She’s in there, and speaks to me often. But I’m usually too busy coming up with lame excuses to pay attention to her.
Last Saturday, though, in a fit of uncharacteristic domesticity, I listened. What prompted this? Friends who’d stayed with me for a week used the refrigerator as a depository for canned dog food for their beloved Dachshund. I do not tolerate canned pet food of any kind in my home. It’s a personal policy. Just accept it.
By the time I’d figured out the vile substance was not only being stored in the fridge, but dispensed with silverware we use for eating, I was speechless. Besides, I like these people and wanted them to feel comfortable at my place. I said nothing.
However, after they left, I was compelled to reclaim my territory by sterilizing everything that might have touched the dog food.
It’s OK. The fridge needed it anyway. Big time. A fish stick lodged in one of those hard to reach places had been there since the early years of the Bush administration. It was literally time to take out the trash.
And there was a lot of it: A bottle of steak sauce from 2004 and several items that had expired in 2006. Also, I found some cat hair. What? I don’t think my cat’s been in the refrigerator, but I suppose I can’t be sure.
In addition to these items of note, there’s a coconut I’ve kept in the refrigerator for 31 years. This is not a joke. It’s an actual, whole coconut with a history in our family and it’s doing just fine, thank you very much. The children even ask about it occasionally. I brushed off the grime and put it back in the crisper.
This time I vowed I wouldn’t employ my traditional Suzy Homemaker “no fridge booger left behind” policy. I’ve already earned that merit badge several times over. Nope. This time it would be a quick in and out.. cleaning like mad and no worries about stray crumbs. Just get in there and get it done.
I now need sunglasses when I open the refrigerator door. It’s snowy white, tidy and fragrant, but more importantly, it’s dog food free.
So is all the silverware, which I ran through the dishwasher–twice. The kitchen hand towels and dishcloths were also properly sanitized.
Call me obsessive-compulsive or just plain weird. I don’t care. What I know for sure is when the stakes are high, the goddess comes screaming through.