What is that smell?

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Every time I open my refrigerator, I’m afraid of what I might find – mainly because my husband insists on keeping every leftover from a meal – just in case he might want to take it in his lunch.  This can be very problematic because if we have had a week where I have cooked almost every night – we will always have lots of leftovers.  I was raised in a family of six and when all of our children were home, we had six of us – and I have always cooked enough for a small army in case children brought home friends (which is what I was taught when I was younger also).  I am having a very difficult time adjusting to just cooking for 2-3 people (my mother-in-law joins us for dinner most nights) – hence lots of leftovers.  Enough leftovers that sometimes they migrate towards the back of the refrigerator and try to become an alien life form.

You are wondering how big my refrigerator is that I wouldn’t notice something taking on a different shape and color – but when the refrigerator is full – mainly of newer leftovers – this metamorphosis can go unnoticed until The Thing starts to smell like dirty feet – and even that can go unnoticed if you have a bunch of teenage boys in the house who for some reason always smell like dirty feet.  And even after you figure out that there are no dirty teenage boys in the house, it can be tricky to figure out just what does smell — so you start picking up items to check the expiration date and doing the smell test.

My husband has a habit of thinking that everything is good way past its expiration date (and yes, leftovers are part of that thought process) – so I have to clean out the refrigerator when he is not around to argue with me about what I am tossing.  For some reason it is hard to convince him that mustard does not last three years past its expiration date, that salad dressing does not last for five years even if it hasn’t been opened and that when taco sauce is black around the rim, it is time to go!  I think he learned this from his mom – especially after we found things in her refrigerator well past their prime.  She figured she did use it often and still seemed to taste okay – so why would she throw it away?  Luckily, we didn’t find anything smelly in her fridge that time – so at least she is safe from an alien invasion out of her fridge for a while.

I have found that the smell sometimes doesn’t come from The Thing growing in the fridge.  When I was a teenager I had the wonderful task of cleaning out the refrigerator one Saturday – this was quite a daunting task because my mother kept EVERYTHING until it grew into The Thing.  We had whole colonies of extraterrestrials living in the fridge – probably plotting how to take over the freezer and THE WORLD!  I had just finished saving Earth, when my sister, Amy came in looking for something to drink.  She opened the refrigerator and exclaimed “Whew!!!  What is that smell?”  I was very disheartened since I thought I had rid the Earth of every Thing growing in our fridge, so I opened the door and took a good whiff – and couldn’t smell anything.  I called Amy back and asked her to show me what smelled.  She opened the door and starting talking to me about all of the stuff in the fridge and complaining about the smell.  She said she couldn’t find it but it must be in there somewhere.  She didn’t have time for this and shut the door to the fridge.  Once again, I opened the door, took a deep breath and couldn’t smell anything.  I went into the living room, where Amy was sitting, watching TV and eating a bag of Nacho Doritos – and asked her to come with me to check again.  This time, I stood right next to Amy as she opened the door and started talking into the refrigerator about the awful smell.  It was at this point that I realized that the awful smell wasn’t the refrigerator – it was Amy’s breath bouncing back at her – and I could smell it too!  Happy days – it was an alien infestation – it was just my sister’s bad breath!  The Earth was saved!

So, now when I clean my own fridge (or my mother-in-law’s just to make sure she isn’t hoarding any strange life forms) – I always make sure to brush my teeth, use mouth wash and NEVER EAT DORITOS BEFORE I START THE TASK!

Every time I open my refrigerator, I’m afraid of what I might find – mainly because my husband insists on keeping every leftover from a meal – just in case he might want to take it in his lunch.  This can be very problematic because if we have had a week where I have cooked almost every night – we will always have lots of leftovers.  I was raised in a family of six and when all of our children were home, we had six of us – and I have always cooked enough for a small army in case children brought home friends (which is what I was taught when I was younger also).  I am having a very difficult time adjusting to just cooking for 2-3 people (my mother-in-law joins us for dinner most nights) – hence lots of leftovers.  Enough leftovers that sometimes they migrate towards the back of the refrigerator and try to become an alien life form.

You are wondering how big my refrigerator is that I wouldn’t notice something taking on a different shape and color – but when the refrigerator is full – mainly of newer leftovers – this metamorphosis can go unnoticed until The Thing starts to smell like dirty feet – and even that can go unnoticed if you have a bunch of teenage boys in the house who for some reason always smell like dirty feet.  And even after you figure out that there are no dirty teenage boys in the house, it can be tricky to figure out just what does smell — so you start picking up items to check the expiration date and doing the smell test.

 

My husband has a habit of thinking that everything is good way past its expiration date (and yes, leftovers are part of that thought process) – so I have to clean out the refrigerator when he is not around to argue with me about what I am tossing.  For some reason it is hard to convince him that mustard does not last three years past its expiration date, that salad dressing does not last for five years even if it hasn’t been opened and that when taco sauce is black around the rim, it is time to go!  I think he learned this from his mom – especially after we found things in her refrigerator well past their prime.  She figured she did use it often and still seemed to taste okay – so why would she throw it away?  Luckily, we didn’t find anything smelly in her fridge that time – so at least she is safe from an alien invasion out of her fridge for a while.

 

I have found that the smell sometimes doesn’t come from The Thing growing in the fridge.  When I was a teenager I had the wonderful task of cleaning out the refrigerator one Saturday – this was quite a daunting task because my mother kept EVERYTHING until it grew into The Thing.  We had whole colonies of extraterrestrials living in the fridge – probably plotting how to take over the freezer and THE WORLD!  I had just finished saving Earth, when my sister, Amy came in looking for something to drink.  She opened the refrigerator and exclaimed “Whew!!!  What is that smell?”  I was very disheartened since I thought I had rid the Earth of every Thing growing in our fridge, so I opened the door and took a good whiff – and couldn’t smell anything.  I called Amy back and asked her to show me what smelled.  She opened the door and starting talking to me about all of the stuff in the fridge and complaining about the smell.  She said she couldn’t find it but it must be in there somewhere.  She didn’t have time for this and shut the door to the fridge.  Once again, I opened the door, took a deep breath and couldn’t smell anything.  I went into the living room, where Amy was sitting, watching TV and eating a bag of Nacho Doritos – and asked her to come with me to check again.  This time, I stood right next to Amy as she opened the door and started talking into the refrigerator about the awful smell.  It was at this point that I realized that the awful smell wasn’t the refrigerator – it was Amy’s breath bouncing back at her – and I could smell it too!  Happy days – it was an alien infestation – it was just my sister’s bad breath!  The Earth was saved!

So, now when I clean my own fridge (or my mother-in-law’s just to make sure she isn’t hoarding any strange life forms) – I always make sure to brush my teeth, use mouth wash and NEVER EAT DORITOS BEFORE I START THE TASK!

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2 responses »

  1. Nacho cheese flavored Doritos are the worst for bad breath. But they taste sooooooo good!

    My husband is like yours — I wait until he is gone to throw out food or it finds its way back into the refrigerator. Or I bury it underneath something in the trash, because he has a germ fetish and won’t dig through (thankfully).

    Even with a germ fetish he is so weird about food. If he cooks something and lets it sit on the stove overnight, he thinks it’s still edible. I’ve told him over and over again it’s not safe, but he persists. Yet perfectly good food from a can or glass bottle that is one day past its expiration date — no good! I tell him to smell it, but he is deeply suspicious of those date stamps and thinks they are God’s word from on high and must be obeyed to the letter!

    LOL, men.

  2. Pingback: Fridge Growth: What is that smell? | Culturechoc2010's Blog

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