I am confident that Iam not the only person in the world who talks to inanimate objects. Socks, teabags, anything that happens to come in pairs. I don’t of course expect them to answer me, that would be silly, but if they are in my care, my responsibility, then it behoves me at times to reassure them.
Socks of varying hues, patterns and thicknesses obligingly keep my feet warm and when not on active duty, they live in a sock drawer. The time for a maternal word comes when, having braved the helter skelter of the washing machine a pair finds itself separated. When, in a moment of unnatural tidiness, I sort them and match them, there is sometimes one, or two, or even three left over. I could of course pair up the most compatible ones and I have been known to wear odd socks, but in general, keeping like with like seems the best option.
As I bundle the newly reunited couples back into the drawer, I can imagine the panic endured by those who are left out, unmatched, unloved and pining for their other half. Don’t worry, I reassure them, I expect I dropped it on the way to the bedroom, or accidentally left it behind when I loaded the machine, but it will go in the next wash and all will be well.
Tea bags are different. They come in different shapes and the round ones are separated whereas often as not, the square ones are adjoined, a perforated link holding them together. It is the square sort that need my counselling.
One has to believe that tea bags know that it is their role in life to plunge into a pot of boiling water and soak away their goodness before moving on to better things. Perhaps, as one opens the tea caddy they are jumping up and down, shouting Me! me! When two are joined together then they are sometimes cruelly ripped apart and one goes bravely to that place from which they do not return, while its mate screams out Don’t leave me! This is when reassurance is called for. Don’t worry, I tell it, it will be your turn next and after that you will be reunited on the compost heap. That must be such a comfort.
And so I drift through life, comforting bereft socks and tea bags, to my shame often verbally abusing the heavy, clunky vacuum cleaner designed by men for men, and generally occupying a fantasy world. Herr Freud would certainly have something to say about this, perhaps diagnosing separation issues. Who knows? Anyway, time to make a cuppa.