Tuesday, June 21, 2011

No Mans Land

     I took a few days off from my usual riveting schedule of work, dinner, dishes, laundry, rinse and repeat.  It was time away from my day job to work on my other full time job of running the Grizzly household.  And since the hub of our household is the kitchen, I decided to tackle the most hated of all jobs.  The job that makes me look forward to a pap smear.  The job that makes small children weep and grown men turn pale.  The job that was declared off-limits by the Geneva Convention.  I decided to clean the refrigerator.  Now how on earth, you’re wondering, does such a remarkably well-organized gal like Bertha end up with a refrigerator in such scary shape?  That’s easy. 

     I live with people. 

     If I lived alone, my refrigerator would be a fascination worthy of a magazine spread.  Perfectly wrapped food, no leftovers of any kind because I hate them, and condiments left in the same place each time.  Perfection.  Absolute perfection.  BUT, as I said before, I live with people.  The Yankee and his sports drink addiction lets me know that there will be no less than 12 value size bottles of what I think of as salty, watered down, flat soda.  But he loves it so what can I say.  Then there’s Buttercup. Bless her sweet little heart.  Somewhere deep in the recesses of her little autistic mind, she has this sincerely held, undefeatable, unshakeable belief that empty cups belong in the refrigerator.  Do they belong in the sink so they can be washed?  No.  Do they belong on the counter so they can be refilled?  No.  Do they belong in the trash can to be discarded even though it is wasteful beyond comprehension?  No.  Empty cups belong in the refrigerator.  I’ve bowled a perfect turkey in my own refrigerator just trying to get a carton of eggs to its rightful place on the shelf.  One false move by that dastardly carton and crash!  A perfectly aligned row of empty cups falls over in the back of the refrigerator.  I’ve tried explaining it to her, catching her with an empty cup and directing her to the sink, creating helpful songs to the tune of various Queen hits, drawing a picture story to illustrate my point, but to no avail.  Then there’s our canine family.  Before you have a heart attack, may I just point out that our dogs do not have opposable thumbs, are not allowed to congregate in the kitchen, and certainly do not have refrigerator privileges.  But they are certainly represented.  The Yankee keeps zip-top bags of fat, meat scraps, and small bones in said bags for the purposes of a once weekly dinner treat.  Not that I mind having our discarded leftovers going to a greater cause, it is the bags in general that meet with my objection.  Who wants to see a bag of jiggly, smushy, old fat in the refrigerator?  “Not I”, said Bertha. 

     So, I set about trying to clean out the disgusting bits of what was once a meal fit for a king.  I toss.  I scrub.  I scour.  I bleach until I smell like a hotel swimming pool.  I put everything back where it belongs.  Whole grain mustard actually next to the Dijon mustard.  Mayonnaise next to the 2 other jars of mayonnaise.  Pickles next to pickle relish. Isn’t that an amazing phenomenon?  “Like” things together?  But then again, I live with people and those people return home from their various destinations and life resumes its normal pattern.  In no time my shelves are filled with bottles of salty, watered down, flat soda.  My bowling game is dramatically improving thanks to the rows of empty cups neatly arranged with their respective labels facing the same direction.  Little bags of wobbly meat fat fill the bottom corner.  I sigh and say nothing as I shudder to myself.  I live with people, and I love them.  My world would be a neatly arranged, perfectly matched, harmonious refrigerator sitting in a lonely house with a crazy woman wandering aimlessly, looking for an excuse to smell like a hotel swimming pool.
© Bertha Grizzly 2011.  All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or distribution.

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