by Patricia Draznin

When I got married I loved my husband just the way he was, until I discovered he doesn’t see crumbs. It’s not that his vision is bad. He sees better than I do, and I have no problem seeing crumbs. In fact, since we’ve been married, I see crumbs everywhere.

My husband tries to clean up after himself. And I believe that he believes he’s actually doing it. When he puts his dishes in the sink he feels his job is done. That’s why our kitchen counters are covered with assorted husband droppings of Triscuits, organic corn doodles, and Big Bicep Protein Powder. Sometimes I wipe them up. And sometimes I leave them for him, which means I wipe them up later.

Sometimes I consider collecting all his crumbs in a container and saving them as evidence in case he claims innocence. Nothing holds up in a court of law like irrefutable proof.

“Your honor, at this time I wish to present Exhibit A, an eleven-ounce container of kitchen tidbits left by the defendant during the weekend of August 5.”

“The prosecution has no proof that these belong to the defendant,” says my husband’s attorney. “They could belong to anyone.”

“Allow me to present Exhibit B,” says the prosecutor, “the lab report confirming that the defendant’s DNA was found on the crumbs in question.”

“That doesn’t prove he made the crumbs. Maybe he handled them while he was wiping them up.” [Roars of laughter from the women present in the courtroom.]

“Allow me to present Exhibit C,” says the prosecutor, “a security video of the defendant nibbling Ritz Cheezits and walking away, without wiping the counter.” (Gasps throughout the courtroom.) “A clear case of Eat and Run.”

The judge, a sensible woman, would find my husband guilty as charged: guilty of not seeing his own crumbs, guilty of not wiping them up, and guilty of hiring a bad lawyer. Then she would sentence him to a liquid, crumb-free diet. He would plea bargain for dining on the porch.

If not for his crumb blindness, my husband would be perfect. Except that he also has a dishwashing disability. My husband is a graduate of the Evelyn Wood speed-washing program. After he washes the dishes, I’m never sure if it’s safe to put them away. What’s worse is that he never empties the dish drainer because he doesn’t notice that it’s full of clean dishes. So he layers the wet dishes on top of the dry ones and then sets the wet glasses on the counter in a pool of water that merges with the cracker crumbs.

Except for dishes and crumbs, there’s nothing about my husband I would ever change. Except that he tracks wet footprints onto our hardwood floors and then denies they’re his, even while he’s standing in his tracks, the brown snow still melting off his boots. He swears he’s innocent. And then he vows to hunt down the guilty tracker and bring him to justice. But first he just needs to get a little snack. 

Copyright 2004 Patricia Draznin


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