Rubber-band Relationships

rubber band

More Little Theories

What do rubber-bands, relationships and dishwashers have in common?

Today I offer another Little Theory: this one about rubber-bands, which proves an apt metaphor for human relationships and household appliances.

What comes to mind when I mention rubber-bands?

I think of childhood ponytails, which we secured with bands from home-delivered newspapers.

Today I find rubber-bands embracing store-bought spinach and broccoli.

That means I need to wash the rubber-bands for future employment.

Rubber-bands are full of dirt.

So I wash them.

I load them in the dishwasher, placing them carefully in the silverware basket, safe from the propellers of the magic machine.

I figure the dishwasher saves me time and there’s no extra effort in cleansing the rubber-bands along with the spoons and forks.

I learned this technique from my mum, who would bathe household keys in the dishwasher.

She would take your keys, remove the ring, and run them through a cycle.

Clean keys.

Clean rubber-bands.

Truth is, rubber-bands are a metaphor for relationships and a litmus test for compatibility.

When you are fresh in a relationship, the rubber-band of romance stretches all the way to Alaska’s Denali mountain-top.

My stretch came when I learned of my mate’s kitchen skills.

He made us dinner.

I tucked into Trader Joe’s tofu dogs slathered in bottled spaghetti sauce.

Slowly the rubber-band relaxed back to its former shape as I replaced the salty dogs and tomato sauce with fish and fresh greens.

Then, one day, the dishwasher shuttered and died.

Seems a rubber-band got wrapped around the gear of the motor.

See, said the worker-bee, pulling out the motor and showing me and my sweetheart the motor, choked to death with a clean rubber-band.

We paid for a new motor and labor and parts, and I waited for the relationship rubber-hand to stretch into the combat zone.

But there was no judgment.

No scolding.

No knives.

Just the calm acceptance that comes with washed keys and clean rubber-bands.

And fresh greens.

4 April 2019

















About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in allmyrelations, marriage, nativescience, relationships and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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