Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What else am I missing? (Or peanut butter blindness)

I have inherited a few minor "disabilities" from my father. One is a problem spelling. I think my mother's talent in this area tempered the spelling gene from my father as I am able to spell difficult words like Espanola, daisy, and pants. The other is a difficulty finding food in the kitchen. I can't imagine how someone couldn't find cheese in my parents' refrigerator (which at any one time sports an average cheese yield of 4-6 pounds--my mother is Dutch), but sometimes it hides nonetheless. This particular affliction struck again tonight when I was searching for peanut butter in my own kitchen.

About 10 days ago Emily spent the better part of a visit rearranging and cleaning my kitchen. She deserves beatification for this. And I am quite sure she kindly failed to mention many of the items she had to throw away. This difficulty I have seeing in the kitchen (things just become invisible, I swear) manifests itself insidiously in copious amounts of certain food items I am sure that I have none of while standing in the grocery store. I will buy 3 more bags of tapioca flour because I am sure that I have none (after all, I haven't seen any for quite awhile). Emily found a stash dated 5/2001 behind the mammoth bag of rice and another few bags stuffed behind the outdated salad dressing at the back of a bottom shelf. (Not long ago I opened a bottle of GF salad dressing that I had brought from home in a restaurant and the funny taste made me look at the date on the bottle. Mar 2007 is a long time ago for salad dressing.) Needless to say, there was a lot of food in my kitchen that was no longer edible. She got rid of it and had the good sense not to tease me too much after she found the 27th jar of opened pickle relish in the frig (I kept buying the dill relish when I wanted the sweet. I seem to have a shopping disability too).

Anyway, Emily left yesterday to bring Megan home and this evening I was in a post-Convergence funk and really wanted some peanut butter (though I would have settled for Nutella). I was reasonably sure that I had one of these substances somewhere in the kitchen, but wasn't quite sure where. I searched in every cabinet that, to my knowledge, contained food... to no avail. After 10 minutes I was frustrated and still no peanut butter.

I texted Emily hoping she wouldn't tease me too much as I had a sneaking suspicion that I was just peanut-butter blind. Sure enough. It was right in the center front of the middle shelf of the main food cabinet. It could not have been more obvious. But by the time I found it I had already given up. Cookies made from the Pamela's cookie mix I could clearly see hiding behind the olives (which I detest more than any kind of food) on the very top shelf... THOSE I could see.

I can see a design in my head and translate it fairly effectively into a tapestry, but darn if I can't find the peanut butter jar in the cupboard. My artwork is largely about seeing the world in new ways, exploring visual puzzles, and the visible/invisible-ness of what is real in the world (and what is real in the world???). I have to be honest. My inability to see the peanut butter when it is so obvious worries me. What else am I missing?

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