That is what is going on in my house right now.
Utter, blessed silence.
This is because I am what I refer to as “Oldsfree”. For an entire week.
Here is the exciting thing I do first when the Olds are out of town, which, thanks be to Jesus and all of his little baby animals, they often are:
I clean the refrigerator.
Yes. This is my life. Be jealous.
Cleaning the refrigerator is something I tried to do as infrequently as possible when I lived by myself or with significant others. In fact, I sometimes left disgusting things in the refrigerator on purpose in order to get rid of certain significant others. Usually when I get to that point in a relationship, though, the other is so firmly attached that I would have to leave a severed human head in there, with a sign specifically stating that “Yes! This could be you!!” for it to do any good.
Food is one of the main OldsInterests. Both of them are brilliant cooks, although one of them pretends that he isn’t most of the time so as to avoid having to do it. Both of them have excellent taste and are food snobs. As a friend of the family describes them, they were foodies before foodies were called foodies. We do not eat prepared foods, except for cereal. We shop at farmer’s markets and local butcher shops and the hippie co-op. I take completely for granted the fact that I eat meals daily that are better than you can get in most restaurants. This is because I am thoughtless and ungrateful, but I am due to start working on this with my therapist very soon.
The problem though, is that the Olds lack any sense of how much food is an appropriate amount to keep on hand for three people. If there were three adults and possibly five teenagers and a couple of toddlers on hand, we would have approximately just a little too much food at all times. As it is, we have an enormous refrigerator that holds far too much, and which is so large that we lose things in it. Some of us cannot even reach parts of it without standing on something.
For many years, we had a normal sized refrigerator that was a side by side model. Then, one day, the Olds wandered off for a few hours and came back looking pleased with themselves and slightly guilty. They then stood in the kitchen whispering things like “Well, should we measure it?” “We’ve already ordered it now!” and “I’m pretty sure it will!” “I guess we’ll see” accompanied by giggling and shushing.
Living with them is a lot like living with fourth grade girls, but with more Irish whiskey.
Anyway, it came to light that they had somehow found themselves at a place that sold appliances, and before they knew what had happened, they had ordered an enormous new stainless steel refrigerator, which, naturally, they had not actually measured to see if it would fit in the alcove where the current fridge was located. Of course, it would not have mattered if they HAD measured it, because they had not measured the alcove either. Most people would measure both the space AND the potential fridge before making a purchase.
The Olds are not most people.
The old fridge already held way too much food, as evidenced by the amount of it that always got wasted. The primary food preparing Old claimed that this was because it was too deep and she couldn’t see to the back of the shelves, so things “got lost”. Since the other Old and I prefer to claim complete incompetence in the kitchen so as to avoid having to do anything that seems like cooking, we would just accept this ridiculous excuse. And, when they went away, I would go through it, find the invisible lost food, and rearrange what was left so that it was accessible and also so that it looked like food.
The new, magnificent fridge, which would PROBABLY fit, would supposedly not have this invisible food problem, because it had a freezer on the bottom and double doors on the top, which opened up to a space the size of a smallish two car garage. I decided I would refrain from comment until it was delivered and supposedly installed.
Naturally, because the Olds are like this, when new fridge was delivered, it was a perfect fit. I think there is some kind of quote about God protecting children and fools. They are not children any more, but still, apparently, under his protection.
Anyway. The problem with the new fridge is, it is enormous on a scale of ginormity that is mindbogglingly huge. I am pretty sure that in New York, it would qualify as a two bedroom apartment because it has a crisper, a cheese drawer, and a wine cooler thing. There are TWO icemakers. The freezer is big enough to hold at least two good sized golden retrievers, or, in our case, at least five gallons of ice cream and fourteen gallons of frozen sweet Indiana corn and probably twenty containers of homemade strawberry jam/frozen daquiris.
[We make both. Sometimes, you can’t tell which is which until you’ve already spread it on your toast. Rum is a little strong in the morning, but you get used to it.]
The invisible food problem, though, is worse. Because now, the top shelf is too high for one of the Olds. And the other Old thinks it is extremely humorous to put things up there and shove them to the back, precisely so that she can’t reach them. I can’t either. And, since the tallest Old cannot even remember if he is wearing pants half the time, the minute he has hilariously hidden something, it no longer exists to him at all.
[No. I do not worry about Alzheimer’s. He has been this way since I have been alive, and probably, long before. I do worry about one or both of them getting dementia, but then again, they may have already had it for years. This would explain a lot of things, actually.]
So, it is Friday night. I have the house to myself. My plans for the evening are set. I have brought the stepladder in from the garage, and things are ramping up.
And I just realized, we are out of garbage bags.