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It was, I believe, the tone of delight with which The Mom announced that she’d finally found the cord-tidy for the food processor that made the moment truly ridiculous. It was only topped when she then removed the food processor from the cupboard and brought it over to the table to show me that the moment reached its peak of lunacy.

There we stood, five advanced degrees between us, marvelling at the fact someone had thought to include a cord tidy (if that’s what they’re called – you know a loop around which to wind the cord of a given appliance) on the food processor.

The Mom had felt, I assume, that having had this appliance for the better part of twenty years that she had come to know its ins and outs quite well, and that there was nothing left she could learn about the trusty machine. Oh but how wrong she was.

This little vignette is not unlike many moments we have whilst I’m in residence over the summer. New little tidbits are brought to view, and people do their best to recount their most interesting stories and pieces of new and useful information.

The Mom’s kitchen table serves as the sort of community notice board area for this. Primarily it’s where The Mom dispenses her best efforts at world advice. This comes in a multitude of forms, primarily clippings from the newspaper, but can also take the form of a small reminder on a scrap of paper you need to cash in for the real thing. Show The Mom the bit of paper and she’ll remember the thing she was going to tell you.

Mostly it’s stuff you probably already knew or at least weren’t taken aback by learning – heat waves, new local birds to be on the lookout for, that kind of thing. But this cord thing on the food processor, you’d think the baby Jesus himself had pitched up so delighted The Mom is with this news.

“Look!” she proclaimed. “Finally I can organise the cupboard now!”

Let me just break that sentence down for you here folks. The cupboard in question contains: two sketchy cutting boards (both plastic and one now bleached to within an inch of its life due to funny smell), a blender, and the food processor. Not a lot of cause for organisation but in this regard I’ve learned it’s best not to hold The Mom back. If you’re lucky the impetus will spill over into other cupboards and some progress may be made.

Much as we all adore The Mom, we all, including herself, agree that organisation is not a skill she possesses much of. Which is fine really, and in some cases probably beneficial, because having learned to live with a level of chaos as kids we’re relatively unphased when encountering it as adults.

This cupboard where the food processor is kept is horrible. You open it and everything tumbles out at you – it’s vicious and it’s personal. The cords are desperate to escape – crumpled up and covered in flakes of whatever it was they were blending or processing last. To get the door to the cupboard shut one had previously to use a chopstick and hold the cord in until the door was closed and then delicately remove the chopstick reminding oneself to think long and hard about one’s blending needs before opening the door again.

This has now all been banished to a dark period in our lives and we are now free to open the door at will! Though, it’s only the food processor with the cord tidy – the blender’s cord is still on the loose and ready, willing, and able to attack at the slightest provocation. Needless to say the blender’s been pushed to the back of the cupboard to think about what it has and hasn’t done, and the food processor is enjoying a bit of a comeback in our lives.

Heady times indeed.

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