Friday, November 20, 2009

What’s In Other People’s Fridges Says A Lot About Them

A hasty survey (taken at parties when I say I am going to powder my nose, but really I am checking out their fridges) of my friend’s fridges (and pantries) reveals that certain people can live without quinoa. Few of my friends are spelt-lovers. Few take the time to cut fruit with a fruit knife in the European manner -- there are lots of packages of Whole Foods pre-cut melon.

Many, many are disorganized (or just plain wrong) in their methods of cheese-saving. I’ve seen plastic wrap, waxed paper, a brick of bare Cheddar going cracked and dry, first around the single bite-mark that’s been taken out of it, rinds of Parmesan being saved for god know’s what romantic date night Italian minestrone that’s never going to happen.

What’s in other people’s fridges says a lot about them. For instance, that something is very wrong with them. They are still using plastic wrap to wrap up their black pepper chevre when anyone who is anyone knows better: to use brown butcher paper, or lacking that, cheesemonger’s paper.

My friends don’t want to talk about it. And I can’t bring it up because it would reveal a lot bout me, that I’m snooping about their kitchens (just to make sure they’re okay! Because I care!)
But I wonder: how many heads of fresh bib lettuce have to rot to stinky puddles to be later shamefully cleaned out of the fridge, before they realize how their cold-storage and strangely stocked pantries have to do with their childhoods.

Who are you, friends, taking a quickie bite out in the middle of the night? Hoarding “envelopes” of water-packed school lunch albacore from Costco and boxes of Amy’s Organic Macaroni Bunnies n’ Cheese? You do not have children. Tell me, is it so hard to say you were not loved? That your heart, like your stomach, went unsatisfied through middle school?

Your mother; tell me about her. About how she stored cultured butter in a crock on the countertop when everyone else’s non-Eastern-European-immigrant mother’s kept margarine. I know how that feels. Tell me how her love was as warped as plastic wrap when you pull out plastic wrap to wrap a sandwich and accidentally the plastic wrap touches the side of the still-warm toaster-oven and crumples to nothing, leaving nothing, but a strong lingering smell. I will understand. My own mother’s love was like freezer-burned gallon of ice cream.

I’ll open my fridge to show you; I still have that gallon of ice cream. All these years later I still yearn for it to not be all ice-rimey and freezer-burny, but creamy and delicious. I’ll pull apart the Western saloon-style pantry doors of my pantry. Do not be shocked, friends. We are alike, you and I. I, too, have prepared an apocalypse-survival kit of prune juice and Martini and Rossi.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why Go Out For Thanksgiving?

Why Go Out for Thanksgiving: Nine Reasons I Can Think Of -- by Grandpa

1) You people

2) And your children, who are spoiled miscreants.

3) You messed up my tv settings last year by setting up your, what are they called, “wheees?”

4) By gum, when you’re at my house my tv stays tuned to PBS.

5) That “parade” you slack-jawed, overweight mouthbreathers who have never fought for your country watch is actually a spectacle of gross consumerism.

6) One of you is a Republican, which one? I will find you.

7) I don’t want to hear TMI about anyone’s boyfriend.

8) Especially about Sally’s boyfriend who everyone says is "well hung."

9) Or about how your grandmother’s turkey is “dry.” It’s always been dry. She works hard to make it that way and it’s your job to be thankful for it.

John Malkovitch, Don’t Die Before We Can At Least Kiss

It was when I saw you in Dangerous Liaisons that I knew. That man. That voice. Do you know that The Guardian said your voice is a “reedy, faintly orgasmic drawl.” I could have said that. Also, that thing you do with your lips and teeth that is sexy; you suck them in provocatively. You did as you looked directly at Uma Thurman who was really, in my mind, a lush, more perfect, less gawky sixteen-year-old stand-in for myself in our seduction.

Then, for awhile, you played maniacs.

Why did you do this, John, I mean, Mr. Malkovitch -- it turns me on further still to know that you and I are play-acting. You are ridiculously still sexy you. I am a sexy MILF journalist interviewing you for Vanity Fair. Should we continue our interview or are you sufficiently aroused? Not yet? Is this because you are an old(er) man, going to flab, and nearly hairless? John, John, so what? So what?!? Let my friends laugh as they drink in Demi Moore’s husband whose name I can’t think of. I am a woman of a certain age who can work with what you have left. Manipulate the remains.

I want to manipulate you; since you have played so many crazy insane gun-toting manipulators. But what I want to know is why John? Why? When, in your career, what you are best at is stage love?

Well, not love, exactly: the heady holding it out like a biscuit for a dog and then snatching it away. I want you to do that to me. If you can, please, do that to me if you still have the strength also put on French silk stockings and knickers and rouge your pallid cheeks! My love! Will you not now bring your (formerly full, bow-shaped) mouth to meet mine and then turn away, leaving me artfully flushed. Absolutely unsatisfied. Mad with desire.

Do you know how close we came to consummating? My brother in law serviced your copying needs at Kinko’s in Harvard Square, Cambridge and I also lived in Cambridge at the time. We were within miles of each other, maybe even frequentors (at different times) of the same cheese shop on Huron Street. Must I just yearn? Must I just hold the copy paper you autographed “To Elizabeth” to my heaving, post-pregnancy bosom and watch only the parts you are in of Being John Malkovich?