Archive for November 8th, 2013

The Condiment Conundrum

Friday, November 8th, 2013

One benefit I’ve noticed of living alone is that, little by little, all of the various spices and sauces and boxes and cans of foods that I don’t like are disappearing from my pantry and refrigerator. I have a cleaning lady once a month (cue ugly comments here,) and now when she leaves, I open the door to a fridge out of a TV commercial. It’s light and shiny and the few things within look almost spotlit. Fewer things fall off the pantry shelves when I search for a spice or bottle. I can imagine a time when I’ll be able to read all the labels without moving 10 things. I go to the store and buy what I want for a day or two—I feel very French somehow doing this.
But today I went to the pantry for ketchup to add to baked beans, and the cupboard was bare.
This might not seem odd to most people, but when the children were younger I always bought ketchup two bottles at a time, and there never fewer than three or four bottles.
I went to the refrigerator and looked in the door. My husband and I were raised in different denominations. I came from a refrigerated ketchup home, while he was from the pantry sect. We argued about this until one day he pointed out that I had worked as a waitress in a place where ketchup was kept on a shelf near the counter with the full knowledge of the health department.
But I went to the fridge, thinking maybe I’d reverted to my childhood ways and chilled the ketchup. Alas, none there, either.
I looked for packets from McDonald’s, but I cleaned out the packet drawer a few months back, and there was none to be found.
While I miss having my house full of my family, the advantage has been that, little by little, the clutter of multiple people sharing living space has begun to clear, and I’m enjoying the cleaner spaces. I’m just waiting for them to gain permanent addresses so that I can send rooms full of furniture and bedding and dishware and VHS movies to their new homes.
Maybe they’ll send back a bottle of ketchup.