Mr. Nobody

Not too many years ago, when our house was blessedly full of children, I sometimes got overwhelmed. On occasion (more infrequently than they remember it being) I would inform the kids that I was heading off to Iceland and go to my room. They pretty much knew that I was unavailable except in dire emergency.

Well, the kids aren’t here right now, but I am daydreaming of Iceland. Once again, the things that are overwhelming me are blessings for which I am grateful, but I haven’t had the time or presence of mind to put fingers to laptop and compose a Musings. Among other things, I am thrilled that our assistant at AAJC and got married last week, but I am temporarily wearing her hat and it is rather large-sized. I am also delighted that our daughter’s wedding is only a few weeks away but with invitations already behind schedule and many other needed tasks, the days are simply not long enough.

I am reprinting a Musing that ran in August 2009, which I hope you will enjoy.

Last Tuesday, I gave up the search for my missing ice cube trays and finally bought new ones. Now, you might be thinking, “I’ve heard of lost socks. I know about lost library books. But ice cube trays?” Let me explain.

Each year when I prepare my kitchen for Passover, I empty out certain shelves, drawers, and the fridge and freezer to make room for the Passover items. Every year, after the holiday, when it is time to turn the kitchen back to its normal functioning at least one item can’t be found. One year it was the refrigerator magnets, another year a certain spoon went astray, but this year’s wandering items were two ice cube trays.

Considering that I could replace the two for less than five dollars and that I value my time at something more than that per hour, there is no rational reason for my having spent vast quantities of time searching for the trays. But, I did.

After all, it was totally unreasonable that they weren’t showing up. I certainly didn’t hide them as part of a self-imposed scavenger hunt nor did I deliberately seek out an obscure niche. They had to be in some perfectly sensible and easily accessible place.

I finally spoke to my wise and experienced aunt who articulated what I knew all along. “The only way to find the trays is to buy new ones.” At that point I threw in the towel and headed out to Target.

Not surprisingly, the next day my daughter, Tamara, opened a kitchen drawer that we access at least five times a week and pulled out the old ice cube trays. I have no idea what natural law we triggered or what elves with a perverted sense of humor invaded my kitchen, but Tamara is walking around quoting “Mr. Nobody,” a poem from our homeschooling days. It begins:

    I know a funny little man as quiet as a mouse,
    He does the mischief that is done in everybody’s house;
    No one ever sees his face, yet one and all agree
    That every plate we break was cracked by Mr. Nobody.

I imagine that there is some moral lesson to extract from this episode, but it truly eludes me right now. I am too busy pulling out sweaters from the back of the closet as the heat wave that made finding the ice cube trays so imperative, has broken.

3 thoughts on “Mr. Nobody”

  1. Good luck with the nursing school, Anastasia. I’m sure you can always use more than one pair of scissors. AJ, I’m flattered that reading my Musings is your ‘break’ from studying.

  2. A wonderful and humorous post; and a much needed respite from Bar studying. You’ve touched upon an age-old question – one for which I have heard many answers, but I’m partial to one: Sock Gnomes.
    Yes, at first blush Sock Gnomes are seemingly limited by their name to the misappropriation of socks, but let me be the first (or the hundredth) to tell you, they are not so restrained. See your post for proof! In addition to their namesake, they’ll sinisterly steal ice-cube trays, pillow covers, and even hamsters (which, by the way, reveals they are likely larger than a hamster).
    Though they have, as of this posting, evaded capture, their deleterious effects leave no doubt.
    With that, I get back to studying Criminal law! (to possibly discover a theory of liability to implicate the nefarious Sock Gnomes!)

  3. Okay, that was my best laugh of the day. Thank you. And so very very very true. Right now, I’m looking for a pair of bandage scissors that my husband used and that I need for starting nursing school. I know I won’t find them until I purchase a new one.
    If that’s the worst problem we ever face, we are totally blessed.
    Mazel tov on your daughter’s impending wedding – long life and the health to enjoy it!

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