29 December 2008

Of spices and slippers

Wherein David and Leta experience the joy of giving in an all-new way...

Part the First:

A few years ago David noticed that I had a pretty ratty pair of slippers. (The slippers had achieved this level of rattitude by being the kind that I particularly like and sometimes have trouble finding - they're basically just fleece ballerinas so that my feet don't get all hot and sweaty.) So, figuring that he had found a problem that he could solve for me, he quizzed me about slipper preferences and for Christmas presented me with a lovely red velour pair from, I believe, Eddie Bauer that came in their own little presentation bag. Oh, how nice!

So I took the nice, new ones home and brought the ratty old ones - which were now my spares - to his house. The following Christmas, I received a very nice pink fleecy pair from Victoria's Secret. Oh, how nice! So the pink ones live at David's and my ratty old ones are in my luggage.

It's a good assumption that everyone who will ever read this has already figured out that David's real goal is not to supply me with new slippers every year, but to drive the ratty old slippers out of my life altogether. I didn't realize this until he noticed the ratty ones in my luggage and looked like a home-owner watching the mouse saunter out of the kitchen carrying the piece of cheese that had been baiting the trap.

He asked me hopefully what I would do if he bought me a nice, new pair of slippers to go into my luggage? Oh, that be nice. And the ratty old ones? Oh, I'd probably put them in my theater box to wear backstage.

Listen carefully and you can probably still heard the grinding sound his teeth made.

Part the second:

I am not the only keeper of the beyond stale-dated. David, himself, has a cabinet filled with herbs and spices that pre-date me and we started seeing each other just after GWB was "elected" the first time. I've been suggesting for a long time now that the fenugreek that he and Susan bought for some long ago curry could be tossed, along with orange peel that smelled like citric acid and dust.

My position on the moral high ground was pretty much ensured after I went to use some nutmeg, which David buys whole (because he uses a nutmeg rasp) and it had nutmeg worms. At that point I began to lobby harder for not keeping the those poor, dried nuts, twigs, leaves, etc through the end of the last mortgage payment. My own rule is not to keep them more than four years. I date them when they come into the house and everything bought before January '05 will be pitched by Inauguration Day. New president, newish spices.

Part the third:

So our anniversary present to each other this year is that David gets to pitch my ratty old slippers and I get to dump his antique foodstuffs. He thought we were each going to throw out our own stuff, but what's the fun of that? So when I read on-line that he had tossed the fenugreek, I called him immediately with a Cease and Desist order. Now I get to empty the mere-memories-of-their-formers-selves contents from the bottles and David got the warm glow of tossing my ratty old slippers.

Of course, I dumped his spices out the front door, so I was recycling whereas he tossed my slippers into the trash (which I couldn't watch), so he was just adding to the waste stream.


So if traditionally the first anniversary is for giving paper, the second for giving cotton, etc, in the 21st century, the eighth should be for giving your loved one the thing that they have been itching to dispose of and allowing them the joy of ditching it. The Eighth Anniversary could be for de-accessioning.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

What a lovely, thoughtful gift idea. But beware, lest you learn that what he's been longing to "deaccession" is you! :=o