birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Rule Follower

I have been accused of being a "rule follower." There are the rules that you adhere to when in public: Saying "please" and "thank you" and generally behaving in a way that doesn't ruin anyone's day. Rules at home include flushing the toilet when done, brushing one's teeth and cleaning up after yourself. Rules at work are similar to the ones you follow in public. Driving a car everyday requires following multiple written rules, and also some unwritten. These unwritten rules include letting someone into your lane after someone has let you into theirs and offering a courtesy wave if someone lets you into theirs. Meeting your kids' teachers requires special rules, such as DON'T ask for extra work for your child (I have heard parents make this ridiculous request). Living with a spouse requires much rule-following: Listen attentively to stories about their day; thank them for preparing the evening meal and never suggest ways they could have improved the meal prep process. The grocery store offers many opportunities to follow unwritten rules: If someone behind you in line has only one item, offer to let them go ahead of you; always put the divider onto the conveyor belt at the check stand if someone is behind you and have your payment method ready to go when it's time to pay. Overall, rules are there to guide us throughout the day to prevent us from overstepping upon others. I like rules. I am a rule follower.

I Don't Know the Rules

The Rules