Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Joy of Junk

My joy in garage sales has dimmed in direct proportion to the number of episodes of “Hoarders” I’ve seen. Houses buried under mounds of unnecessary crap, families torn apart by the sheer amount of stuff; I can’t help but double-think every purchase. I was never one to plan my weekends around hitting major garage sales, but if I saw one in the area and had the time I’d stop in. When my kids were little I bought toys, games and Barbie stuff at garage sales. Now I think twice; do I really need it?

I love antique shops, though, and still plan an occasional Saturday trip to the larger ones. Oh, not those dust-free, polished shops arranged like great-grandma’s dining room and parlor, with matching china place settings and silverware in its original wooden case. I like the shops with nice furniture here and there amidst mismatched dishes, the spice jars my mother used with the same rusty screw tops, and lots and lots of books. Hours can pass while I wander through one of those acres-huge shops. I seldom buy anything—my house is full of furniture, my bookshelves are crammed full, and I don’t need a blessed thing—but the fun is in the looking, not the buying. And I might just find the footed dessert cup to fill out my mother-in-law’s incomplete set.

Once in a while I’ll stop at a flea market, marveling at the booths of worn-out shoes and half-used Avon lotions next to a double booth of cheap cookware and utensils. Again, seldom a purchase, but that wasn’t the point.

Sometimes I worry about my penchant for poking through other people’s old junk. Then I remember a girl I worked with telling me that on the way to church for her wedding her parents stopped at a garage sale, saying, “We won’t be a minute!”

Obviously I don’t have a problem.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Love Lucy Moments

Okay, now that I survived, I’ll confess.

A couple of weeks ago I defrosted some shrimp to sauté. Before I cooked them I dipped one in cocktail sauce and ate it. Just ate the shrimp, picked up another to dip in more cocktail sauce, and then realized what I’d done.

I had forgotten I was dealing with raw shrimp, not reheating pre-cooked frozen shrimp.

Raw shrimp. In my mouth. Now in my stomach.

I told myself people eat raw fish all the time. They sell sushi in grocery stores for heaven’s sake! I told myself I’d eaten it without gagging so there was no sense in feeling queasy now. I told myself if I didn’t come down with food poisoning I’d take my secret to my grave; my husband and kids do not need more proof that I’m losing it.

I waited to see if my innards rebelled at such callous treatment. Fought the urge to confess the latest in my I Love Lucy moments. Resisted looking up all the dire things raw shrimp could do to my delicate digestive system.

And I lived.

Does that make me want to eat sushi? No. No it does not. I don’t even like to eat poached fish, or fish baked without some sort of coating. In most cases, I demand some texture to my ventures in fish food.

Will I be more careful in the future? Honestly, I might forget and do it again someday. And if I do, one way or another, I’ll carry that occurrence to my grave.