Today our slow running bathroom sink finally clogged. And after I cleaned it out, I called out to Calvin, “Hey, just so you know, I fixed the bathroom sink.” He said, “Um, why are you telling me?” “One word,” I said. “Self-cleaning fireplace.” (Okay, that’s not one word. It’s more like two and half.)
Our current fireplace burns gas. In our last house, we had a normal wood-burning fireplace. But because Luke and Jacob have asthma, we burned special logs that were supposed to have reduced particulates and smoke. Of course, that didn’t mean there was less ash. One day, when we had guests over, the man who was visiting said to Calvin, “Boy, you really have a clean fireplace.” Cal went on to wax eloquent about the wonderful logs we burned and how they make the fireplace self-cleaning. After he was done talking, I said, “Um, sweetheart, I clean out the fireplace. The logs actually leave a lot of ash.” Cal gave his best sheepish grin and said, “Oh.”
Of course, Cal’s not the only one who gets the sheepish grin. More than once, Cal will have mopped a floor while I’m gone. And when I get home, he’ll say, “So...” And I’ll say, “So...what?”
Kids get demoralized by lack of notice. Jacob’s wised up. Today he swept the floors without being asked. Then he brought the dustpan to me and said, “Look at how much junk there was on the floor.” He got his “thank you so much, you wonderful son.” That boy is definitely smooth.
Not noticing is so much a part of our nature that in the movie, Kate and Leopold, Leopold loads the dishwasher while Kate is sleeping. As he’s about to start the dishwasher, Charlie says, “No, wait. If a woman doesn’t see a man load the dishwasher, did he really do it?” Leopold agrees and waits for Kate to get up. When she does he starts the dishwasher—in response, she beams at him.
Is there a point to this rambling? Maybe. Remember drain clogs don’t mysteriously disappear. Dress shirts only look good when they’ve been ironed (regardless of what the label says). And floors don’t get shiny on their own. If you didn’t do something, somebody else did. Thanks to all the somebodies.