I was standing on a footstool, screwing a cabinet shelf back into place when Jordan found me. An hour prior I had gone into the kitchen to cook dinner. At this moment, screwdriver in hand, stove top empty, it was evident that I had skipped the cooking part and instead emptied all the contents of my in-laws’ cabinets onto the kitchen counter.
You see, I couldn’t find any rice. But I did find six cans of beets in three different locations.
This baffled me. My mom labels her groceries the minute she gets back from the grocery store. She has these little white stickers that she writes the month and year on before sticking them to cans, jars and any other food item that might be stored in the cupboard longer than a few weeks. Then, she rotates the older goods to the front of the cupboard and puts the new cans at the back, thus producing a very organized system for food consumption…and a daughter who loves the container store.
My in-laws, however, are much less…encumbered. They prefer to put things where there is space, regardless of what items—old or new— might be behind them. Their system produces a few more expired goods, but the whimsical manner with which my mother-in-law “organizes” things is the same part of her personality that can throw a last-minute dinner party with ease.
I, however, found myself pacing back and forth between the kitchen and the garage when I couldn’t find rice.
Jordan was on a conference call and could offer little help but to shrug his shoulders.
I was stuck. There was a part of me that thought if all the beets were stored together, maybe it would be easier to find the rice, so the organizational freak in me took over. Beets led to soup, soup led to cereal. Before I knew it, all of my in-laws’ groceries were on the kitchen counter and I was standing on a footstool screwing a broken shelf back into place.
I realize I may have crossed the line for what’s considered acceptable behavior at your in-laws’ house. After all, I don’t think it would have gone over well if Jordan emptied the cabinets at my parents’ house. I can only hope that the easy-going part of my in-laws’ personalities is also easy going about a daughter in law with odd organizational behavior, in that she organizes things that aren’t her own.
As it turns out, there was no rice in the house, but here are some of the things I did find:
- 6 open containers of peanut butter
- A single-serving honey packet circa 1975
- Moldy Nutella
- Several packets of unidentifiable dried goods
- An empty bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup dressed in an old pair of boxer shorts wearing a Bush/Cheney campaign banner
Note: All of the expired goods were disposed of except for the Bush/Cheney syrup bottle.
Some things are just worth keeping.