"Papa, where is the pink?"
"What do you mean, darling?"
"The pink crayon. There's no pink."
"Here, let me look."
And, indeed, as I burrow through a Ziploc full of crayons from all walks of life, I slowly come to the realization that there are no pink crayons. This is impossible. My children get refills of crayons regularly; those boxes of thirty-two or sixty-four, or the crappy packets of three given to us by restaurant hostesses. Doesn't matter their origin, they all go into the Ziploc, because crayon boxes under my children's gripping hands crumple and rip almost immediately, rendering them useless.
"I have no idea where the pink is? Wait a minute, are you hording them?"
"No, Papa. We're out of pink! We need more pink!!"
"Okay, don't freak out. Papa, will get you some pink."
But where did those crayons go? Are they off somewhere with the missing pair of house keys? Gallivanting with my Grumpy baseball cap?
I admit, we are not the most organized family. But our misfortune with missing objects happen with uncharacteristic frequency, so much so, I am sure a mysterious force is at work. Don't laugh. I am dealing with an aberration here, a dark phenomenon, and today I give it its name. Gremlin. That fucking gremlin made off with my keys and caps and pink crayons to satisfy its own twisted desires.
That's not to say my family is gremlin exclusive. No. We've all experienced gremlins. Take laundry for example. You know the scene, while folding clothes you find seven complete pairs of socks and then a singular tube sock and a singular Incredible Hulk sock. And you try to keep a cool head. You take another look in the dryer, then the washer, then the dryer again for good measure, but no glory. The socks have gone to those conniving gremlins. I thought I'd share with you my pile of socks that have been gremlin-depleted! Not a pair in the bunch.
The thing about gremlins, they can't keep everything they take, so to fuck with you they randomly return it. You never know when. You never know where. Sometimes, you find your reading glasses in a Tupperware full of grapes, sometimes they're in the very place you've been searching...for the past three months! It drives me ape shit. I call it the Gremlin Gaslight.
"Michael, we're missing a dish washing basket"
"Missing a what?"
"It sits on the top shelf of the dishwasher. You know, the basket I wash the lid to the martini shaker in."
I usually can get Michael on track if I use a cocktail reference.
"Have you seen it?"
"Maybe you took it out to accommodate the extra glasses the last time you started the dishwasher."
"I don't start the dishwasher. You won't let me."
This is true. The man is incapable of loading a dishwasher. At least he pretends to be, I'm not sure which. He has blamed genetics for his dishwasher loading inabilities. My tutorials have not helped. Glassware ends up where the plates should be and bowls are stacked on top of each other so that the water can't get to them. Instead of having to reload his badly loaded dishwasher (whether by faulty genetics or design) I shoo him off with something shiny and load it myself.
Where do I find the dishwasher basket a week later, after we got back from Christmas vacation? On the floor at the foot of my bed!
Dish washer basket returned, pink crayons missing. Where is the pink? Little girls rely on pink. To them it's more than a color. It's a concept. It's not just a fuzzy hair ribbon, it's a bubble of hope. Think of rose colored glasses. Seeing the glass as half full. Finding the good in people. Pink. Rosy. Positive. Glowing. And after the year I've had/many of us have had, I need to query...did the gremlins pilfer the pink?
How do I tell my daughter that I hope we come upon the pink pretty damn quickly. That it's just around the corner, over the rainbow. That 2011 will not be filled with personal death or financial hardship. I'd like to believe that our once growing investment accounts will start growing once again. I'd like to tell Maxie that all our pesky ailments of 2010 are things of the past, that infection and pox are no more. And if we happen to be inundated cold/virus/flu we'll have more effective medication and sounder insurance with lower deductibles. And work will be plentiful and exciting. And a steady trickle of friends will join us for spontaneous dinners. And relatives will start reading our blogs with more frequency. (You know who you are.) That's what I'm talking about! That's the pink I'm on the lookout for!
But where is it, goddammit? Where?
Today is the first day of school since the holidays, so I went through Maxie's backpack, clearing out the toys to make room for a second set of clothes and Hello Kitty lunchbox. I cleaned out every pocket, every zip pouch and this is what I found...
To a rosy 2011!