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I’m beginning to worry about the state of things at The Mom’s. There has been a lot of talk about cutlery of late and it’s concerning to say the least. The fact that they are focused on little bits of cutlery in a giant four-bedroom house is unusual. We’re not usually people who are good with the tiny details of life, we’re more big picture type folk. So the fact that anyone’s even noticed the cutlery is unusual, let alone set about throwing a fit over it and replacing it.

The Mom’s cutlery drawer is an unusual specimen. For reasons that are clear to no one, there are three times the number of big spoons to the number of small spoons. There are enough forks to stab an army with, but only a handful of butter knives. There are divisions amongst the cutlery too. A few groupings, some Oneida, some that are the same shape as they always have been and that I remember from being a kid, but then there are the interlopers. We may have pilfered them from someone else’s house, but the number of random odd one out style pieces of cutlery is strange. They would appear to be growing like wire coat hangers when left alone to their own devices.

I am considering chalking this up to the Great Amalgamation that happened with L’il Sis and Crazy D moved in. I imagine they might have unpacked and, finding themselves with fistfuls of forks, did the obvious thing, and put them in the drawer where that sort of thing goes. But that would only explain if we had three of four styles of cutlery. This does not explain the random ones, unless there’s a mysterious force at work in the universe, the same force that’s in charge of socks and washing machines, that exists solely to mess with our minds. This force, I imagine, deposits random bits of cutlery or socks in houses all over the world. It also of course removes the same things. It’s shuffling these things around and most of the time we’re too busy to notice.

Until Crazy D’s spoon incident. A man is only as good as his $4 spoon, and I can imagine Crazy D going absolutely apoplectic upon discovering its loss. I would feel similarly outraged if I couldn’t find my pencil sharpener. (Yes, I use pencils, I’m left handed and pen gets me into trouble). Thankfully, I’ve hidden pencil sharpeners all around The Mom’s house, in most of my little pouches, in my flat, at my office. Seriously, you don’t know it, but we are awash in a sea of pencil sharpeners, because I too would go apoplectic if I needed one and couldn’t find one. It’s the principle of the thing. I had the foresight to find one, and bring it with me, thus I must find it, or not only will I be without but my amazing planning and foresight skills will be called into question, and I don’t know about Crazy D, but for me that quickly spirals into serious existential malaise.

I also question the state of affairs back home when The Mom is openly being referred to as the Voice of Reason. We frequently consult The Mom for our many pressing problems, issues and challenges, but I  suspect I am not alone in also consulting other people who are more known for what we might call the traditional approach to problem solving. The Mom, bless her cotton socks, has a streak of imagination that always sounds appealing, but there are times when you really need to do things the boring traditional way. It was crushing to find this out, but there you are. Thgouh I wonder if perhaps she’s losing her eccentric touch. The advice she gave Crazy D is rather sensible. Don’t freak out, and go and buy a new one. She didn’t even try to give him one of the random spoons – and I do not doubt for a minute there would be one that she felt would be especially brilliant for a romantic camping trip.

I’m due to fly home in a few weeks to begin the annual Summer Visit, and just to liven things up, I might bring with me some butter knives to top up the supply. But I’ll get them from a charity shop so none of them match. That way we can discuss, argue and fight over the best ones, and it’ll give Crazy D a moment to brag and show off his new $4 spoon. In fact, maybe he’ll get us all one for Christmas. He did that when he got into wool t-shirts – we all got one – and they’re great. Same thing with these fancy socks he likes. Admittedly, if we wear all these things at the same time we look like people who are playing camping in the suburbs and haven’t a clue what to do, but still. There’s part of me that likes the way he’s tagging us, in case we get lost I guess. Though, I hasten to point out that as a group, we’d be much easier to identify if we all had $4 spoons.

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