Heading out this morning I grabbed a piece of scrap paper from the kitchen table and threw it in the rubbish container, and there on the top, obviously from last night and whatever project my wife was working on, were her orange-handled scissors. She has had them a long time. They weren't left-handed scissors but she was fond of them. I had no idea how many products are made that NEVER take into account that not everyone is right-handed. Sinistro, from which we in English derive 'sinister' actually means left in Latin. See, this blog is a public service! Where's my bailout money?
My wife has been complaining in recent months at how the orange-handled scissors were growing more dull by the day. I was thrilled that there was finally something in the kitchen duller than I am, but now it's over. When she called me earlier to talk about something else entirely different, I asked her about the scissors and she told she had run out of patience and had discarded them.
I can remember as a child, not a toddler, a grade-schooler, maybe once every fortnight or so, all the Moms on the street and in the neighborhood would gather up their knives and their scissors and even their pinking shears (those things scare the bejabbers out of me) and when the fellow driving the oldest car/truck I had ever seen, a black ford that looked like Henry himself might have built showed up and pulled over and opened the back of the truck up to get at his workshop, all the moms would spend the afternoon visiting with one another while the sharpening man (I'm sure he had a title and I'm sure I'd never guess it) whetted the blades, and turned the sharpening stones and everything old became new again.
Shoes were made of leather, and mostly in Ohio and not of plastic all from someplace I cannot pronounce and when the heel or sole wore out, Mom took them to the cobbler who wrote out a ticket and gave her a stub and she came back in a week or so and your school shoes were as good as new, if not better. We had milkmen who delivered milk, real milk not that percentage off stuff that always reminds me of milk of magnesia, at least in color, and don't get me started on the taste. I don't care if 'whole milk clogs your arteries'. I've never seen a calf have a stroke, ever. Come to think of it, the #1 killer of cows is people.
My Mom had an eggman, koo-koo-cachoo, Mr. Ruben, who brought us brown eggs so big I thought, as a kid, they were ostrich eggs, not that I had ever seen an ostrich or one of its eggs. When Mr. Ruben had a heart attack, all the Moms in the neighborhood struggled to get by on supermarket eggs--those little white pullet pellets that looked like pigeon eggs (and no, I had never seen pigeon eggs either. There was no NatGeo channel back then.)
And slowly we grew up and gave away reusing things and fixing things that were broken. Pitch it--we'll get it another one when we're out. Wrong size, wrong color, imperfection in the hemline, or missing a stitch in the inseam? Throw it away. My wife has a sewing machine and I don't think anyone else she knows has any idea of how to use it. In the spirit of total disclosure I admit that my sewing skills consists of leaving the button and the shirt from which it came on my wife's sewing table with a note that says 'please' and the next day, the shirt is fine. I move in mysterious ways my wonders to perform.
These days, which will someday be the good old days for our children and their children, it's all replaceable so don't get too attached to any of it. That red stapler, in the dustbin it goes. The line between John Milton and Milton Waddams just disappears. We've traded a chance for Paradise Lost for an inbasket of those TPS reports.