Red Bowl . . .

NO. This is not THE bowl. THE bowl has a wider base and steeper walls.
Want (today's) proof that I'm not an emotionally stable, fully-formed adult? I'm currently in an emotional lather over a red, porcelain bowl.

You read that correctly. I'm a father, a professional, a member of a congregation, in a relationship, a homeowner, a car owner, a citizen of the world (where people are being taken hostage in coffee shops, killed in schools, and discovered in mass graves - thanks for the morning pick-me-up, KMUW/Morning Edition), and a bunch of other labels but - for the last 18 hours or so I've been almost solely focused on a red bowl.

Nope. It is not the "perfect" bowl that I want to give for a holiday gift to a special someone. It is not filled with life's secrets yet buried in the chaos of moving and merging households. It is not a bowl I once borrowed who's owner has come calling. It is not part of a scavenger hunt where the person who finds it wins a pony ride.

Nothing cool like that. This is a red bowl that probably came from Target or Walmart. It has sat on the counter near the copy machine at work for months and has been filled with M&Ms (and by "filled" I mean I pour a pound of candy-coated crack cocaine in the bowl and within hours the beloved vultures I work with have made 'em all disappear) ranging from simple chocolate to cherry (that is a real thing - avoid them) to peanut to our favorite . . . peanut butter. The bowl has been moved only long enough to rinse and repeat.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. I returned from a great lunch meeting and found something unexpected awaiting me. M&Ms (the red and green "holiday" bag (yes, because Hanukkah and Kwanza are known for their red and green themes so let's not call them Christmas candy) on the counter with no bowl to contain them.

That's right. That's right. That. Is. Right. Just candy laying on the counter. Bowl GONE, candy THERE.

So I make an inquiry to all within ear-shot (all of East Wichita given my normal, much less excited, vocal volume) as to where the bowl is. Crickets. Technically it was way worse . . . colleagues challenging that the bowl was certainly there and/or that I had mistaken it ever being there.

Now I have a few questions that maybe you, dear reader, can help me with.

  1. Who in the actual f*ck puts unwrapped candy directly on a counter surface?
  2. Who in the actual f*ck takes a candy bowl from their office?
  3. Who in the actual f*ck (beyond me) gets this worked up over a missing bowl?
Forget three . . . let's remember two actual crimes have been committed here. One against common sense and social norms, and one against humanity itself. Seriously. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!

So I stormed around the office for a while and even sent a semi-threatening e-mail (yes - that is a real thing - as though e-mail in the workplace isn't annoying and abused enough I'm using it to issue Amber Alerts for candy dishes).

WHY do I care about this stupid bowl? I don't. I care about its owner. The bowl belonged to a colleague who passed away six weeks ago. It was her bowl. She probably didn't really care about (I doubt it was chosen with love or was a family heirloom) but it was the only thing we kept as I packaged up her personal belongings for her daughters and parents (it was an honest mistake - the bowl was in the dishwasher as I packed her things) and I wanted us to keep it on that counter, filled with candy, as a token reminder of her and how happy she made most of us most of the time and - full disclosure - how much she loved candy when she was not on one of her silly fad diets. 

So - there you go - today's proof that I'm not an emotionally stable person with a lot of rage and a little sentimentality tucked in to keep me mysterious and keep you guessing.

But, seriously, if that bowl is not back and/or accounted for by 12 PM CT today . . . oh chillllld. You don't even want to know.