Thursday, 23 August 2007

The Amazing Vanishing Nail Scissors

Read this list of 20 common household items, and then ask yourself where, exactly, they are right now. If you can mentally locate, say, 17 out of the 20, you need not read this post. (Feel free to shimmy back onto the dance floor. Or sink back into the arms of that red velvet chaise with a bottle of champagne and your band of louche friends. Take your poodles for a walk, organise your CD collection, or finish packing for your one-woman six-month trek across the Andes. Clearly, you are single, you have no children, and this little quiz won't mean a thing to you.)

Whew, now that those disgraceful hedonists are gone, let's get back to the list.

Where are:

1. Your nail scissors
2. The stapler
3. Four or five double adapters
4. Your handbag
5. Your razor
6. The hammer and the Hilti-nail thing
7. One R50 note and a handful of silver
8. Ten nice new rollerball pens. Ok, an old orange Bic. Heck, ANY pen. Sob, the broken stub of a pencil will do
9. The phone book
10. The sticky tape and its dispenser*
11. Your hairbrushes
12. Your car keys
13. Your cellphone charger
14. Three boxes of biscuits you bought half an hour ago
15. The DVDs you took out last night
16. The boxes of the DVDs you took out last night
17. The keys to the bathroom door
18. Your child's homework diary/togbag/gym shoes/tracksuit/maths homework/lunchbox/juice bottle, clean school shirt, etc
19. The bath/sink plug
20. The dog

I bet you don't know. I BET you have tried to look for at least a quarter of these items at least once today. It's quite likely that you spent at least half an hour hunting for half of these items today. And if you're like me, you've lost all of the above, repeatedly, and replaced them all at least three times in the last six weeks.

Don't get me wrong. I adore my three children and my husband, and I do like living with noisy teens, manic dogs, bitchy cats, blaring music, wild shouting, slamming doors, damp towels on sodden carpets, chewed furniture, no milk for my coffee, not a single slice of bread left in the bread bin, and all the other little annoyances that make me glad to be the sainted mother of three young people who won't be living here forever. But I am furious at, and MADDENED by, the way stuff vanishes, without a trace, not ten minutes after I've put it away in its assigned place. And, husband, could you please not thunder around the house in a rage when you can't find the hammer? I know you've heard this excuse a million times, but, truly, It Wasn't Me.

Offspring: Is it too much to ask that, after clipping your toenails all over my bed, you replace the nail scissors in my broekie drawer, where I have cunningly hidden them? Am I demanding too much when I require that the sticky-tape dispenser goes back onto my desk after you have finished bandaging up the 'broken' leg of your favourite stuffed toy? Could you leave just a dribble of milk in the bottle for my morning cup of coffee?

* Er, ma, you remember that lovely silver sticky-tape dispenser you had when I was eleven? The one you accused me of taking? Well, to my astonishment it turned up under a pile of knickers. I didn't take it, I swear. I would love to give it back to you, but....

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Muriel said...

One thing that will NEVER, on pain of death, go missing in our house: the nail clippers. They have A Special Place, and I check it several times a day (yes, yes, I am a busy person). Other things that go walkabout: lip-ice (if you are a lip-ice addict, you will know how dire this is), socks (presumably living in the same lost heaven as pens, buttons and keys), the book I am currently reading, the magazine/newspaper I have just bought, the scissors I have JUST THIS SECOND used to cut a length of wrapping paper, etc. (This list is quite possibly endless.) But the things that REALLY get lost in our house happen in the fridge. I am simply too scared to go back beyond the yoghurt that expired on 15/7. I have no idea what I might find.

Juno said...

You're lucky to have a yoghurt that expired in July. I have a carrot (which looks like a goblin's finger) embedded in the permafrost on the back wall of my freezer, and it's date-stamped July 1968.

Audrey said...

I want to say that you guys have given me some serious hope. I used to think these kinds of things were a result of my being an annoying person in a past life, and then I stopped believing in past lives and put it all down to my being just disgracefully disorganized, a damned smoker and someone who’d rather set her house alight than do dastardly housework. That is, altogether unworthy of the title, ‘Grown Woman’.

Re Muriel’s piles of paper – my own are called Urgent, To Do, Extremely Urgent, Misc, Misc and Misc To Do Urgent. So if I’m even a smidgeon like you fabulous two (and it does look to be heading that way), then wow. I’m having a rethink, and maybe I’m a bit fabulous after all.

I think that once a fridge has developed it’s own ecosystem complete with local weather and all the microbes forming unions for better pay, then it has a certain amount of houding and should be respected.

I believe one can sell goblin finger carrots and petrified yoghurt and stuff on ebay. But why not put them on the mantelpiece? They have a patina that can’t be bought at any frou frou d├ęcor shop.

angel said...

damn, and here i thought i was a hedonist!
by the way, you forgot to add prestik to the list… hell, there’s only me and damien and three cats in our house and i can still never find anything!

meggie said...

I kept reading because I can remember the absolute FURY of my mother over those things. And lo! When I became a mother, it happened to me! Now the kinder have all left home, they come & periodically borrow things... which are never seen again.
The socks.. they go to sock heaven & dance with teaspoons! Never to return.
I can, in most instances find all those listed things.. the price is getting old. And then, I suppose I will lose my memory soon, so the joy will be shortlived indeed!

And those things in the fridge.. try to see christ faces, or mary images, & you might be in for lots of money & be able to run a shrine to the religiousy needy! That is what we are doing with the mysterious stain on our concrete... waiting for a face to appear.