Sunday, June 10, 2007
Condimentially Speaking ...
I had a little snafu with my condiments this weekend. I really like to have hot dogs on occasion, especially when the weather is warm. I suppose it reminds me of baseball games and hot afternoons walking around DC. So I went to the grocery store and bought the dogs. When I got home I realized that I'd forgotten the buns and that I was also out of relish.
So I went back to the grocery store. But can you believe it - there wasn't a single jar of relish to be found in the entire store! I was shocked! After 20 minutes of moving ketchup bottles aside to see if they concealed relish somewhere in there I picked out some buns and headed home -- sans relish and tres annoyed.
Relish or not, I started making my hot dogs. I put the dogs in to cook while I prepared my bun with the condiments. Mayonnaise? Check. Ketchup? Check. Mustard? Check - sort of. My bottle of mustard was still sealed shut and I absently tried to peel off the plastic seal. It wasn't very easy, so I had to give the bottle a little more attention. I noticed that the seal was a little dingy. What kind of mustard has a dingy safety seal? Looking at the label I noted that this was Smiths brand mustard. Smiths? Smiths is a grocery store in Utah. As far as I know, there are no Smiths grocery stores anywhere within 2000 miles of me. That could mean only one thing: I had purchased the mustard while I still lived in Utah.
I haven't lived in Utah for SEVEN YEARS! This bottle of mustard has traveled with me through no less than 5 moves. It made it in the initial cross-country move when everything I owned in the world was crammed into a Volkswagen Jetta. It's followed me through two counties and five different apartments. Somehow it made it into boxes during the frenzied Thanksgiving Day escape from seriously crazy roommates that left me living in a basement for 3 weeks. It's been there throughout graduate school, traumatic relationships, and my days as an international jet setter. This isn't just mustard! This could very well be the longest relationship I've ever had!
There's no expiration date (it was probably packaged before the FDA required silly things like expiration dates) so technically I could still eat this mustard, I suppose. But at this point that seems like a bad idea. It's clearly moved out of "condiment" category into the "keepsake" category and I'm not sure what I should do with it. Should I put it in the box that has my High School Letter and debate club medals? Most likely, it will sit on my counter until I regretfully chuck it into the garbage. I'm not sure what having 7+ year mustard says about a person, but it certainly illustrates that I should be careful about what I buy because I'll likely keep it around longer than I plan.
Suffice it to say, what was meant to just be lunch turned into an unexpected time capsule which taught me - well, I don't know what about myself - other than that I really prefer my hot dogs to have relish and mustard.