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This one’s for you, Stacey.

This morning Captain OCD had some time on his hands before he went to work, so he made each of us some breakfast. Mine was scrambled eggs, a sausage patty, and cleverly arranged mandarin orange segments, all waiting for me when I got up, after he’d left for work. Sweet, I know. I have asked him several times if he would like me to get up in the morning when he does and his answer is always a revealingly hasty and slightly panicked “No! That’s okay, you sleep.” I am not offended because I know I’d get in the way and he’s done just fine so far without my help in pointing out possible shortcomings in his lunch-making techniques.

His breakfast was more along the lines of a Spanish omelet, which probably would not be sanctioned by our former Spanish exchange student because it typically consists of everything in the refrigerator plus hot sauce. He had to decide how many eggs to use and I can eat about half an egg in the morning before it makes me queasy, but scrambling half an egg isn’t feasible. That, however, was not the conundrum: He had some serious egg-carton balancing issues to wrestle with. I buy eggs at Costco, two dozen per carton. Lucky for him, we happened to have an extra full carton in the refrigerator, which provided him with more options, but presented somewhat more of a cognitive burden. He had to take an inventory of both egg cartons combined, then determine the number of eggs to scramble, without wasting too much, given my wimpy egg-eating ability, so that he was left with a number that would allow an equitable and balanced distribution of eggs across both cartons. He might have wanted a four-egg omelet, but spatial considerations limited him to a three-egg omelet.

I did not ask how long this process took, but he was eager to show me his solution when he got home. One can only imagine what the reaction on his face would have been if he’d opened the egg cartons to discover that I’d used some eggs during the day, not realizing the effort he’d put into balancing both cartons at once. Now I can cross “worrying about egg-carton symmetry” right off my list.