Reflections on domestic life | Columnists

Thoughts on domestic life…

There are four of us in the opulent residence we call the Gardens of the East: the beautiful co-conspirator wife, the boy, the girl and your servant.

The Eastern Gardens consist of

• a lower spa level and the housekeeper’s work area (the basement) where I lift weights and do laundry, respectively.

• the main level, or mansion, includes the master bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom.

• the penthouse suites (more commonly called upstairs), where the girl and the boy reside, an additional spare room – still unnamed – and a bathroom.

• Next to the main level there is a small one season room which we call the large terrace.

At the back of the East Gardens lot is our one-unit carriage shed, which is filled with so much, uh, stuff, a carriage would never fit in there, let alone a horse.

One thing I’ve noticed recently as a lord of said manor is that the usage of most products is directly tied to the availability of said products.

Take the example of pink lemonade.

Regularly, a whole pitcher of pink lemonade can be prepared at noon on Saturday. By 3 p.m. that Saturday, 97% of the lemonade was gone, leaving perhaps a quarter inch of liquid remaining in the container.

Not enough for even a third of a glass.

And that’s about what it will still be at 6:00 p.m. Saturday. And 9 p.m. And midnight. And 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The boy and girl could literally die of thirst, scabs on their lips, sunken eyes, and neither would touch the quarter inch of liquid left in the container.

Maybe they think lemonade, especially pink lemonade, is bad? That somehow the proverbial bottom of the barrel is toxic?

Weeks pass and the whole fridge is covered in pink lemonade that has slowly, slowly, slowly evaporated from the container inside the sealed freezing fridge and condensed all over it.

(Who smells better than the boy’s room, but that’s another story)

If it was just lemonade, it could be an isolated incident.

But there are other examples. Examples with more serious consequences than even dying of thirst.

Like a good sized toilet paper roll.

This stuff is used like it’s going out of fashion. I half-expect to find the boy and girl made tiny papier-mâché models of the house out of the thing.

I can walk in, put on a new extra large roll of paper (about the size of a Volkswagen tire), step out into the large living room in East Gardens, and then immediately return to the bathroom. And the roll is gone at 97.4%.

Almost as if a paper-stealing rodent was working to make its nest.

Or maybe David Blaine has been home disappearing again.

But what remains of 2.6% of the toilet paper, these three windings around the roll of cardboard?

It would last for days. The children, apparently, would rather walk to their grandparents’ house three-quarters of a mile than learn how to change a roll of toilet paper.

I know it can be tricky.

The typical spring-loaded metal paper roll holder, when released from its perch, will fire its tip with the speed of a round AR-15. Mysteriously, as though magnetized, the cap invariably ends up behind the bowl, making it appear as though he is clutching the bowl in his lap to retrieve it.

Your hands move blindly in search of a cup with a diameter of a quarter.

Aside from the nostalgic memories of my college days, this is otherwise a downside.

The trick is to hold your hand on the edge of the cap while you remove the roller. Using this maneuver, it is possible to cut such introspective journeys in the china bus in half.

I broached this idea with the boy and the girl.

But so far, no takers.

Trouble with pink lemonade and toilet paper? I observe the same phenomenon with milk, washing powder and laundry soap.

Everything except the money.

The last one doesn’t last very long.

About Paul Cox

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