This morning my son was stymied by a slice of bread. And then it got worse.
He decided he would make himself some toast for breakfast (can I get an ‘AMEN’ for the teenage boy getting his own breakfast without complaint?). He removed the two or four slices of bread he wanted to use, put them in the toaster, then began to put the remaining bread loaf away (yes…..away….like a Christmas miracle *wipes tear from eye). As he was wrapping it up he realized there was only 1 slice of bread left. ONE. This caused him all kinds of befuddlement. He couldn’t figure out how this could happen. “Did someone in the factory slice it in an uneven number as a joke? Maybe we can win a prize for finding it.” ((sigh)) No, dear, the bread factories are automated. There is not some white-coated, arthritic person carefully slicing thousands of loaves one cut at a time.
This is where I began to question my son’s grasp of reality and society. Sure, he can explain quarks to me, but sliced bread has him reeling. I’ll put a pin in that issue to tackle another day.
As his toast browned, he continued to question how this could happen. ONE SLICE? The tic-tic-tic of the toaster counted off his puzzlement and bewildered ideas. At the mechanical ding, he proclaimed that it must be because I only use one piece of toast when I make a poached egg and avocado (which he pronounces a-VAK-a-do, to be hilarious of course) and that he will just throw it out. Ah, yes, all the mother’s fault. Freud is not dead.
Stay with me…..because here is where the whole thing went kind of sideways.
I spun around from the sink, my hands still soapy from doing dishes, and went into a monologue that no one expected:
What is the big deal about one slice of bread? It doesn’t only work when there are two. Just because you expect them to come in pairs doesn’t mean that’s the only way they operate. One slice of bread is perfectly fine. Don’t you dare throw that out! It can’t just be discarded because *you* don’t see its value! What about a pair of socks? It’s called a “PAIR”- it’s right in the name that it’s meant to be two. But a single sock is just as good, and necessary for some people (gestures affectionately to picture of one-legged uncle). Everything doesn’t need a mate to have value. It’s fine as one slice. It’s just fine!
And that’s how I knew I’ve been single too long.
My son gathered his buttered toast and slowly backed out of the kitchen silently. I went back to the dishes. And we never spoke of this again.
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