for ordinary people walking in wonder.

A Recipe for Disaster

{PROMPT: Write a recipe for disaster}

You will need the following:

A person who has a SYSTEM.

A second person who doesn’t trust their own memory, who is not great at picking up on other people’s systems, and who follows a haphazard and inconsistent system of her own.

Two green towels- one slightly more lime, the other more olive-tinged.

A bathroom with only two options for hanging towels- one is over the shower curtain rod, and the other is a small towel holder on the wall.

Once you have gathered these elements, the next steps are as follows:

The person with a system chooses a towel- the olive green towel. He will use this towel all week, because that is the way this household rolls. He showers, and leaves the towel in the same spot he always leaves it- hanging over the shower curtain rod.

The second person comes along, ready to shower. She grabs the next towel on the stack- a lime-green towel. Before she turns on the shower, she removes the towel that belongs to the first person from the shower curtain rod. If she would leave it hanging there while the shower runs, it would get wet. She hangs the other person’s towel on the little towel holder, as she sometimes does. She observes that both of their towels are green this week, and that this could be confusing eventually. She comes up with a memory trick to help her remember which towel is hers. She will remember that her towel is the lime one because that towel was specifically given to her by her grandma, years ago. When finished her shower, she hangs up her lime towel on the curtain rod. Just like she usually does.

The next morning, when she is ready to shower, she reaches for her lime towel, proudly remembering that it is her very own towel that her grandma gave her.

It is damp.

Someone has used her lime towel.

And she knows who it was too. (It’s not too hard to figure out, as it is only the two of them living and showering in this apartment.)

But that other person has a great memory. Surely he wouldn’t use the wrong towel.

Maybe she is remembering her own memory trick incorrectly. Maybe the trick was actually, ironically, that her towel this week was NOT the lime towel from Grandma. She has been known to invent many a memory trick of that sort.

A seed of doubt has taken root.

She uses the olive towel, because drying off with the damp lime towel isn’t appealing.

She accepts that the olive towel is now her towel for the week, whether or not it was hers at the beginning of the week.

The next morning, she reaches for the olive towel.



How is a person supposed to have their own towel in this household?

The time has come to bring up the matter with the other person.

For him, it has been simple all along.

He always uses the towel hanging on the shower curtain rod, because that is where he always puts his towel when he is done with it. It is not about the colour of the towel, so much as the location of the towel.

She is the one who is moving towels around like crazy, placing them here and there, hither and yon, on a whim, wherever her heart tells her to hang them.

This explains some of the towel confusion that has occurred over the years.

They’ve been living together for four and a half years, but this is the first time they discuss their towel hanging habits.

It is an

Enlightening Disaster

of the Mildest Sort.

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3 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed reading this down-to-earth snapshot of married life. It was even more fun to talk about it with you two in person. You should try that again – write something that’s fun to read here on your blog, and then come to visit us so we can talk about it some more, face to face. 🙂

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