Playing with matches

MatchesMy mother told me never to play with matches-and for once, I listened.  I listened so well that I was terrified of matches.  Chemistry lab in high school was misery lighting those bunsen burners.  My lab partner always had to do it for me.  She gave me a box of fireplace matches as a joke so that I could light a match but keep my fingers far from the flame.  I wish I’d brought them with me!

But, now I live here, where I have to light a match every time I turn on my stove.  And, during soggy season May-October, those matches are hard to light.  Sometimes I’d ruin 5 or 6 of them before I could get the stove lit.  So, I started watching how my friends lit matches.  They hold them with their fingers much closer to the end and strike down so that the flame goes right up towards their fingers.  And it works the first time.

So, in a fit of cultural and fire bravery, I decided to try it their way.  It works!  And I haven’t burned myself either!  So now, in addition to my other roles here, I have taken on the challenge of teaching expatriates how to light matches the local way.  I only offer my services after someone has gone through several matches and declared that it’s just too wet to light a match.  Little victories, little ways of blending in here…

Published by Nora McNamara

Lover of languages and linguistics. Besotted Auntie. Jesus follower. Sacred Harp singer.

One thought on “Playing with matches

  1. Nora,
    My match story is the opposite. As a former Boy Scout, we lived with matches. But not much sense.
    So we’d hold the match box with four of our fingers and hold the non-lighting end of the match with our index finger. The business end of the match is pinned against the striking part of the box.
    You aim the match where you want it to go, flick the bottom end with the middle finger of your other hand, and blooey! – you have a very small – and inaccurate – firebomb. Great fun! It makes for small burns, holes in sleeping bags, and sometimes – good memories.
    Obviously you have more sense.
    Barb and I love ya, lady! Praying! And we’re very proud of you and what you’re doing. May God richly bless you there. It’s obvious that He’s using you!
    (P.S. We celebrated our 30th anniversary 3 weeks ago – God is good. Our first grandchild is now 6 months old – and 18 1/2 pounds. His name is Ben Ethan Spears.)

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