Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Proof Is In The Pudding

Is this an empty-nested world or what? I suppose technically so, since M left over a year ago, but what with the frequent presence of the Blue-Eyed Boy, and then having D and the two little girls living with us for a few months, it was easy to disabuse ourselves of the notion.

Well, the Blue-Eyed Boy has started school :-( so we do not see him as frequently as we used to; and D and the girls have long gone to Kansas, to be seen only on very special occasions. So "home alone" is now pretty much the norm around here.

Some things stubbornly remain the same: the grass still grows just as fast, dust collects just the same, the cars still need the same amount of washing. But other things relentlessly emphasize the empty nest:

  • There is no more sleeping with one eye open waiting for the squeak of the door that announces the last kidlet's return home for the night;
  • Laundry, once done at the rate of 2-3 loads every day, is now done 2-3x a week;
  • Cooking has dropped from 2+ times a day down to once every day or two;
  • Even dishwashing, the once-upon-a-time, 3x-a-day dreaded chore now happens maybe once a day.
But the other day something happened that well and truly struck home, reinforcing once-and-for-all, that the empty nest is official. It was a simple thing, really, as turning points often are, recognizable only in retrospect. It happened like this:

The other day, somewhat desperately wondering "What's for dinner?" I decided to make an omelet. My mother taught me growing up to keep two dozen eggs on duty at all times, and this I have done faithfully for the last 30+ years, though over the past year, it has pretty much gone to one dozen. Well, this particular evening, I reached for the one lonely dozen in the refrigerator only to notice the *expiration date* of August 6th. Hm... only three weeks out of date.

And that's when it hit me: We not only don't need two dozen eggs on hand, one dozen is even too much. I have always pitied those blue-haired little old ladies in the grocery store buying their little six-packs of eggs to stock their little kitchens. And now . . . NOOOOOOO . . . I am just like them!!!! Well, not quite. I don't have blue hair. But other than that . . . I am, sadly, too much like one of them.

Eggs . . . or the lack thereof . . . an apt measure, indeed, of an empty nest.

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