Jon de Vos: Flour sifter strains relationship
March 12, 2009
Have you ever heard a woman talk about a bad set of dishes, or a bad pair of scissors? Ever heard one of them say, “Let’s put out the ‘bad’ silverware?” Of course not, women only own good things. The other day my wife was upstairs doing God Knows What and her voice faintly made its way down the stairs and knocked on my attention, “You’re not using my good scissors down there, are you?”
“You mean, right now?” I say, stalling but controlled, you know, no panic. She can’t possibly see me, so I finish up and set the scissors down on the table next to my good gasket material and the template for the snow blower carburetor.
“Nope, not touching them right now. I respect your boundaries.” I wiped off all the incriminating grease smudges and slipped them back into the drawer.
“Whatever,” she yelled, “put ’em away when you’re done.” I can tell she still holds a grudge for the time I used her good frying pan to melt up a bunch of plumbing solder. It cleaned up alright, I thought. Then again, it might be that thing with the flour sifter and the paramedics. I apologized for all that stuff but she just wouldn’t let it go. If she were really serious about kitchen security, she wouldn’t hang stuff out in the open or leave things carelessly unlocked in the drawer next to the sink.
My wife hung a colorful new shop towel on the refrigerator. It was uncanny, almost as if she knew I would need it to wipe up the battery acid I spilled on the floor while she was at the store. She walked in the room and it was like the temperature dropped. I get the hands-on-the-hips glare and in a low voice filled with venom she says, “Where’s my good apron? I hung it here next to the fridge.”
She stares at me. I look at the dog. I count the fish in the aquarium. Still two. Finally I look out the window and say, “Apron? Nope. Didn’t see an apron.”
She’s welcome to use my good trowel to flip hamburgers and if she needs my cordless drill to mix up a cake, she doesn’t even have to ask. But let her catch me opening a can of paint with a soup spoon and she acts like I’d just door-popped Mother Theresa.
Women like things orderly. And even. Six and eight are sacred numbers. Men have no problem with sets of seven open-end wrenches, five screwdrivers, or three pipe wrenches, but women are visibly shaken to find seven soup spoons and hell will rise up and get you if the eighth one got bent opening a can of paint.
Men are noticeably more generous than women when it comes to sharing their tools. My wife was complaining about how dull her scissors were so I offered her my good tin snips to cut out the pattern for her colorful new apron. She needed to replace the oddly ruined one that somehow got riddled with holes. She continues to harbor doubts that the dogs are somehow responsible.
Next week: Smooth and Steady or Fast and Frappe? Your food processor is the answer to lumpy paint.