Laura Zoeller

A cutting obsession

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I was in the process of cooking breakfast this morning and was trying to open a pound of bacon when I realized that all of the scissors had disappeared again. I found myself alone at the stove with a hot griddle and only a pair of scrapbooker’s pinking shears to cut open my pork.


I made the mistake of asking where the kitchen scissors had gone, and my son pointed out a pair of his red-handled safety scissors and told me I could use them. Everyone else remained silent on the subject. Quite a helpful bunch I have, don’t you think?


I know that the scissors have not decided to pack up their things and move away. I know they are not on strike. I know that some (small) person in my house has needed them, taken them, used them and forgotten to put them away. But when I ask, all I get are blank looks, like no one understands the question. This seemingly small thing drives me bonkers on a fairly regular basis.


What may be worse is that I am pretty sure this is penance of some kind for a past wrong I committed.


Flash back a decade or so. My husband and I were still dating, and we both were strong-willed and unwilling to bend. I was fresh out of college and had ideas about where life was going to take me, and he was already an established farmer who didn’t want life taking him anywhere. When we got along, we were a fantastic team. When we didn’t, well, we really didn’t.


One of the things we used to bicker about was – you guessed it – scissors. I had a special pair for everything. Cutting paper? Use these scissors. Cutting fabric? Use these scissors. Snipping herbs or flowers in the garden? Only these will do. And never, ever, use the fabric scissors for paper. He always got that one wrong.


His argument was that it didn’t matter what you used, if it did the job, it was OK. My argument was that his argument was dumb. I told myself I was trying to keep from having to replace damaged scissors all of the time, but I really was trying to establish control over my surroundings. Not being willing to bend on any issue, particularly a small one like a pair of scissors, was a huge detriment to our relationship.


Here’s where karma kicks in. We separated for a year, and when we did, I took every pair of scissors I could find from the house. I took the kitchen scissors, the garden shears, the paper and fabric scissors, and even the tiny little manicure scissors. I wasn’t even kind enough to leave him safety scissors or pinking shears. I was kind of a jerk back then.


We worked things out, got back together, and have been mostly happily married for nearly 10 years. But to this day, I have this random happenstance where I am in desperate need of scissors and can’t find any. And it drives me crazy. I have to remind myself that while it SEEMS like everyone takes them away from me on purpose, that is not likely the case.


But even if it is, I probably deserve it.



Laura Zoeller can be reached at zoeller5@hughes.net.


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