I opened the refrigerator this evening and realized that I’d become my mother.
There’s no other explanation for the comfort I felt when I realized that that the refrigerator was nicely emptying out and, if only someone would finish off the gallon-size jar of pepperocinis (what got into me on that Costco trip?!) or guzzle a beer, we’d be approaching actual refrigerator satisfaction.
A refrigerator full of food made my mother nervous. When the fridge was well-stocked, she’d lament that “it all needs to be eaten.” Like now, she’d say. And when the contents of the fridge became more sparse, she’d noticeably relax and exclaim how nice it was to have it “all cleaned out.”
My siblings and I, children of the Ho-Ho generation and admirers of neighbors with fully-stocked refrigerators (Suzie Lisker’s family even had a steady supply of Sara Lee pound cake in their refrigerator!), thought Mom’s obsession was a little nuts.
So this evening when I opened the refrigerator and without thinking, thought to myself (if such a thing can be done), ‘It’s getting there… just a couple fewer items and this will be a perfectly empty refrigerator,” I audibly gasped at myself.
I expected that I’d realize that I’m becoming more and more like Mom when I’d someday peer into the mirror and see her quizzical eyes looking back at me or unexpectedly hear her intonation in my voice. But never did I expect to peer into a refrigerator containing not much more than (ahhhhhhhh!) a few eggs, some baking soda, and a jar of barbeque sauce and realize that now – right now – I am becoming my mother.