Monday, December 04, 2006
My sock drawer
I had an exciting weekend. I now have eight orphan socks, each without its corresponding twin. I can't bear to throw them away, so I have created a special place for them in my sock drawer, just in case their twins show up. I don't know what happens to socks while they are away. Perhaps they are temporarily in a parallel universe somewhere, where they perplex someone just like me about the whereabouts of their mates. I would really like to know if left socks and right socks are equally represented on the AWOL list, or whether just one or the other is always the one to disappear. Of course, there is no way of knowing that, so that puzzles me as well.
Then there are those little plastic containers that you store food in... do you know the ones I mean? We have gazillions of them in our home, but I can never find a top to match the bottom I pick to put in a sandwich or some leftover perogies. It is all very frustrating. If I didn't have weightier things to think about, these things just might keep me awake at night.
They don't of course, because nothing keeps me awake at night. If I were to stay awake though, I would be pondering some other issues of great importance. Like what? I'll tell you.
My wife and son and I were wandering around in Wal-Mart over the weekend. I saw a commotion out of the corner of my eye and looked in its direction, then watched with interest at what was going on. What was it? It was a woman berating her husband, enough so that it caught my attention, and doubtless that of other shoppers as well.
This sort of thing is nothing unusual, of course, I see it happen all the time. Actually, I don't recall ever seeing a male embarrassing his wife or girlfriend in public, but odds are it must happen, and I'm just not around to see it. I have , however, seen many instances of females embarrassing their husbands or boyfriends in public.
Why one and not the other? Is it that males are so useless, so incompetent, so stupid, so inconsiderate, that we simply can't function without women telling us where to go, what to do, when to speak, what to say, what not to say and when to sleep on the couch? Or is it that males, in these circumstances at least, have more sense and know when to shut up?
To be fair, the woman in Wal-Mart couldn't really shut up, because she was verbally abusing her husband in sign language. Naturally, except for some universal gestures that serve those who hear and those who don't equally well, I had no idea what she was saying. Her husband just stood there, sheepishly, and let her vent. Most men do that, under those circumstances.
Why is that?
I am willing to play by certain rules in a relationship, like: Be nice to me and I'll be nice to you; This irritates the hell out of me, so please don't do it; This pleases me, so do it at every convenient opportunity. Those sorts of things. No-one should ever, though, be subject to public abuse. Have a bone to pick? Do it at home, out of sight and earshot of everyone else, even (or especially) the kids.
I remember, years ago in a supermarket, seeing a very successful acquaintance of mine walking several steps behind his wife as she repeatedly turned and hurled invectives at him. He said nothing, and I quickly ducked down an aisle so as not to embarrass him. Several years later, I saw him with another woman. She was his new wife. She wasn't yelling at him. He was smiling.
Can it be that errant socks, plastic container tops, and good old common sense all go to the same place somewhere? There must be some explanation for it all, because common courtesy and consideration are becoming just as difficult to find as my missing socks.
It's a shame.