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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Adulthood (07/30/09)

TITLE: Tossing Out Left-Overs
By Jennifer Galey


The last from a litter of girls, I am the baby of the family. Admittedly, I was the stereotypical youngest child who loved to have fun and abhorred responsibility. Daily tasks such as doing laundry, cleaning, and cooking just never seemed to be a top priority. I would learn them one day-just not today. Unfortunately, procrastination always comes with the highest price tag.

I thought I had graduated to adulthood the day I said, “I do.” I mistakenly believed that the blessed birdseed sprinkled over my head was laced with sensible skills that would sink in through osmosis. My unconscious to-do list of “unnecessary tasks” rolled out center aisle in the first year of marriage.

My husband, no doubt, is the most practical person you could ever encounter. Thankfully, he is also the most patient. He has learned to approach inquires at different angles in effort to preserve my feelings.

One day, in a fit of frustration, I deposited the vacuum cleaner into the trash can. How it got there, I firmly believed, was not worth mentioning. Stumbling upon the evidence, my husband approached me indirectly.

“Would you like me to run to the grocery and pick up some jumbo-size garbage bags, Hon?”

I knew the can of worms had been cracked.

“Oh, if you are wondering what happened to the vacuum cleaner, I have no idea. It just decided to break,” I offered with baffled palms to the air.

“Hmm…that’s interesting. That was one of our wedding presents.”

At this point we had only been married just shy of three months.

Since I did not offer a reply, my husband continued. “Did the red light by chance flick on while you were vacuuming?”

“Of course it did. That means it’s on, right?”

My husband curls his pointer finger around his nose. This is a non-verbal habit he exhibits when perplexed.

“That means the vent is full, Sweetheart. Did you try to clean it out?”

I deflect his question with my new idea. “Why don’t you do the vacuuming and I will be in charge of the cooking?”

My husband tacitly agrees to this and drops the subject. Incidentally, I also married a smart man.

Thankfully, cooking proved to be much easier. Just pop in a frozen pizza at 425 degrees for 17-19 minutes and voila! No problem. I had this cooking conundrum solved.

Somehow we happen to live right next to the upcoming Food Network stars. This couple would invite us over for dinner quite frequently. Whether it was baked chicken, prime rib, or pork roast, it always was the best version I had ever tasted. My husband seemed to agree by the heaping second and third servings that inevitably landed on his plate. You would think he hadn’t eaten for days! Apparently our neighbors recognized the symptoms early on and felt pretty confident about an early diagnosis.

I wishfully believed that my non-committal cooking syndrome had since been forgotten. Then, less than a week later, the door bell rang. It was intervention time.

I opened the door and immediately grasped the seriousness of the situation. My neighbors, laced with an arsenal of spices, made a beeline for the kitchen before I could even say hello.

Apparently my husband was in on this. He wrapped a pink apron around my waist. He obviously decided on pink instead of red or white because it would be pink anyways after it was washed.

I unwittingly had taken a plunge into the unknown and the mouth of a raw chicken.

My neighbor calmly responded to my look of horror by announcing that I had successfully removed the liver. I triumphantly toss up a confetti of colorful spices and tap out a victory dance on the tiles.

After my chaperoned journey into the newly traversed world of cooking, I thanked my neighbors. Before they left, they mentioned how we would have enough food to eat for days.

The next day, I started to grab the remnants of chicken to plop them into the microwave. Instead, I un-handcuff my crock-pot from the confines of its box. It may take a little longer, but somehow I no longer felt like left-overs.

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This article has been read 572 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jackie Wilson08/06/09
Funny story! Smart hubby!
Gregory Kane08/07/09
An incredibly patient husband and a great conspiracy to rally round the young wife
Ada Nett08/07/09
You have a knack for writing humor...sort'a reminded me of Erma Bombeck ! Good job!
Seema Bagai 08/08/09
Loved the humor in this piece. Good work.
Jacob Drollinger08/11/09
You tackled (roughly) the same subject that I did in my piece...being thrown into adulthood unprepared, only you did it with humor. Well done
Lisa Johnson08/13/09
I loved your story. Reminds me of the first meal I cooked for my hubby. He did not say he did not like it... just said he could live without it. Your story was funny and sweet. I loved the way your MC approached the subject of growing up...with humor.
Congratulations on receiving highly commended status.