Monday, April 14, 2008

Filling Our Drawers

When our daughter was very small, we added on to our house because there’s nothing better for a one-year-old than inhaling drywall dust and crawling around on splintered plywood and nails. Part of our new kitchen was a section of three drawers under the counter. In the big, bottom drawer that Allie could reach and open, we put all the Tupperware so she could play with it.

When I say Tupperware, of course, I mean random plastic containers which may have come from Tupperware or Rubbermaid or may have once contained Greater’s ice cream or Szechwan Wok won ton soup. Over the years we have discarded pieces and added pieces (we no longer have the plastic bowl that Allie would invert and wear on her head while riding her small, wooden scooter); over the years we have rearranged the cabinets and drawers. However, the plastic containers still are stored in the same drawer they started in, even though Allie can no longer reach them because she’s in Columbus, Ohio.

One of the things I love about New York City is that you can go out at any time of the day or night and see lots of people. The subways are running, restaurants are open, muggers are mugging. My theory is that the reason there are always people outside in NYC, is that there are too many of them to all be inside at the same time. They have to rotate.

My NYC theory was derived from observing our plastic containers (bet you didn’t see that coming). The discards and additions have produced a net gain in containers to the point where we are forced to prepare more food at any given meal than we can eat, so that we can put leftovers in a container and put it in the refrigerator. If we eat all the leftovers and wash the dishes, our container drawer is overfull. And God forbid we should put any containers in a different place and break an 18-year tradition. We have to have at least 10% of the “Tupperware” rotating from drawer to fridge to dishwasher at all times.

Passover is thus a problem. As Passover approaches we start to clean out the fridge to make room for chicken soup and charoses and also to get rid of chametz. Our refrigerator becomes a Pesach advent calendar as each day we open a new plastic container and, as George Carlin said, try to figure out if it’s something green turning brown or something brown turning green.

As we dispose of leftovers, the stock of clean containers becomes too great and the drawer is bursting. Some of these containers will have to wander in the basement for a while. Sadly, some of the containers are old and cracked and they… well, they will not see the promised land.

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