Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mixed Up

Something happened in my kitchen yesterday morning after I was already gone to work.

I returned home for a very brief stop during a very busy lunch hour and found my sink covered in peanut butter. Like someone had taken a jar of peanut butter and thrown it all around, left the knife behind, and a wire whisk.

This was a mess that had my husband written all over it.

It’s not often that I tell my husband he has a dumb idea – but this one, this one took the cake. Or the peanut butter jar. And all of its contents. For some reason, rather than mixing the natural peanut butter with a knife or a spoon – like the rest of the normal world – he insisted on using the electric mixer.

Why?


I’ll tell you why. Because he is an engineer that also happens to love and sleep with his bike tools. So handy tool-like things are his thing. If there is a tool that could be used, he will use it. That is how you end up with an electric mixer in a jar.

Usually, this works just fine. But you know – somewhere inside you just feel and know – that this is a system that could go terribly awry.


And Tuesday morning it did.

I walked into the kitchen and shouted to myself what the hell happened here. Because the last thing you want to find when you are in a hurry is a mess of peanut butter all over the place.

Part of me said leave it there, leave it there, but I can’t leave it there. It just hurts me too much. Messes make me hurt, and this peanut butter is like a blade in my back. Must not, must not clean up the mess but…….can’t……have to……must CLEAN UP THE MESS.

I grab a sponge in hand and clean it up, cursing the husband, the mixer, and – for the love of all things sacred and tasty in the world – the peanut butter itself.

After what I think is the final wipe, my eyes catch something tan and ribbon-like on the floor. On my white carpeted living room floor. Note that any time it involves a mess and something I have to clean up it becomes mine. It’s actually Chris’ house, but she who cares for the carpets can claim ownership of them. And can also bitch about the fact that most of the carpet near the kitchen to living room threshold was smeared with peanut butter.

It required much more than a sponge. It was much more of a mess. And it hurt. My eyes! My eyes! Blade in the back – has turned. Do I wipe it, let it dry, smear it, dab it, spray or scrub? Even for myself master of stains this one threw me for an oily loop. I sprayed it down and then scrubbed.

Messes cleaned, time spent that I didn’t really have, I returned to work, fired off a warning e-mail to my husband that if I ever see him with a peanut butter jar and electric mixer in his hand I will beat him silly with the wire whisk.

Of course, he has a defense.

“I was bonking in the kitchen and already running late,” he confessed.

At first it was a story I bought with a generous amount of pity and acceptance. You see, he had woken early to get in a 2 ½ hour brick. I commended him on the effort and his early morning drive. But after thinking about it – thinking about the violation (mixer in jar), thinking about the mess (peanut butter all over), I took my sympathy back.

Work with me here – think about it - who bonks in a kitchen? On the road – sure, along the trail – acceptable. But the kitchen? Pantry chock full of calories, energy, and food supplies? Especially since the night before I had been to the grocery store. There was no excuse – bags of corn chips, crackers, bread, nuts, fruit – there was more than one item available right in front of him for immediate anti-bonk.

Furthermore, who, when bonking, has the wherewithall to pinpoint desire for peanut butter, find the mixer, plug it in, open the jar, and try to mix? Who can manage that in their mind or their hands?

I’ll tell you who. A crazy man who loves his tools. And his peanut butter. And can’t help but complicate the world’s easiest task (mixing) into something monumentally complex and messy. And learned that when you try to electrically mix peanut butter on top of the counter rather than over the sink if you – in your shaky bonky state – set the mixer too fast or quiver at just the wrong time, very bad things will occur. VERY BAD THINGS. And that is how we ended up with peanut butter all over the sink, the cabinets, and the floor.

Later that night, I returned home to find that peanut butter when scrubbed into the carpet will turn the carpet and awful yellow tan brown. Reluctantly, I accepted the fact that my carpet was now a mess of stains. And so I went upstairs to get the laundry to at least get control over one of the messes in our house.

But something, a scent, lingers in the closet. I rummage through the clothes to look and smell around and realize Chris’ entire laundry basket smells like…….peanut butter. His clothes left to marinate in peanut butter. Not a nice smell. Into the washer they go. Even after a wash, all of the workout clothes still smell like peanut butter. In fact our whole house smells like peanut butter. The laundry basket. The dishwasher. The sink. And my hands.

That’s it – our house is off the peanut butter. No more.

Poor peanut butter – something so creamy and tasty to get mixed up in a messy situation like this. It’s not you, peanut butter, it’s me, and I honestly think we shouldn’t see each other any more. Because if I bring you home, I risk my husband abusing you at electrically charged speeds and throwing you all over my kitchen. So we shall part ways and you will not have a place in my pantry anymore.


Now that peanut butter is gone, the next step - hide all electric kitchen tools.

3 comments:

Bob Mitera said...

Ok...do you think Chris is my wife's long lost brother? All that separates their families is the North Sea. "Messy Bessy" as Lorrie is known in our house(aka: Queen of Gagets) HAS TO BE related somehow. Lorrie is certainly Norwegian....hmmm? Lorrie doesn't go anywhere without her portable bug vaccum, just in case she should see a bug in the house. (God forbid!) Somebody call Unsolved Mysteries! On a serious note, Chris is lucky that whisk didn't end up stuck somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Ok, CHRIS are you out there???? IF SO, then I HEAR YA!!! You know what I do (shhhh!), I pour the ENTIRE jar of natural creamy (w/ honey!) Peanut butter into the FULL blown BLENDER and mix it there. Jerome HATES Peanut butter (English thing) and then the blender and any subsequent food we put in there always tastes like Peanut Butter, BUT IT WORKS. Someone somewhere has to come up with a better idea!!
Jen

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have to mix the peanut butter so often if Liz didn't eat the entire jar within 36 hours of me opening it. So basically, every time I want peanut butter (which is about once every three weeks), it'll have to involve me opening a new jar and mixing it.

As for the English thing, I had a roommate from Whales. He didn't understand peanut butter thing either. He furthurmore didn't understand mixing peanut butter with jelly because you don't mix a "savory with a sweet". Apparently "Sweet and Sour" doesn't exist across the pond. He did recommend making a peanut butter and chicken sandwich because that was a "savory and a savory".

I tried it. It actually wasn't bad. It was no PBJ though.

-Chris