Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sneak Peeks


Have you ever gotten a better sense of a person by peeking in their closets? I  sum people up, or “thin-slice” as Malcolm Gladwell says in his book “Blink” by the contents of their refrigerator.  In psychological speak, that means to draw conclusions based on snap observations. When I was dating my husband, his fridge had beer, a pack of batteries and a lonely bar of dial soap chilling inside. One of my favorite friends is the Kool-Aid mom to her three, their friends and all the neighborhood kids. She is never without enough fresh snacks to feed an army. But her fridge is always clean, clutter free with room to spare. Mine, on the other hand, seems to be constantly overflowing with condiments.

My Mother judges by the collection in your kitchen drawers. I say judge because I have felt her scorn and disappointment for years. Where is your juicer? What do you mean you don’t have a garlic press? When did you get rid of the salad spinner I bought you? Who lives without a meat thermometer? No peeler, seriously? My excuse is I don’t have room. My one nice Cutco knife carves turkeys, opens boxes and chops veggies. What else does a girl need?

Last night while visiting my mom in her new camper, I brought over a pizza and she whipped out her pizza cutter. Now, let me give you a little background. My mom has lived the last two decades of her life in suburban sprawl, where the houses come in two sizes, huge and ginormous. There was a  finished basement, attached three car garage and a few leased storage units nearby. This summer, she sold her house and donated multiple lifetimes worth of stuff to live in a 400 square foot RV. Her plan is to spend the winter with her grandkids in Florida and then explore the country. So it seemed we could finally relate. I have no space and neither does she. One curious glance under her mini oven proved me wrong. 

Here are just a few of the items I found:a jalapeno pepper cooker, an I Love You toast impression maker and a tomato knife to go with a lettuce knife. I had to ask what the silver microphone looking ma-bob was. “A fresh parsley parser, of course.” What about the little thingy that is too small to be a bottle opener? “It’s a butter curler.” There was lemon zester and a variety of cheese graters. There were metal ropes that are supposed to be bbq skewers.  What about the metal circle with a handle? “It’s some kind of pitter.” I opened another cabinet to discover her “jewelry store”. Trays and trays of baubles, including one just for Halloween adornments. After that she kicked me out. “No more pictures! No more snooping!”. She yelled and shooed us as if we were paparazzi.

So what does all this say about my mom? I think whether it is a stolen glance in your party host’s bathroom medicine cabinet or what you discover lurking in someone’s night stand, contents are a reflection of a person and their priorities. My mom finds a way of having luxury in her life no matter what her circumstances. She makes a production out of everything, even cooking in a camper. And I mean that in a good way.

What does your contents say about you?

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this post! I was a professional organizer for 5 years, so I know what it means to make a snap judgement about people by their belongings. First, I LOVE that your mom moved into a camper to travel the country. I am SO doing that the day I retire. Second, I love (as you do) that she spares no luxuries, regardless of her space limitations. Though I have never met her, I can almost hear her saying, "Well honey, of COURSE you need a melon baller on the road! You never know when you might need some honeydew balls for entertaining."

    This is great.

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