Hopelessly Flawed

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I did some work in the kitchen last weekend.  We had a lovely snowstorm Friday night which made for lots of Saturday morning fun, so while the girls played in the snow with their Daddy, I cleaned/purged/rearranged and organized the kitchen cabinets.  As usual, it was a lot more work than I had anticipated, and it took a lot longer than I had expected.  The end result is great though, and I’ll be bragging about it next Makeover Monday. 

I unexpectedly got another post out of the deal, though, in the form of my mother and I sharing some insanity.

We have a lot in common.  She’s pretty much my best friend.  But I never realized we shared a possible mental illness until Saturday.

It’s called a crippling inability to ever throw anything away.  Ever.

We’re not crazy hoarders, mind you.  We’re just practical.  It pains me to throw away something, even if I can’t use it, because I know someone can. 

Someone needs this junk!

Nevermind that the shirt has paint all over it, if you have no shirt at all then this is better than nothing, right?

For years I thought this was my own hangup, but Saturday I realized it’s not my fault – I inherited it.

When I moved out of my parents’ house for college mom packed up a bunch of spices for me.  Some were put into little glass jars, others she just gave me her containers.  Containers that she refilled because we cook a lot, so we buy spices in bulk.

I now do the same thing.  I buy spices at Sam’s Club and refill my small, easier-to-hold containers and continue using them.  I never gave the practice much thought, really – after all, it’s what my mom did.

My mom also used to re-use ziploc bags, which as a kid I thought was just ridiculous.  I still very clearly remember the first time I re-used a freezer bag. 

It just had bread in it!  It’s like it was never used!

It hit me right away that I was A) old and B) my mother’s daughter.

It took me longer to notice the spice containers.

It started when I saw mom’s handwriting on this bottle and thought ‘Man, I’ve had that for a long time!’ (Despite the fact that I am, of course, still 19 and just moved out of my parents’ house. Ahem.)

(Notice she’s re-labeled a bottle.  You know, since we can’t throw away a plastic bottle.  Also notice, I am mocking her here, yet still using it myself.  Because if she’s on the crazy ship, I’m going down with her.  That’s how much I love her.)

Hmmm…let’s check the date on that one.

Can you read that clearly?  Because it says 1986. 

Yes.

1986, the year of Kiss, Papa Don’t Preach, and Walk Like an Egyptian.

Yeah.

But wait!  I also have these beauties:

That’s right, baby.  1977.

AKA the year of Dancing Queen, Margaritaville, and Car Wash.

I have spice containers in my house that are 33 years old, people.

It’s not normal.  

Unless you are in my family, in which case it is actually completely normal.  My mom is probably reading this right now thinking ‘Well they’re still perfectly good! What’s the issue?’

And they really are very nice containers.  You can’t buy ones that close that nicely anymore. 

 These ones are broken in just right, and they are still perfectly good!  Why would I throw away a perfectly good container?

I wouldn’t. 

Because I am my mother’s daughter.

UPDATE:

After reading this a few minutes ago, my mom looked in her spice cabinet.  Please pardon my blurry cell phone pictures, but I couldn’t wait to share this with you. 

I am sorry to report that she, too, has spice containers from 1977.

She also has this one from 1974:

And this one, which has no date, but by picture alone I’d say could easily be our oldest container winner:

She got that one from my Grama.

And now we’d like to re-iterate that we are refilling the tins, not actually using the same spices from the 1970′s.

And we do wash them before refilling.

And we do know that we’re crazy.

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7 Comments

  • By mary b, February 2, 2010 @ 11:10 am

    I too find some of my mother’s habits creeping in…the saving thing is definitely genetic!
    Also I remember that Pumpkin Pie Spice in the tin, it was a staple in our house.
    .-= mary b´s last blog ..What’s for Breakfast on busy mornings? Children’s Cereal =-.

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  • By Callie, February 2, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

    I love it! I believe that I inherited the same illness. :) Maybe not this extreme, but I do understand about the “not throwing it away, somebody can use it”. Thanks for posting this and letting people like me that I am not alone! :P

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  • By AJ, February 2, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

    This is a fantastic post, Heather! I think my parents still re-use ziploc bags, but they go the whole nine yards and actually wash them between uses! I can still see the bags spread out in the dish drainer…

    Just think, you’re not only a chef, but also an antiques collector!
    .-= AJ´s last blog ..Disney Food Photo Quiz =-.

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  • By Amanda, February 2, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

    Oh gosh, I don’t think you’re nuts! Just practical! ;)
    Though 1977 was a bit of a while ago…..
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..HOLY COMFORT FOOD! =-.

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  • By Darcie - Such The Spot, February 2, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

    If you ever need a memento from the year you were born – at least you know where to look.
    .-= Darcie – Such The Spot´s last blog ..Practice For Divorce =-.

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  • By Becca - Our Crazy Boys, February 2, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

    That cracks me up. My Mom does the same thing.

    But the baggies? I just can’t do it. If you open your mailbox one day and see a huge box of baggies looking back at you, they’re from me :)
    .-= Becca – Our Crazy Boys´s last blog ..From the backseat… =-.

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  • By jen@ourdailybigtop, February 10, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

    I will bet money that my MIL has spice containers from the late 60s. I’ll have to take a pic next time I’m at their house. Hmmm…maybe I can get something for the containers on ebay.
    .-= jen@ourdailybigtop´s last blog ..S.O.S. =-.

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