I don’t believe I’ve ever complained about my wife in all the years of this blog. And that has been a wise decision. On many levels. But if I may indulge a bit here, a new trait she seems to have acquired is nagging me to eat certain foods or drinks certain drinks on her timetable. It’s like the refrigerator is the Cleveland Cavaliers and I’m constantly trying to guard LeBron. I’ll come home from a hard day at the office and she’ll say, “And how was your day? By the way, the celery was screaming today that you’re neglecting it. Maybe have some with your oatmeal tomorrow morning? And that stoppered bottle of beer in the back of the frig has been sitting on the bench for ten games now." Then when I proudly come up with the meal that creatively uses up everything on her list, the comments have less to do with how tasty or attractive I made it and more like, “Great! We used up that sucker!” Eating as a battle to vanquish the slowly aging food. It’s not my favorite culinary point of view.
But now I’m about to leave for five weeks and she won’t return for another week and our temporary house-sitter is fussy about other people’s foods. So I have been painfully aware that there are more foods with expiration dates than hours left to eat them before I leave and have been on the front lines trying to defeat them one by one. Tonight I used up all the salad mix and arugula and peppers and cheese and drank as much tomato juice as I could. It barely made a dent.
Staring me in my guilty face when I open the frig is the container of yogurt, a stoppered beer, a kombucha drink, more tomato juice and milk. There is a nectarine and strawberries and a banana and some bread, but not enough to bother to freeze. I am stuffed to the gills from my dinner and there is only breakfast between me and the plane. Fruit with yogurt? Well, maybe, but still leftovers from tonight’s dinner. And unlike, shockingly, people who routinely throw away food, it goes against every fiber—whole wheat fiber, I might add—of my being to even think about that.
It has been mostly a pleasure to have the house to myself while my wife biked around Bavaria and stalked giraffes in South Africa, but the two down sides are:
• It’s supremely hard to cook for one.
• Though I value solitude, it’s a short step over that line to loneliness.
So there you have it. Lots of packing ahead of me, but not enough to work up an appetite.
If you come over to help me pack, I have some treats for you.