Lately my favorite part of any trip is coming home--even at 3.am. Even though I didn't get much sleep in it, nothing is better than waking up in your own bed. Which I do with Peppy but minus V who is still gone.
Things on the homefront seem fine. The woman who came in to feed Peppy daily must have straightened up since the house looks better than when we left. It looks so good that I call my housekeeper who normally comes in today-- and I tell her to take the day off. I love having the house to myself. Even with no food in it. I'm thinking of what to eat with my coffee when
...I open the freezer and step into a scene out of a slasher movie. Inside our freezer is an explosion of blood and guts, globs of stuff on the shelves with bright red blood dripping down the walls of the freezer, red and purple splashed everywhere. Cue the screaming teenage girl.
I don't scream, but I think: someone was murdered in our freezer. On closer inspection I find no dead bodies. Or body parts. Well, technically, there are body parts. Chicken body parts. Still wrapped but covered in the stuff that looks like gory bloodstains---but actually is the liquefied remains that oozed out of opened bags of frozen strawberries and raspberries-- intended to make smoothies, not horror movies. How it leached out everywhere remains a mystery of Hollywood movie-making.
This is unacceptable. In my view, refrigerators are simple machines which were invented to serve one simple purpose. That is all I ask of a refrigerator and it shouldn't be too much to expect. Not to require cleaning. Not to require defrosting (which by the way, I am not entirely sure how or when to do.) Not to be too hot or too cold. I don't want to know about its inner workings or its needs. Refrigerators shouldn't even HAVE needs, for god's sake. A refrigerator should just BE.
But now my refrigerator has joined the conspiracy of those other applicances--vacuum cleaners, garbage disposals, computers, remote controls--yet another machine with its hidden agenda of ruining my life, just waiting for the right moment to rebel.
And now it has.
First things first, I think. Who can I get to deal with this besides me?
How prescient of me to have called my housekeeper 10 minutes before opening the freezer. But I am too embarrassed to call her back.
The next best candidate is my husband V. He's not as experienced as my housekeeper. He doesn't even own a set of power tools. But I think he's handy enough to handle this. Only problem is that at this moment, V is sitting in an airport waiting to fly home.
This leaves me. And kudos to myself--for not shutting the freezer and leaving the horror movie untouched until V gets home. I could have done that with a clear conscience, too. Since this mess is his fault. ( see my favorite refrigerator magnet below.)
First of all I am suspicious that he was the last one to open the freezer--therefore not properly shutting the door which is very tempermental, and probably it's been emitting a slow leak while we were gone. Also V shares responsibility for what I am facing right now since he contributes to the contents of the freezer--which is similar to the clutter that tends to accumulate in our house.
V is actually neat at heart, but he adds to the clutter by buying 3 of something every time I ask him to buy one. So we don't have one bag of frozen strawberries. Or even 2. We have 6. I know we have 6 because I now take every single item out of the freezer. And I realize that in one sense, I was right about the horror movie thing--what's in our freezer is kind of scary.
My daughter Alli always complains about the expiration dates on the food she unearths in our refrigerator. But there are no expiration dates on the food in the freezer. Because I would have to put them there. And of course I don't. Does anyone actually do that--other than Martha Stewart? I don't label anything with dates--and even more unfortunate, I don't label the contents. By the time I extract some of the bags today, I'm not sure if I am seeing lasagna or pecan pie.
We had a long power failure about 3 years ago so nothing can be more ancient than that---which means carbon dating is not called for. But it's mostly not fit for human consumption. What bothers me are the irreplaceable items--like an entire loaf of Jewish rye bread which cannot be found anywhere within 300 miles of where we live. Or the piece of birthday cake I saved when Daniel turned 18 two years ago.
A few things are still salvageable. Like the brownies from a party two summers ago that I had stashed way in the back and forgotten. They're no longer forgotten. So much for my post-Thanksgiving diet. So much for getting anything done this morning.
By the way this time I did not make a list of everything I found. I also did not take a "before" picture of the horror movie scene before starting to clean up the mess. I think these are both good signs--indicating emotional maturity and some remaining remnants of dignity.
Looks like another one of those messages I keep getting from the universe.