It’s official. I can no longer be left unsupervised.
Normally, I blame my husband for everything. But he wasn’t around when this awful thing happened, which means it takes longer for me to figure out how it’s his fault.
I could blame it on the clothesline. It was laundry day, and I was carrying each load outside to dry while I did other things inside. Except I wasn’t actually outside when this awful thing happened.
I could blame it on the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They came to my door with an invitation to their latest event while this awful thing was happening. Except I didn’t actually answer the door.
While we're on religious groups, maybe I should blame it on Warren Jeffs, convicted felon and leader of the FLDS (Fundamental Church of Latter Day Saints). Because while this awful thing was happening, I sat at my desk, mesmerized by a documentary featuring some of the wives and children who escaped his polygamist cult telling their unbelievably heart-breaking stories.
I could blame the things that go bump all day long. If it weren’t for the air conditioner or the washing machine or the fridge or any one of several things in my house that frequently make strange noises, I’d have noticed the racket coming from my kitchen sooner.
I could blame my busy life. I’d had a lot going on that week. Much to distract my mind.
Or the smoke detector. Why didn’t it go off?
Or my blond hair. Except that comes from a bottle.
Or the stove.
Or the science of evaporation.
Or the bossa nova.
But whatever I do, I will not blame it on my age.
It’s true I completely forgot about the pot of eggs I’d put on to boil. It’s true I forgot to set a timer. When the cracking and popping grew loud enough to command my attention, I finally remembered the eggs. I paused the video about the FLDS and ran to my kitchen, expecting flames at worst and black smoke at least. The photo shows what I found.
Be glad I can’t share the smell.
I shut off the burner, carried the pot out to the deck, opened windows, and turned on fans. An hour later, everything was back to normal, except perhaps my pride. I’d scrubbed the pot, thrown out the burned eggs, and put on some fresh ones—remembering the timer.
I sincerely hope I’ve learned a valuable lesson. All for the low, low price of six eggs.
Ever since Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake, it’s been part of our human nature to assign fault elsewhere for our mistakes and misdeeds. I expect to remember this incident every time I boil an egg. If only I could remember to quit looking for someone or something else to point a finger at.
We hear the phrase “No shame, no blame” a lot these days—in counselors’ offices, on TV, and in self-help books. What would happen if, instead of blaming others or shaming myself, I chose to be grateful? For minimum damage. For stainless-steel cookware. For catching on before it got much worse. For the ease with which we can produce heat for cooking. For the means to purchase more eggs. For timers. And for lessons learned, even at my advanced age.
Woops. I said it.
(And if you're too young to catch the Bossa Nova reference, here's a link to the original song for your enjoyment.)