November 14, 2011
The other day I borrowed your razor. I was planning on you getting upset about it, at which point I would say, “Yeah, well, remember my bucket.” That probably doesn’t make sense to you, so I’ll explain.
Years ago, back when I actually mopped the kitchen floor, I had a nice bucket. It was wide enough for my mop to get into and deep enough to hold a lot of cleaning solution without slopping over the sides.
One day I could not find it. “Have you seen my bucket?” I asked you. Turns out you had used it to put tar on some broken roof shingles. TAR, I say. You brought the bucket to me, thinking rather foolishly that it was still perfectly fine. But, covered in black goo it was useless. So I bought a new bucket. And then another. You kept on using them for non-mopping purposes and I had to buy more. But the worst was when I caught you using my kitchen mop to clean the deck of melted snow and dirt. Granted, I had not used the mop for more than a year by that time. But still. I might have mopped someday, and a clean mop and bucket would be handy to have when that time came.
So, when my razors were too dull and my legs too hairy, I got the idea that I could use your fancy Gillette to make my point. Wouldn’t it be grand to show you how it feels to have your stuff used for the wrong purpose? But darn it if I didn’t like your razor more than any of the cheap girl razors I had bought. Your Gillette was heavy in my hand and had three blades instead of one. Plus, the head swiveled smoothly as I ran it over my knees. Instead of looking like a botched suicide, my legs came out looking smooth and feeling positively silky. However, I was still determined to make my point, even if I did secretly want to buy one for myself.
Later that night while I brushed my teeth, I saw the razor in the shower where I had left it on a wet shelf to get nice and dull. “By the way,” I said to you, smiling wickedly. “Hope you don’t mind that I used your razor to shave my legs.”
You looked up from your magazine. “That’s good,” you said. “You should buy better razors like mine. They’re nice, aren’t they?” Then you flipped the page and kept on reading.
The toothpaste dribbled down my chin as I stood there in the bathroom doorway, my mouth open. You must have learned to share in kindergarten while all I remember is napping on green mats every afternoon. It’s clear to me what this is all about. You are a better person than me. Also, I need to lighten up. So instead of making the bucket parallel, I said something like, “Yeah, you’re right.”
Petty annoyances like these had taken their place in the back of my mind until Saturday morning, when we had a family yard work day. As I raked leaves, you walked by. “Where’s a bucket?” you muttered to yourself. I had to smile. Even though I knew where a bucket was, my first instinct was to keep it to myself. Whatever you needed a bucket for in the backyard could not be good. But then, I remembered the razor.
“What’d you need a bucket for?” I asked, crunching my way through the leaves to where you stood by the shed, the contents of which lay strewn on the grass.
“Just wanted to drain some oil from the lawn mowers,” you said.
Luckily, you had found an old milk jug to serve this purpose. But you know what? I wouldn’t have minded if you ruined another bucket. Because it just doesn’t matter anymore. You are good at the important things like spending time with the family and occasionally doing the dishes. Plus, you don’t mind when I use your razor. And that, my dear, is worth more than a few mangled buckets.
It’s worth everything.
Happy Birthday, Babe.