Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Essence of Things

The proof of my changed life is in the salad dressing. It's the same Thousand Island Lite I've been dropping in a single, neat tablespoonful onto a bed of romaine for over a year now. It's the bottled mayonnaise product that my husband wouldn't dream of eating, not after growing up on oil and vinegar that falls fresh from two glass containers into the same salad bowl, repellant for the first time.

It's the dressing that I glanced at last night, only to realize it had expired in September 2005. Before my daughter--who will, from this point on, be referred to as The Boss--was born, a year was a very long time. Food that was old, seemed old. The digital reading on the bottom right hand corner of my office computer went so slowly from 9:06 to 9:07 that it seemed not to change at all. One season of the Sopranos was separated from the next by eternity. The idea of shopping July sales for gifts to give at Christmas was absurd.

At least I knew I wouldn't live forever, even then. But I didn't care. The fifty years that separated me from my average-life-expectancy were a comfortable buffer. I was safe.

As I sat with a spoonful of invisible mold sitting surprisingly tasty on my tongue, I realized that this never would've happened in my old life. The bottle would've been tossed, 2/3 full, into the garbage can the day August flapped open to September. There was organization, inasmuch as I could ever be considered organized. There was waste, for sure. And there was boredom, as I stared into the cold cubicle, tossed out a few old yogurts and rummaged behind the pickles, looking for something fun to eat.

They say--I say--it goes by so fast. We ask: Is it that time already? Yes. And yes. And if you eat some mold because you were too busy enjoying your dinner company to stop and check the expiration date, so be it. It's penicillin for the soul.

5 comments:

Castle Offroad Club said...

"penicillin for the soul"

That's brilliant! Heh heh heh.

lynsalyns said...

what is this place? I have to find out about it on technorati? Dude, what's the deal-i-o?

But you blogrolled me, so I forgive your secretive behavior. :)

Linda said...

Isn't it funny how one small child can so change the priorities in your life so completely and totally? I,too, prided myself on being an organized adult capable of keeping my house clean and edible food in the refrigerator and then I had kids and then the kids became teenagers and I have completely lost control of my house! Trust me, the best is yet to come ... wait until The Boss becomes The CEO! Looking forward to more of your entries!

Jenifer said...

The best has yet to come.... you are thinking about adding to the headcount? Wait until you are in my shoes... 8 months pregnant with a child who will turn 2 in 2 weeks, and you are too fat and exhausted to contemplate bending over to see what lurks on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator (nevermind weather it is edible or not)!! Then your 2 year old looks at you and says "It's messy in here Mommy" Yeah..... I know.

JonnyBravo said...

My wife is still waiting to come home with our first child. He came to use 3 weeks early, and still cannot keep his temp up... one of my jobs was cleaning and getting ready for arrival, and I went through the fridge and found tons of items back there "expired and then some" ... that doesn't take into account things in those leftover containers, which you need a scientist to come in and get a date on...:)