A great dilemma has arisen that has only recently come to the fore
during these unsettled times. That is, can you have two opened jelly jars at the same
This is no laughing matter, particularly when you have been
brought up by a mother who drilled it into your head that you
could only open a second jar after the first was absolutely clear
and there was not a single jelly dollop to be had.
This question happened the other day when with about
a half-inch of jelly remaining, I opened a kitchen cabinet door
and staring at me was an untouched jar of Pure Peach Marmalade
or “Marmelade de Peches Pure,” for those of you who
I acquired this marmalade on a trip to Canada and had
forgotten about it, but when I moved the coffee, there it was.
It reminded me of my carefree days in France when I would
wile away the hours while sipping coffee and eating croissants
on the West Bank. In the interest of full disclosure, I think I may
have wiled a few minutes away in Paris but that was about it.
Freud would probably say something about this but my mother
would check the refrigerator frequently and the cabinets more so to
make sure there as only one jelly jar open at a time. That’s how
I remember it.
The lectures I got about opening a second jar paled in
comparison to the lectures I got about what would happen to me
if I impregnated a girl, but there was as much chance of that
happening as there was a hippopotamus crashing through
the front door of our second floor Chicago apartment. Looking back, I think there
was a hippopotamus at the Lincoln Park zoo, but I’m sure there was no
chance he would hop on a Chicago Transit Authority train and find his way
to Drake Avenue.
I was not, however, disinterested in the girls I went to high school with. They
would wear these fluffy angora sweaters that I though were the cat’s meow but, alas,
ogling was as far as I got and I was reasonably confident that ogling
wasn’t going to bring me to a pre-mature fatherhood situation.
So, with all of this going through my mind, it wasn’t long before
another situation had arisen calling for further reflection.
When it comes to drinking water, I try to sip during the day,
filling a glass and letting it sit on our dining room table, as I sip,
until it is empty and then I refill it.
What could possibly become an issue? Well, there are some
people who believe (and I am not going to mention her name) that
after you take a sip, you must immediately put the glass in the dishwasher.
Therefore, you go are forced to go through a thousand glasses a day,
risking elbow injury as you sip, throw the unsipped water down the drain and put it in
the dishwasher, even though it’s perfectly good for further sipping.
You can see how this is a waste of natural resources, what with the
unused water going to waste, the extra loads of dishwashing that have to
be done, along with the cost of thousands of dollars worth of
dishwashing detergent that must be used.
And here, dear reader, I have to ask, “Who is right?”
Which, quite naturally, leads us back to the jelly jar situation. I have managed
to overcome that challenge by forgetting Freud and opening up the second jar while
the first jar still has some jam in it.
After all, marmalade is very different from jelly, and I wasn’t going to frustrate
myself during this stay-at-home situation by just ogling. I’ve had enough of that to
last a lifetime.