatic. It's the fucking truth that my condition is deadly and torturous. Get off my back.

Assholes on Metafilter were real big on acting like I was a drama queen for naming my condition. Because they are the most toxic, poisonous, evil asshats on the planet and the world would be a better place if their little cesspit of a forum was nuked from orbit.

Anyway, so saying "Oh, I have a paper allergy. No big. I just don't like handling papers." didn't really get me results at meetings in this small town. It didn't convince other people "No, really, the girl doesn't want your goddamn papers and won't keep them if you fob them off on her. Best case scenario: She might drop by the library and email herself a digital copy before throwing that shit in the trash. Worst case scenario: She will skip that step and throw that shit in the trash anyway."

And I find it so aggravating and problematic that I don't know how to begin to look for another solution that has some hope of being viable. All my alternative fantasies start off with some obnoxious "You people..." framing:

"You small-minded people in this small town need to get with the program and join the twenty-first century and go paperless."

"You backwards environmental heathens need to get with the program and go paperless."

"You old codgers need to join the modern world and go paperless."

"You rich assholes need to butt the hell out of my medical privacy and leave me the hell alone about my hatred of papers and join the modern world, good god."

All of that is more material for the book I have been joking about writing for years titled "How to win enemies and alienate people" which began with intensive research into the subject during 22 months of withdrawal from about eight prescription drugs following GIS school.

So I'm stepping down, mostly because of one asshole in town with power, but also this paper issue is a huge fucking albatross around my neck and I just don't have a solution and I'm fed up with it. It's not getting ANY better. People around here don't take polite hints, at least not from poor people/braless poor white trash/me.

I was one of the geeks in school and I always had a lot of books. In high school, a good friend nicknamed my bedroom "La Bibliothèque" which is French for "The Library."

In my twenties, my husband and I had multiple bookcases lining the walls of our living room and when movers would come they were appalled at all the books they would have to pack. And they would finish that room and be all happy for thirty seconds and then discover there were more books in all the bedrooms and be crestfallen.

So after I was diagnosed, I began just throwing shit out left and right and over the course of about three years I got rid of everything I had ever owned. And I've never let books and papers back into my life and this is one of the reasons I lived and grew healthier.

Anecdotally, I've talked with people on the internet who picked up health issues while living in a tropical jungle in South America and then they packed up their zillion books and brought them back to the states with them and their health issues lingered and would not resolve. And I basically think the books brought back fungus and stuff from the jungle.

Now, if you are really seriously ill, you have to start slow about getting rid of crap. It can put you into serious crisis to toss out a giant pile of moldy books and papers all at once, which is a problem if you aren't strong to begin with.

But a fairly conservative step forward is just refuse to accumulate new/more papers and books. Don't bring more into your life while trying to decide what the hell to do about the mountain of books and papers you currently own.

I strongly suspect that paperless is best for a wide variety of health issues. I think North American Affluenza is literally making people physically ill and we don't really take that seriously enough.

Cutting back on papers is step one in the right direction, in my opinion.