Minutes (at large)

July 27, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

I got an email the other day from one of my friend’s parents (speaking of teenagers becoming aquainted with parents) and it described a recent episode of fridge cleaning, in which the wife (who usually waits for the husband to be out of the house before she faces the fridge’s nether regions) begged her husband’s help. Presumably because so much time had passed that it’s inherent and speculative properties were sufficiently intimidating. At any rate, the fridge cleaning practice usually takes (for her) thirty minutes. With the assistance of her husband, however, it took as many as three and a half hours. The extended period of time was due to the nostalgic swooning of said husband who, in her words, “went through the jars, the opened cans wrapped in grocery store plastic bags with a wistfulness and nostalgia — a sense of missed opportunity — the way many of us go through our journals or photo albums.”  He would hand her a container with damp eyes, his face turned away as though he couldn’t bear to acknowledge that rotting waste, and “there were moments when he would come and stare into the compost bucket or the garbage can and muse over a food substance (taramasalata, bokchoy that by my calculation is at least 4 weeks old), “That really doesn’t look so bad.  I bet it is still good.  I could do something with that,”  sighing heavily before turning back to the food-encrusted shelves.   Melting little dibs of rendered chicken fat and combining it into one container would perk him up briefly.  But it was a sad and chastened fellow” who trotted off to resume his exterior life out of doors.

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One Response to “Minutes (at large)”


  1. Oh, this is way too revoltingly well known ground–even down ot the ‘man’ who still thinks something can be ‘done’ with the trash–besides composting/recycling it…petri dish buffet all around.


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