“Don’t even go there,” my wife snapped.
We were squabbling over our old West Bend blender, but in truth, we were fighting about something else.
You might say the blender has become a proxy of sorts. We prefer to squawk about it rather than fight over things far more contentious.
I just told her it was broken. She knows this. The rubber lid is hopelessly warped and the seals shot, which is why it inevitably leaves a mess.
But she will never admit it.
Every morning, my wife and that blender collaborate on a project they call breakfast. It begins with her slopping a big dollop of yogurt into the jar. She then pours in a measure of milk and sprinkles on a layer of protein powder. After that comes the frozen fruits.
Once the jar is filled to the brim, she pops the lid on, hits the high speed button and leaps clear.
The thing is – neither she nor the blender have ever fully agreed on just what constitutes breakfast.
When she adds milk, the blender subtracts yogurt.
What she measures as protein powder, the blender casts off as excess.
While she does science, it does art.
The result is left for me to wipe off the counter after she bolts out the door on her way to work and usually, I take this in stride.
But this morning, we are stewing at each other.
Our roof has been leaking since mid-summer and I promised to get to it – but with the rain, with other projects and a bit of procrastination, I never did. Now harvest and winter are almost upon us – and she has made it known that she is not happy.
So neither am I.
“Look at the mess that thing made,” I growl.
“It’s nothing compared to what your coffee maker does,” she fires back.
She has a point. A dark puddle has oozed out from under the maker and a trail of splatters testify to a carafe that dribbles more than it pours.
So she takes it out on my coffee maker after I take it out on her blender, and thus not a word gets spoken about the leaky roof.
“Maybe we ought to just toss them both out,” one of us threatens.
“Maybe so,” the other counters.
But we won’t. She loves the old blender, and the coffee maker knows exactly how I prefer my morning cup of Joe. Still, we argue, undeterred by the haunting feeling that we are being observed.
Eventually, we simmer down and go about our day.
That night, despite a clear crescent moon and a sky sprinkled with stars, I suspect a storm has rumbled through. Storms always upset the cats. I could hear them thrashing about the kitchen – and deep in the night, flashes of blue light lit the crack beneath our bedroom door.
When morning arrives, my wife gets up before I do. In the kitchen, I hear her gasp in alarm and hurry out to see what is the matter.
There on the counter, we find the blender and the coffee maker huddled together, trembling, their cords desperately entwined.
Gulp…quite the rebuke.
“I guess we shouldn’t squabble around the appliances,” she says.
“Nor each other,” I observe.