I’ve spoken before about celebrating small events in our life. Recently, I found myself celebrating a really small event, a micro-milestone, if you will: finishing a box of matches.
I’m celebrating this trivial moment because the empty box contained “safety” matches, the kind that can only be stricken on the box.
I hate safety matches. I understand their value, mostly to homes with small children. Without children, safety matches represent an unnecessary stopgap against human carelessness and stupidity. I’ve proven my ability to handle fire safely in the home (so far!) and feel I’ve earned the right to graduate away from safety matches.
Give me a good, reliable “strike anywhere” match, please. With these, I can keep myself and my family alive in almost any situation, no box required. Their ease of use is unparalleled. Safety matches are just too restrictive.
Unfortunately, most match companies make both kinds of matches, and don’t differentiate between their box designs much. Michelle made an understandable mistake a few years ago when she bought a couple boxes of wooden matches in the kitchen size box. They turned out to be safety matches.
I ignored them for about a year, but then decided I needed to purge them from the homestead. To do so, I became a doggedly faithful safety match user, slogging through match after match that required striking on the box. I soon wore out the striking strips on the side of the box (another reason I hate them!). I had to scavange striking strips from other boxes to continue using up the matches.
Obviously, I couldn’t allow my hatred for the product to compromise my frugality. I didn’t indulge in wanton wastefulness. I still tried to light all fires with a single match. I simply monitored my slow progress through each box, and rejoiced briefly on the day I struck the last light.
Now, I’m sure there are many ways to strike a safety match without the striking strips. I could likely devise a few as I sit here at the computer, so please do not email me suggestions. From here on out, we double check to make sure we only buy strike anywhere matches. Period.