I threw away his tweezers. It was a rash move. I was looking for my own tweezers in a coffee mug on a shelf in the bathroom with three nail clippers, three tweezers, four nail files and some dental floss. I know how these things happen. In my past life I had one set of cosmetic hardware in my bathroom, one in my purse and another in my travel bag. Then I moved in with him. Now we’re sharing a bathroom and I’m not traveling. We have multiples of many little things. Like tweezers. And sometimes our combined stuff overwhelms me. I have to throw something away to feel in control of my life again.
There I was under the bright lights of the bathroom mirror, contemplating the best of the three tweezers for plucking the black wires that sprout from the corners of my mouth, and feeling shitty about getting old like my grandmother and needing my glasses to see the hair on my face, and wishing my bathroom was as big as my kitchen, with a window to cast a more flattering light on my face, and I was just generally dissatisfied. I could have changed the lightbulbs in the bathroom, but then I had this thought — Who needs three tweezers?
Throwing away his tweezers was the cure. It was easier than pulling the step ladder up to the bathroom sink and swapping out the lightbulbs over the mirror for some magic that would take 20 years off me while I brush my teeth. Sometimes I just need to throw something away to feel better about myself. Getting rid of stuff is cleansing. Especially when it’s his stuff. I’m amazed at how well he handles it. Of course, I haven’t thrown away any fishing gear. At least none that I’ll mention here. Those old tweezers were rusty. I’ve never seen tweezers that nasty. It was an obvious choice. Then one night at dinner a month later, he looks me in the eye and says, I used to have a pair of tweezers, and I just about choke on my broccoli.
You never really know a person, no matter how long you live with them. I lived with the last guy for 32 years and he shocked me from the grave. So, I shouldn’t really be surprised that this guy, who seems oblivious to so many things, remembers he had his own pair of tweezers. I spent my first few months in this house stepping on fish hooks and fake worms, which I carefully placed in a plastic tray in the garage filled with other fish hooks and fake worms. That’s when it occurred to me that some things wouldn’t be missed. But the tweezers were not what I expected him to remember.
Turns out, he also has errant hairs, long grey spirals that curl out of order and make him feel old when he finally notices them under those klieg lights in the bathroom. And this is perhaps the most shocking thing about the whole situation: Those were his favorite tweezers. Not just A Tweezers. His Favorite Tweezers. Tweezers unlike the other two I left in the mug. Special Tweezers. And now they’re gone. And there’s nothing left for me to do other than apologize. Profusely.