Every man knows, that his wife knows, that he has been told a thousand times where the soup spoons go, but that he never remembers where that is.
I know this to be true from my own experience. I seem to be able to put away the teaspoons, the butter knives, the short forks and the long forks in their proper locations in the silverware drawer at my home. But when it comes to the soup spoons, I am befuddled. However soup spoons are only the tip of the iceberg on the journey a man takes into his wife's kitchen every time he tries to be "helpful."
Take the other morning for example.
"Honey, did you run the dishwasher last night?" I asked my wife before inserting a sticky gooey plate from my favorite mixture of powdered chocolate and milk on bread into the machine that sits under the countertop in our kitchen. As I peered in, I couldn't tell if the plates were clean or dirty.
"They've been washed," she yelled from the bedroom where she was cleaning up complex dust bunnies left by our long haired cat.
I opened the door and there staring me in the face was one of the biggest mysteries of life; baking utensils, a large number of them. They had been placed there the day before when my wife made me a batch of my favorite cookies. I tried to reason my way out of having to figure out where they should be placed in the kitchen drawers.
"Are you sure you ran it, things still look dirty to me," I said with hope in my voice that her trap like memory might find itself confused and she might tell me to run it again, thus freeing me from the duty of solving the puzzle that lay in the utensil tray.
"No I'm sure I ran it," she called down the hall in an assured voice. I knew then I was doomed, unless I could reason with her quickly.
"Maybe it just didn't wash them correctly," I said hopefully. "Look there is all this extra stuff in here, I mean unusual things like these baking utensils. Maybe they need a different water pattern or something for them to get clean."
She walked into the kitchen, looked over my shoulder as I stared intently into the dishwasher as if my fortune was being told inside.
"Honey, there is no different water pattern for baking utensils," she said shaking her head in disbelief about my lameness. "This is a about putting some of this stuff away isn't it?"
I got this sheepish grin on my face because I knew I had been schooled many times before on where each of the utensils that lay in front of me were to be put when they are removed from the machine.
"You can't remember where to put this stuff can you," she said intently.
I shook my head.
"Why is it that you have no trouble remembering where a 5/8" open ended box wrench goes when you put it back in your 24 drawer tool box in the garage, yet you can't remember where a simple kitchen tool resides?" she asked in a challenging way. "And why is it if I need a 9/16" socket with a half inch drive rachet attached you could go find it for me in about 30 seconds, yet you can't tell where the egg beater goes?"
How could I answer that. I didn't even know she knew what a half inch drive was before that morning.
Anyway she took pity on me and helped me put away the complicated array of tools she uses to make good stuff in the oven, but while that operations was taking place, another shortcoming of mine reared it's ugly noggin. She was putting away tupperware like containers in there cupboard when she looked at me.
"How come I have all these lids in here, but no containers to put them on?" she asked as if Fort Knox had been broken into and the national treasure stolen..
"I don't know," I said convincingly enough to assure only myself. She got this look on her face and continued the inquisition.
"You know the other day I went down to feed the goats and low and behold, there in the garbage can by the garage was one of my best containers. It appeared that it was put there to be thrown away. What do you think?"
I couldn't actually think because I was trying to figure out which drawer the potato masher went in. For me the cabinets in the kitchen are like a very bad shell game. Despite the fact that she says she never changes the location of things, they never seem to go back in the same place I put them before.
"Uh, what?" I said in a sort of defense.
She shook her head with a look on her face that could have launched a thousand ships.
"There are always more lids than containers," she stated as she eyed the drawer. "That means containers are going somewhere."
I looked at her dumbly, mainly because that look described my mind set at the time.
"Well...well... you know when I go to look for a lid for a container I can never find one that fits," I said, trying to divert here attention from the missing containers but also knowing the moment it emanated from my lips that was the wrong thing to say. But none the less, like a bad general who knows his battle plans have gone awry I refused to change my tactics; in fact I gained courage as I said it. "There are a hundred lids in that drawer that fit nothing in this house."
She rolled her eyes at me and took out the five containers that remained out of thousands she once claimed to possess. She then proceeded to find a lid for each one, all within about 30 seconds.
"So why is this such a big problem?" she asked tapping her finger on the top of one of the lids. I held a spatula in my hand indecisively as she continued to look at me. "And I am still wondering about where all those containers have gone."
I had no answer, and I told her so. I told her it was a mystery that only time would solve.
All I can hope for is that she never visits the nut and bolt collection I have in my garage that are sorted nicely into square and round plastic containers.