I thought perhaps they were playing a game of chicken with me or had colluded to see how long I could stand it. But I was wrong.
After eight days every male in this household said, “what cup?”
But I’m getting ahead of myself, especially if you weren’t following along during the whole debacle.
What Cup? I don’t see any cup
One morning as I tidied up the breakfast mess I noticed a blue plastic cup under the slight overhang of kitchen cupboard. This also happens to be the highest traffic area in our house. My first instinct was to pick it up and return it to its home with the other colourful kids dishes (after a wash, of course, rest easy, it’s safe to eat here). But then I thought, “No.”
“No, I’m tired of picking up random things the boys leave around. No, I have gathered up enough dirty socks left on the coffee table, Lego on the bathroom counters, hoodies on the steps. Enough. The boys have walked by that spot no less than six times already without bothering to pick it up, so I won’t either. Because principles.”
And there it sat.
One full day.
Two days. That’s when I started to document and fully committed not to pick up that cup.
Clearly visible to the naked eye.
It hurt. Trust me. It took all my self-restraint not to pick it up. BUT I HELD ON.
Walking by like there isn’t a cup RIGHT AT HIS FEET.
My Facebook community started chiming in, with some asking for my home address to take care of this business themselves. But I WOULD NOT BE MOVED.
And there it sat, collecting dust and missing its cup friends.
They were all within ten feet of me when I set up this shot.
Day Six my friend was over for coffee and in less than ten minutes of being here she said, “hey, this was on the floor” and had the cup in hand. To which I gently replied, “PUT THAT CUP BACK I AM DOING SOME SERIOUS SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH.” She may or may not return.
By Day Seven I decided to change things up a bit. So I added a Hershey Kiss. I thought this way I would know if the males in this house truly didn’t see the cup or were choosing to ignore it. And it was American Hershey, so you know I meant business.
Here, boys, come and get the shiny chocolate.
The cup remained.
Some friends on social media suggested upping the ante, perhaps with cash. My plan was to add something every day until it was discovered. So on Day Eight I included a loonie (that’s Canadian for dollar). Once again, I did this within the presence of my family. We left for the walk to school and then – EVERYTHING CHANGED.
I returned home with Little who said he was thirsty. As we took our shoes off I said I’d get him a drink in a second. He was only steps ahead of me. “That’s ok. I found a cup right here!” he chirped and held up The Cup.
“Where did you get that?” I asked him, playing it cool.
“On the floor,” he replied.
“Was there anything else on the floor?” I inquired.
Oh, the game had changed. Who could have removed the candy and money, but left the cup? My number one suspect was Bearded Husband. I determined I would not give him the satisfaction of a text asking him, oh, no, two could play it this way. I would Wait. Him. Out.
And then the game changed again. My friend texted to tell me that a coworker strode into the staff room, walked up to BH and said, “JUST PICK UP THE CUP ALREADY” and then walked out. BH was perplexed and our friend told him I was doing a social experiment and not to worry about it. “Was I supposed to ask her about her hair or something?” he asked.
So it was not Oblivious Bearded Husband. The mystery prevailed. I thought I’d have to give up, but not before interrogating all the other males in the house first. Denials and confusion abounded.
Finally at dinner time we brought our various stories together and I explained what had been going on. “What cup?” all five of them asked. ALL FIVE OF THE PEOPLE WHO WALKED BY THAT CUP FOR EIGHT DAYS. Except Little changed his story and said, “Oh, yeah, the blue cup on the floor that had the money and the New Work chocolate.”
Hold on, New Work chocolate? Coin? This kid knew more than he was saying.
“Did you see those things in the cup?”
“Where are they?”
“I don’t know. Where are they?” he replied. Then he seemed to have a flash of memory and started opening kitchen drawers. After a few minutes of baffling conversation where he repeatedly asked me where he had put them, we concluded that he snagged the treats, hid them, then forgot their location before he even asked me for that fateful drink. All because he wanted to eat the chocolate himself.
If you need me, I’ll be sobbing quietly as I pick up random game pieces and underwear off the basement floor.