About three weeks ago I bought myself some hair conditioner. Not your standard, supermarket shelf hair conditioner; no, this was the real deal. A boutique brand hair ‘masque’ in a tub, bought for a considerable sum of money to repair my dry, damaged and aesthetically-disturbing frizz ball of a coiffure.
I brought the hair conditioner (sorry, masque) home, took it upstairs, and temporarily forgot about it. And then, when I decided to wash my hair a couple of days later, and went looking for the miracle in a tub, it was gone. My hair masque had disappeared.
Now, I was very upset by the loss of my hair masque, because I’d paid a lot of money for it, and my hair was an utter disaster. But the fact that I’d actually lost it wasn’t surprising at all. Things are forever disappearing in my home, never to be seen again. In recent times (and in no particular order) I have lost a set of keys, an earring, a chequebook, an entire bottle of kids’ anti-histamine, a belt, and the recharger cord for my Kindle. And that’s not even counting the twenty billion pairs of socks that go missing every year. It is maddening.
I don’t know where these things go. There is clearly a giant Black Hole in my house that requires feeding on a range of detritus of a variety of value and size. One year it ate a diamond necklace of mine (and when I say ‘a diamond necklace’, I mean ‘the only one I ever owned’). Another year it ate my mouthguard, and why anything – even a mindless black hole – would want something I put in my mouth and grind on I have no idea.
Another year it ate one of my shoes, leaving the other one tauntingly behind. It is nothing if not random, and unpredictable.
When I was growing up, I experienced the same problem in my mother’s house. Things would go missing all the time – a cup here, a pair of underpants there, a jar of honey there. But back then, in the Olden Days, we didn’t understand the concept of ‘Black Hole’. Science hadn’t yet progressed to the point that we could accept things we couldn’t see. So we had to find someone to blame. And that person was the Cleaning Lady.
“Oh, the Cleaning Lady must have taken it,” we’d say, when one of our mittens went missing; or “Mum! The Cleaning Lady took my school bag again!”
If we found the goods, the Cleaning Lady had clearly moved them. If we didn’t, she’d clearly taken them for herself.
Now, there were problems with our theory, not least the fact that the Cleaning Lady hadn’t generally even visited on the days that items disappeared. But it was much easier than blaming a mystical black hole, let alone – heaven forbid – blaming oneself.
Which brings me back to my tub of hair masque. After further consideration, I have realised that it was almost certainly stolen by my Cleaning Lady when she visited last week. It is my theory, one handed down from my parents, and I am sticking to it.
And the fact that my Cleaning Lady is a man, and that he has virtually no hair, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.
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