By Marla Jo Fisher, The Orange County Register
The other day, I was thinking about the famous parental admonition, “Don’t run with scissors,” and wishing I could do it.
Yes, I would like to run with my scissors for a simple reason: That would mean I could actually find a pair.
My house is not bereft of scissors. I know this because I personally purchased 825 pairs in the past year alone.
One notable day, when there was a good “back to school” sale, I bought an entire packing crate of scissors, thinking this would take care of my scissatory needs at least until we’re all under water from global warming.
But, you see, I have children.
You parents out there know what’s coming next.
That’s right. The disappearance of household scissors is an even worse problem, globally speaking, than the launching of socks into outer space, directly from the dryer.
While it’s true that NASA satellites have detected millions of mateless socks floating around the Earth, apparently launched from dryer exhaust fans, this isn’t really such a big problem. After all, you can always wear shoes without socks in a pinch.
But the problem of missing scissors is much more severe. You cannot cut paper without scissors.
This means no clipping coupons, no cutting off the bottom of field trip permission slips or endless other crucial activities that can only be performed with this indispensable household tool.
Yesterday, I looked in the drawers where my kids have been ordered 1,823,422 times to place them, and I couldn’t find a single pair.
I looked in my hidden sewing basket, where I began to hide some after I nearly sawed off my finger trying to break thread without them.
Gone, like the herds of plains buffalo.
Scissors may have been invented 3,000 years ago, and they’ve been vanishing as long as there have been children, which experts estimate probably appeared around 982 A.D.
Yesterday I was so desperate that I found my canteen and compass and mounted an expedition into the inner reaches of my children’s bedrooms, using my walking stick to move aside mounds of piled clothing in the hopes that a pair of scissors might suddenly appear, or jump out from their captivity.
No such luck.
I went back to my desk and tried tearing the mailing label I wanted to use, but it just looked messy.
So, in desperation, I went and bought a metal detector. Using the metal detector, and wearing a pith helmet and sturdy boots, I ventured back into my kids rooms and this time found success.
Not only did I find scissors, but 428 spoons, forks and knives that started to go missing in 2002, shortly after Cheetah Boy and Curly Girl came to live with me.
I also found a metal letter opener, 8,244 paper clips and every one of the metal hair clasps from my Clairol hot roller set that I threw away in 2007 after it became unusable due to mysteriously missing parts.
Okay, I’m making that up. I didn’t really buy a metal detector, but I’m thinking about it.
I guess I should also think about why I let my kids collect so much junk that their rooms become impenetrable jungles, but I’ll have to put that on the list, right after “think about why you look at cobwebs on your ceiling but feel no urge to remove them” and “think about why you know you need to get your expensive car tires rotated but don’t.”
Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about the book, “Running with Scissors,” a memoir about growing up in a house full of lunatics. Even before I read the book, I already knew what that was like.
Later, I’ll be stopping by the dollar store, so I can buy another pair of scissors. Yes, they are cheap and get dull fast. But since they’ll spend most of their lives in hiding, does it really matter?
Marla Jo Fisher was a workaholic before she adopted two foster kids several years ago. Now she juggles work and single parenting, while being exhorted from everywhere to be thinner, smarter, sexier, healthier, more frugal, a better mom, better dressed and a tidier housekeeper. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog at http://themomblog.freedomblogging.com/category/frumpy-middleaged-mom-marla-jo-fisher/.