“Is something wrong?” He noticed.
“No! I need one of your hidden flat bladed screwdrivers and I can’t find one.”
“Have you looked in the tools?”
“Of course I’ve looked in the tools. Do you take me for an idiot?” I hoped he wouldn’t answer that.
“I’ll get you one.” He cheerfully marched out to the tool bench in the garage.
I waited… and waited… and waited. There was no noise in the tool area. After a half hour of getting angrier by the minute, I got out the hidden table knife that I use in emergencies, and tightened the screw. I couldn’t get it as tight as it should be but that was the best I could do with that knife. Then I baked a batch of cookies.
Two hours later, Dear finally returned. “I can’t find one. I wish the boys would put them back where they found them. Here, use this.” He handed me a rusty, chipped chisel the size of a crowbar.
“What are you babbling about? The boys are now thirty five and thirty seven and haven’t lived here for fifteen years. I know you’ve had some since that. Didn’t you use one just last week to fix the car?” I looked at my fingernails and noticed that I had a chipped one. I didn’t ask him for a fingernail file. I’d probably end with a chain saw.
“If you knew where one was, why did you send me after one?” He stomped out and I heard the car doors slam.
I went outside to the garage. Dear was peering under the hood.
I raised my eyebrows and asked, “What are you doing?”
“Looking for a stupid screwdriver.” He sounded mad.
I couldn’t resist. “You know, if you put your tools away, you could find them when you needed them.”
“It’s not me that needs one. It’s you.” He reached into his front jeans pocket and retrieved the car keys. He slammed the hood and got into the car.
“Where are you going?”
“To get you a fat ass screwdriver.” He squealed out of the driveway.
“I hope you don’t see a policeman.” I muttered on the way back into the kitchen.
Twenty minutes later he burst into the kitchen. “Where’s that screw?” He was carrying the biggest, hurkiest screwdriver I’ve ever seen.
“I hate to tell you, I used the chisel. But that screwdriver is wonderful. I mean it will be hard to hide it. Here, let me put it away for you.” I handed him a cookie I had baked while he was on search of the Great American Screwdriver.
“Ummm. Good. Be sure to put it away where it goes.” He had the nerve to say it to me.
How could I get the man to understand putting things away where they go when he is done? His mother obviously hadn’t ever managed. I came up with a brilliant plan.
The next morning while he was at work, I washed all of the dishes and then, instead of putting them away where they went, I put them just anywhere all over the house. There were spoons in his underwear drawer, a fork between the cushions in the couch, plates and pans were on top of the dresser, and the remaining items were hidden away in the closet in the spare bedroom.
That night when he returned home, I had dinner all finished and in the oven. The hot pads were conspicuously missing, as were the serving spoons and plates.
“Sorry, Dear, I have a meeting. Dinner is in the oven all ready to eat.” I walked out the door, got in my car and escaped the raging that was sure to come. I calmly drove to a restaurant and sat by myself in a booth, waiting for the inevitable phone call. I waited for two hours but heard nothing.
In another hour I couldn’t stand it. I wanted to see how he had eaten dinner with no utensils or dishes. I drove home and quietly sneaked into the kitchen through the back door. The casserole dish was on the counter and it was half empty. Beside it were two oily rags. What had he used to dish up the food? Had he accidently found some of the utensils?
“That you, Honey?” The TV blared and he was parked in front of it.
“Yes, Dear. How was your dinner?” I tried to sound innocent.
“It was great. By the way, we’re out of dishes. They must all be dirty because I couldn’t find any.”
“So what did you eat with?” I came right up to his chair.
“I used this blue electrical box for a bowl. And then I made this glass from duct tape.” He held up a gray ‘glass’. Beside him was the screwdriver that I had needed this morning, and I don’t mean the hurking one either. I mean the one he couldn’t find in hours that morning.
“By the way, I found the screwdriver. It makes a great fork.” He was so proud of being independent and resourceful.
I shook my head. In case you are going to try this method, I have some advice. This method of retraining husbands does not work.