I opened the utensil drawer this morning to get a spoon for my yogurt. But there were none. So, I opened the dishwasher. There were no spoons there, either.
I walked into the living room and found my girlfriend Wendy eating yogurt with a spoon. And then I said, quite calmly given the circumstances, “The spoon situation in this house has become dire.”
I then flipped open my laptop and began writing a column about the spoon crisis.
“Oh, no you don’t!” said Wendy, slapping my laptop shut. “You are NOT writing a column about this. You are NOT going to make me out to be an absent-minded spoon-losing professor. You are just as responsible for the spoon situation.”
And, in a way, she’s correct. While she is 100% guilty of losing every one of my spoons (the spoon she was using with her yogurt was one she stole from her office in a sloppy attempt to cover her crime), I am responsible for creating the circumstances that allowed her to treat my utensils in such a cavalier manner.
Regular readers of this column (are there any?) will note that I have demonstrated a shocking display of intimacy issues over the years. I would no sooner let anyone get close enough to lose my utensils as I would to let them steal my heart.
But over the years, my boundaries have been weakened. Wendy and her son began their brave exploration of my unmapped and treacherous emotional terrain almost five years ago. They ignored all warning signs and the monumental failures of those who ventured before them, and firmly planted their flag deep into my heart.
It hurt a lot at first—as would any sharp stake in the heart—and I resisted. But since I couldn’t deal with the pain on an emotional level, I focused on the mess they created around me. I’d yell at them for piling dirty clothes on top of freshly laundered ones. I’d sigh heavily each time they spit toothpaste in the sink without rinsing it away. I’d stomp my foot dramatically each time I’d go to find an object, only to discover that one of them had put it somewhere it didn’t belong. But my tantrums had no effect on them. They’d simply shrug me off and keep doing whatever the hell they wanted to do.
And as I slowly surrendered and let them conquer me on the physical front, my emotional core weakened, as well. First their clothes and Xboxes began to take up space in my home, and now they do. Up until this month, we lived together only part-time. She had her place and I had mine. But, now, we live together full-time. And, as a result, I have no spoons.
I have no idea what they do with the spoons. There has been some nonsensical explanation that I won’t go into because I refuse to give voice to their twisted logic that leads them to point fingers in my direction. Because I can assure you that I have never removed a spoon from the house.
I think I should be given a lot of credit for dealing with the spoon situation with such grace. Even a year ago, Wendy’s blatant disregard for my silverware would have been grounds for a breakup. But I’ve grown. And, now, all I want is to live the rest of my life with this smart, nurturing, and extremely careless woman and her equally irresponsible but exceedingly clever and loveable son.
They will continue to misplace my stuff and annoy me. But, instead of kicking them to the curb, I’m buying a very large box of plastic spoons. And I will continue to write columns about their many crimes, as this is my only remaining line of defense. If they don’t like it, they can get their own column.