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A futile and filter-less situation

May 12, 2010
Dysart Reporter


Jill Pertler

We are out of coffee filters.

My husband made the announcement a few days ago, like he was providing me with a tidbit of new information. I was aware we were without filters. How could I not be? I am the coffeemaker in our family.

Technically, we own an electronic appliance that is, by definition, a coffeemaker. But, I place coffee and pour water into the machine each evening; my husband presses the "on" button the next morning.

If you had to pick one of us to call the coffeemaker, I think the best choice would be me. My husband is more of the coffee brewer, or perhaps pourer.

Either way, he never needs to touch a coffee filter. He doesn't even drink coffee. His main responsibility, besides pressing the button, is pouring coffee for me. Even though he has no relationship with the filters, he thought it important (I guess) to bring my attention to our filter-less status.

Indeed, we were filter-free. Had been for over a week. I was alive and awake to the fact. Heck, I was reminded each evening when I went to make the coffee. Unlike other people in our house, I routinely have reason to fraternize with the filters.

Still, he tells me, "We are out of coffee filters."

Yes, I'm aware of that, dear. I noticed the void the moment our filter canister registered at empty and I grabbed a paper towel as a substitute. I made a mental note to purchase more the next time I went to the store. I completed a shopping expedition and found, upon returning home, that I carried bags filled with canned soup, laundry detergent and coffee but no coffee filters.

After a second trip with a similar outcome, I realized something bigger than me was impeding my acquisition of coffee filters. I'd entered a filter black hole and it was anyone's guess where I'd land when I shot out the other side. I am well-versed regarding where and when to abdicate to karma; and this was a karma-filled situation. Oh, yes it was.

Perhaps, I thought, in the big cosmic scheme of things, we weren't supposed to have coffee filters. By this point we'd survived without for days and days; I decided to see how much longer we could go.

Just for fun.

I do this sometimes. Silly things just for fun. Give in to the cosmic order of the universe because I can. My husband doesn't understand me at all. He lives in a world where, if you are out of coffee filters, you buy more coffee filters. He wouldn't consider substitutes, like paper towels, an adequate replacement. He may even go so far as to make a special trip to the store just to buy coffee filters.

That's not my style.

Special trips for one item are beyond my realm of possibility. I am incapable of leaving a store without at least three full bags of merchandise and one large non-baggable item like dog food or toilet paper. Lugging big bags of dry kibble is not my idea of a coffee break.

Much to my chagrin, we used the last of our milk this morning. Paper towels work fine as coffee filter fill-ins, but at our house, powdered, condensed and that hazelnut vanilla stuff just don't make the cut. There is no substitute for good old cow-two-oh.

I guess a grocery run is in my imminent future. Karma or not, I might as well put coffee filters on the list. I'm growing a teensy bit weary of my husband's perky filter banter.

Besides, we're on our last roll of paper towels.

Check out Slices of Life on Facebook. Syndicated columnist, Jill Pertler, works with graphic artist, Nikki Willgohs, to provide writing and design services. Their website is at: Jill loves hearing from readers. Email her at



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