This morning started off beautifully! I slept through the night! I had woken at 1:15 am the night before and never got back to sleep. My husband had made the coffee and was already up on his computer. I grabbed a cup and headed to my computer to hopefully visit with by best friend. My good fortune was continuing, she was on line and we chatted while I “woke up”. There’s something about that first cup of coffee and what happens while I drink it that sets my mood for the day.
I had set personal goals for the weekend and had accomplished one of the "biggies" (scrubbed the kitchen, hall and mud room floors) and had yet another “biggie” to get done. Yes! I was planning to clean out the refrigerator-that nasty, scary, make you gag chore that most of us hate with a passion. I’ll be truthful here, it still held the remnants of our Thanksgiving Feast. Okay, not all of it…there were still various containers and half-filled pop bottles on the back porch. I live in the country, it’s cold, and I ran out of room in the refrigerator!
After informing my dear friend of the task at hand, the two of us carried on about fuzzy green things, and those slimey bags of goo often found in the back of the vegetable drawer. She advised me to put on some Christmas music and I quote "just throw it all out". We said our good byes and I reluctantly headed downstairs determined to accomplish my goal without gagging…alright, that’s pretty steep…without puking!
I would ask the guy who so lovingly made my morning coffee for help, but his idea is to take out all the bowls of unidentifiable food matter and leave them on the kitchen counter. He did this “favor” for me one day when I worked and he had the day off…yes, you’re all sighing and saying “wish my partner/husband/substitute what suits you would help me like that”. No, no you really don’t and this is why and the reason I have resigned myself to the fact that this task will remain mine until the day I die.
My husband, God Bless his Soul, decided to be helpful and “clean” the refrigerator! I had left for work having no idea what he had planned. When I came home this is what I found waiting for me in the kitchen: Approximately a dozen or more Tupperware containers with some form of food matter in them that had been sitting on the counter all day in above 90 temperatures…he was smiling as he informed me that he had cleaned the refrigerator today! He then told me it should really be "kept up" because it was quite disgusting. My mouth was still open as my eyes took in the stuff in foil that I was sure was moving. Just beyond the foil shapes was the precariously stacked plastic containers that had…yes, been opened! The contents of which had formed a life of it’s own in the heat…it was really scary! At the time I was not sure if they opened on their own, but I can now envision my husband opening one at a time and sniffing the contents as he put them on the counter. I then made a really STUPID comment…I said, I hope you’re planning on emptying these…his response, I believe, was something to the effect that he had started the process. I then made a really STUPIDER comment like, yeah, well you started the job and left it here to breed all day…then I stormed off to my greenhouse. When I returned I found all the containers removed from the counter and on our hot tub cover on the back porch. The hot tub is empty. It’s often used as that catch all spot to leave things to take to the garden, shop, or greenhouse…picture a large table. A large table that is never cleared.
The back porch is my morning area, it’s usually where I have that first cup of coffee…are you starting to understand what’s going on here?
To make a long story short…we had reached a stand-off…I was determined not to be the one to deal with the bubbling, gurgling mess and he was just as determined…days passed and the containers were starting to explode…I used the hose to clean up the spills but stubbornly refused to empty the containers, as did my husband. I’m not sure how many days passed but I knew I had to do something. After all it was really beginning to be a bio-hazard and was attracting flies…I got a composting bucket and started the process…by the second container I was not only gagging, but barely able to control the spasms that only mean full throttle vomiting is about to happen…it was all I could do to stand! I then grabbed a garbage bag and threw what was left of the containers and soft-mushy foil forms in, threw it in the trash and drove the trash and recycling containers down to the road, gagging the entire way.
Of course, having been at this stand-off we would both peer out the back door to see if the containers were still there and know who had won the “I’m more stubborn than you contest”…my husband was pretty pleased with himself when he arrived home from work and peeked out the back door...until he opened the dishwasher and said, “where are all the containers?” I shrugged, told him in the trash that had been picked up that morning and left the room. He decided to follow me…(I’m still not sure why-personally, my children and grandchildren understand that to do so would have put themselves at risk) he was asking why, why did I throw out perfectly good containers, you, the forever recycler…what made me throw them out…have you lost your mind? My response was plain and simple…yes, yes I had lost my mind, but in all due respect the containers were mine having sold Tupperware in the past, and I really didn’t give a rat’s behind because the contents had made me gag and retch. I’m not sure why but for some reason he walked away.
A few weeks later I went out on the back porch to watch the sun rise and enjoy that important first cup of coffee and what did I find? One of those plastic containers! There it was just sitting on the hot tub laughing at me! Whatever had been inside had congealed by this time. What in the world! (Okay, what I actually said was a bit stronger than that) Before I could get over the shock my husband stuck his head out the door and said, oh yeah, I found that under the porch…you must have dropped it…and the whole thing started all over again! At some point it ended up under the porch again…it’s still there! Occassionaly it makes an appearance thank to the neighbors cat or our resident racoon. I smile at it and kick it with all my might back under the porch. And there you have the reason that I will be the one to clean the refrigerator for the rest of my life!
The point of all this is: choose your battles wisely, decide what’s important…is it really worth all the time and energy put into maintaining that stubborn façade, is “winning” what’s important? Sometimes. Most of the time what’s important is getting on with your life, rolling up your sleeves, doing a job that disgusts you for the mere reason that it needs to be done (kind of like changing those poopy diapers) and remembering that we’re doing it for ourselves as well as someone we love.