I occasionally get a little sensitive about writing this blog. I sometimes see that people find this blog by searching for my name. And I initially wonder, why would anyone search for me? People from high school? Ex boyfriends? The mob? Then secondly, I think back on all that I have written in the past five and a half years or so. And for crapping out loud, if someone is looking for me on the internet, here I fricken am. The dumb stuff I do. My feeeelings. Boogers. Everything.
And then I wonder if I can’t just shut up already. There are zillions of blogs, all of varying quality and subject matter. Everyone writes blogs! Some are very, very good. Professional. Serious. Artful. Others blogs, most blogs actually, are pretty awful. But blogging is a thing. It is not always viewed as a legitimate thing, but a thing nevertheless.
This blog could be viewed as particularly odious because of all subjects in the world, I write about myself. Ulg, right? As if there aren’t enough zeros and ones being wasted by people who write about their cats. Or worse, their kids.
With all this in mind, I want random strangers and high school bitchfaces to read a story about a very important thing in our house: A bottle of garlic powder.
I met Dave in the beginning of 2008. We moved in together at the end of 2008. As we consolidated our households, we evaluated our various contributions. His mismatched silverware needed to go. My crappy Ikea couch and his prickly vintage chairs were banished also. In the chaos of moving, I never noticed the giant bottle of garlic powder he brought into the relationship.
There was nothing wrong with it, really. It was just enormous. A giant, giant bottle of garlic powder. I wondered what a person does with that much garlic powder. Toss it at weddings? Build sandcastles? Throw it at kids at a parade?
There was only about a third of it left by the time I noticed it. And it was sort of caking together. Balling up in the bottom of the bottle. You had to vigorously shake it to break it up. And the holes in the cap were clogged and crusted with grainy bits of dried garlic. For as much as was left in the bottle, it was somehow a challenge to use.
Not that we used it that often. Why not use fresh garlic? We’ve gone through two garlic presses in the time Dave and I have been together. The garlic powder sat in the spice cabinet, in all our various kitchens. In the time we’ve lived together, we’ve moved seven times. The bottle of garlic powder came along every time.
It sort of made me crabby to use it. It was always in the back, behind all the other well-used spices. And I’d see the bottle and feel a little stab of disappointment. We meet again, garlic powder. You bastard.
But slowly, slowly, the bottle dwindled. Sometimes (rarely) we didn’t have fresh garlic. Or it didn’t make sense to use fresh. Like in eggs, or in mac and cheese. I’d get the bottle of garlic powder, shake it venomously and flick the crusties off the top. There, garlic powder. There you go. Into the sauce. You happy now? Asshole?
The bottle got so low, I excitedly bought a new supply. A smaller, more manageable bottle. Nevermind that there was still so much left in the big jar that still took almost another year to get to the end. It made my resentment of the big, old bottle grow only deeper.
As the old jar slowly emptied, I had to shake it harder and harder to loosen the compacted little balls remaining in the bottom. I was gleeful…maniacal about the shaking. You asked for it, garlic powder! I’d throttle that jar like I was battling everything that was wrong in the world. And I was. Yet, the garlic powder lived on and on.
Could I have just tossed it? It would have been fully justified. Old. Caked up. Crusty. Just, old. But what the fuck do you think? I use every last smear of toothpaste. I dilute the shampoo until it’s just soapy water. I use the every last bit of everything, so I can feel righteous and satisfied when it is finally, completely gone. I can toss twisted, empty containers with a clear conscious. I used you until the end, toothpaste. Godspeed to you.
You think I’d let this gnarly old bottle of garlic powder defeat me? You underestimate the very fiber of my character.
I knew it was coming soon. The end. It was coming. A couple of weeks ago, I was making mac and cheese. I have learned that the best way to flavor mac and cheese is with some mustard powder, some cayenne, a little salt, and some garlic powder. That combination somehow creates the essence of mac and cheese.
I pulled what I needed from the spice cabinet. As usual, the old battered bottle of garlic powder was hiding in the back. It was tired. Just a final, tiny ball of caked grains. And somehow, a film of garlic dust, from all the shaking and years of use. I took the jar in my hand and shook for the last time. You are done, garlic powder. You are done.
I was so excited, I abandoned my cooking and made a special trip to the garbage bins outside to throw the bottle away. Before I threw open the door, I showed the empty bottle to Dave. He smirked.
“Hey, I brought that into our relationship. I think I had it for a few years before I even met you.” He sounded almost sentimental.
I was thrilled. I was beyond thrilled. I walked over to the recycle bins buoyantly. I was so excited, I forgot to take a damn photo. Even though it was a momentous occasion.
Finally! Finally! We are free of the wretched garlic powder! Free! Freeeeeee!
So. High school bitchfaces. THAT is what I’ve been up to.