Food Personal Essays

My Refrigerator

I have friends coming to stay for a night before they head to Martha’s Vineyard for the summer. I got this e-mail this morning:

“Hey. Do you have room in your fridge if we stop by Trader Joe’s today and stock up on a few things?”

Here is a list of what is in my refrigerator. Mustard, Diet Coke, Ginger Ale (a friend brought over when I was sick), eggs, expired cheese, butter, half and half, and mayonnaise. That’s it. There is a Britta water pitcher too, but it’s been in there for about six months, so I’m not sure the water is okay. I should change it I guess.

I started to panic. Should I go to the store and fill up the refrigerator so they don’t think I’m a loser? Am I a loser? Am I a bad host? I was going to get some breakfast things for when they come tomorrow, but we are going to the Yacht Club for lunch and out to dinner, so I didn’t feel I needed much to nourish them (other than my charming company), but now I’m sure I am wrong.

How do I answer her e-mail?

Here is what I sent as a response.

“Of course. I have an empty refrigerator. 🙂 I do not keep lots of things in my refrigerator. Ok, that’s a lie. I don’t keep anything in my refrigerator.”

I am trying to be authentic and present myself as I truly am. These are really good friends; they know the fabulous me and the ridiculous me, and they seem to like me as I am. When my mom died, this woman was one of the first to call me, and she and her husband were both here for the funeral and related events. We are not talking about people from whom I need to hide my true self.

But come to think of it, when I was at my cousins’ houses in Boulder a few weeks ago, I marveled at the contents of both of their refrigerators. They each have a plethora of things to choose from, and you have to move things around to see what is in there. I want to have that refrigerator. I’m going to go to the store today and stock up. I am going to bring leftovers home. I did that for a while a few years ago, and I blogged about the cost savings opportunity in leftovers, but then I forgot all about it.

This is it. A new me. People will say about me, “You should drop by. She always has a ton of things in the refrigerator, and she will bring them out to feed you if you do.” Yep. I think I need to e-mail my friends that there may not be so much room tomorrow when they come after all.

I’m sure your refrigerator contents say something really important about who you are as a person. It’s always something staring you in the face that you need to change about yourself.

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