I am being mommified. The dreaded thing that happens to most children is tightening its grip on me, like swaddling clothes, or whatever was used to wrap Egyptian mummies. Indeed, this is not the first time I noticed the edges of my mother creeping into my everyday habits, but now it is official. I wrapped up left-over sambal olek from my Thai dinner in a napkin to take home because I did not want to waste it! I already have a jar of the stuff in the fridge but I still had this uncontrollable urge to take it home. And then I realized that this is it. I am my mother.
In one sense it is good to be aware of wastefulness. My mother, who grew up during World War II, was a five-star recycler before it was even a movement. Washing and saving tin foil for reuse until it falls apart; putting the half eaten dinner roll from a meal at Steak and Stein into a napkin and bringing it home for later (mmmm, sounding familiar?); keeping a plastic coffee lid in her purse to cover the coffee cups so the coffee does not get cold (and therefore wasted), keeping a jar of maraschino cherries in the fridge for over 15 years because you don’t know what to do with them…but you cannot throw them out…mailing an ugly orange and brown cushion from the 1960s, (and spending $30 bucks in the 1990s) to send it 3000 km to an unsuspecting daughter, because you don’t want to throw it away, but you don’t want to keep it either; the list goes on and on.
Before running in terror from this blog post, do know that I have fine tuned this thinking over the years. I don’t give things I don’t want to people I know, I give them to total strangers. I leave unwanted (and awful) DVDs on buses and trains for someone to discover, because I don’t know what else to do with them. I will reuse the tin foil, but probably only once or twice, and then I recycle it. I don’t like my coffee getting cold either, but I warm the milk first, use a travel mug, and then still throw away the part that gets cold, but at least I try. I also give a lot of stuff to charities, clean out my fridge on a regular basis, and I have never, ever, even purchased a jar of maraschino cherries! But I did take the sambal olek home. And there is more to come, I just know it.