“Hello, this is Mabel, how may I help you?”
“Hello Mabel, I’m Suzanne Murdoch; we’re customers of yours in O’Fallon. Is there a way you might be able to find our phone that went out with the recycling this morning?”
Talk about a topic that just isn’t covered in the main menu, this must be it. How did I find myself in this predicament? Well, it really all makes perfect sense.
My dear husband and I, though compatible in many ways, are really different. One key area is in how we organize and perform tasks. Take wallets. For him a wallet might as well come with little labels on each little insert, fold, and compartment. Money is arranged in order and with our founding fathers’ heads properly upright and aligned; cards have assigned parking places. He clears extraneous materials every night (which end up in a pile on his bureau, but I digress). By contrast, my wallet is bulging at the seams. I find it boring to have my bills in the same compartment all the time, so I move them around, sometimes stowing a few bills in one place and the rest somewhere else. My cards are double and triple parked with no particular order. I have receipts, business cards, coupons, and other incidental matter stuffed everywhere. When I start to see seams separating or zippers that are challenged, I’ll sort through it (everything I take out gets recycled or goes in the trash). He’ll look at me trying to find something and say “You’re so cute,” which really means “you’re a nut.” When I’m particularly fearless, I’ll offer to tackle the pile on his bureau and I get the look, which has nothing to do with my degree of attractiveness. Another variance is my penchant for doing more than one thing at a time — if I can talk on the phone and wash dishes, so much the better. I work against the clock on as many things as I can do simultaneously while David deliberately completes one task before starting another.
Normally, we keep our chores and organization relatively separate and this works for us. Combining forces requires extensive communication/effort. So, how did our phone end up in a Waste Management truck? It was that clear tote I use to collect upstairs recycling. If it’s not too full, that tote is also mighty handy for moving other items from the second to the first floor (or vice versa). Yesterday, in a hurry (natch), I took the recycling downstairs, along with some other things that needed to go down, including the handset. Running late (another “cute” trait), I left the bag and its contents near the door and rushed out. Cue David. He comes home. Seeing the tote on the floor and knowing that I’ll be home soon, he decides to be the good husband he is and finish the task. It would never occur to him to use this tote for anything other than its dedicated purpose. Consequently, he dumps the contents directly into the recycling bin, closes the lid, and carries it to the curb, where the recycling truck emptied it early today. Later this morning, David called home, and I found myself searching vainly for the phone that was by now miles away, distractedly pouring hot coffee into my instant oatmeal instead of hot water (really not too bad).
Lost; one handset (you don’t think Waste Management was really going to be able to find it, do you?). Gained; the chance to have a really good laugh on April Fool’s Day, knowing that the joke really is on us.