* * * * * DO WHAT YOU LOVE * * * * *
There is a strange wind blowing. The kind of wind that whips the tree-tops around and around, giving them the appearance of wacky inflatable guy, a ploy used by car lots to draw your attention. They suck you in with their garish colors and wildly flailing arms. You try to avert your eyes, to keep them on the road, but wacky guy eventually wins, and you find yourself sitting in the car-lot's parking area surrounded by a hungry sales team, wondering how you got there.
Like wacky inflatable guy, the trees draw me in. I gravitate toward a window, watching the trees, but become distracted by glass panes flecked with tiny bug carcasses and dust, and am reminded to add Windex to the grocery list...a list that has grown quite lengthy over the past weeks. As the food supply begins to dwindle, it becomes apparent: no one in this household likes to grocery shop. My mind wanders to the time there was a grocery-store-standoff in my home.
I'd had a disagreement with my husband over whose turn it was to go to the grocery store. It turned into a ridiculous argument which ended in a childish exchange of:
“It’s your turn!"
“No. It’s your turn!”
“I went last time.”
“No. I went last time.”
“You’re an idiot!”
“No. You’re an idiot!”
You get the point. A circular argument with no resolution. The final straw was, when after depleting all of the pantry items—even those packages of clumped lime Jell-O that were at least a decade old—I opened the fridge to find salt and pepper from a variety of fast food chains (Why were they even in the refrigerator??), two McDonalds' ketchup's, a handful of soy sauce packets and door shelves laden with near-empty condiments. Not many recipes you can make with that, although once upon a time, my brothers, my sister and I survived for a while on saltines, mayonnaise and ketchup (making a quasi-thousand island dressing and spreading it on the crackers); and we are still alive to tell the story.
The way I handled this pointless standoff, was to first take a picture of the mostly-empty refrigerator and send it to my brother. (We had a good laugh over that.) Then, after calling my husband by his most recent nickname, Condiment Man, I Googled “recipes using: salt & pepper, soy sauce, ketchup, sweet relish, honey mustard, whole-grain stone-ground mustard, yellow mustard, horseradish mustard, Dijon mustard (my husband loved a variety of mustards), mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, ranch dressing, Italian dressing, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and grape jelly. Google thought about it for a while; and then my computer crashed. It was a funny thing.
The memory makes me smile. I resume my position at the dirty window and continue to watch the trees.
By Lisa H. Owens
Inspired by true events
[Weatherford May, 2021]