The gloves are off

Monday 1st August 2011

OVEN gloves are only oven gloves, aren’t they? You can’t actually become emotionally attached to them… can you? Or am I being paranoid even bothering to ask that question? I mean, it’s not as though the oven gloves and I were sleeping together.

I keep a tidy kitchen. Clear, clean surfaces give me a feeling of satisfaction. Woe betide any stray crumbs, coffee splashes, or plates stacked incorrectly in the drainer. Not bad, eh, for a single bloke, despite the elements of obsessive-compulsive in there.

So, why this nonsense with the oven gloves?

Seven of them: all grubby, forlorn looking, many too thin, one with a hole, a couple claiming pensions. Nesting together on the ledge of that hood thing above the cooker, like bedraggled vultures, lethargic, indifferent, having to be coaxed down just to feed on baking trays and soufflé dishes.

Talk about being a sucker. Didn’t even enjoy their company. It was as if I was running a sort of shelter for battered lives: a refuge, a sanctuary for homeless mittens. And once they’d realised I hadn’t the heart to show them the door, they exploited my good nature. Huh.

I did some research, read up on ‘intraorganismic and environmental conditions of behavioral activation’, which I dismissed because of the spelling mistake… was told that ‘the origin of suffering is attachment to transient things’, which I dismissed because the oven gloves were permanent, not transient… and discovered something called ‘Kleinian object relations theory’, which I dismissed because it led on to something called ‘the depressive position’, which I found too depressing for words.

Then, this week, came enlightenment.

My daughter, with whom I’ve shared Dishcloth Counselling sessions and been to Resolving Differences in Pedal Bin Preferences workshops, presented me with an early birthday present.

Dark blue, sturdy, and of the right reach: one proud pair replacing a bumbling collective. No regrets, no trauma, no therapist required.

Look out, wardrobe, here I come.



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