just ponderin'

… on freakin’ bisquick

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have received many messages over the past few months of this fledgling blog. By far, especially initially, the messages would gently (or not so gently) prompt me to promote my ‘Nearly Perfect Husband’ to ‘Perfect Husband’.

The ones that coaxed me in a not-so-gentle fashion turned out to be from him.

Because he’s a funny guy.

Also, I often wonder if I start writing about my Perfect Husband, and ever use ‘PH’ as an acronym, it will muck with the flow of your reading. Seriously. Think about it. I’ll give you an example: So I was in the kitchen, sorting through the mail and tossing out all the junk mail (but kissing all the stuff from good foundations doing good work, because it is bad luck to just toss those in the trash without some sort of symbolic gesture), and the PH walked in and asked, “Why are you kissing that mail?”

Okay, so that was my example. Are you going to tell me that your brain didn’t even fart a little when you read ‘PH’? And instead you read,”… and the acid test I remember from sixth grade science class when we got to those little strips of paper that turned yellowish or greenish or bluish walked in and asked, “Why are you kissing that mail?”

See? It mucks with the flow.

And it is much less likely that your brain would hiccup if I ever abbreviate ‘Nearly Perfect Husband’ to NPH, because Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus is a term only introduced in an advanced science class, so, like, way less people would be mentally waylaid by that one.

Also, you probably never thought of my NPH as possibly looking like, or being, Neal Patrick Harris.

Except for now.

Anyway, it’s time.

It’s time to start really sharing our lives and for you to understand that the promotion, though in the works many times (I’ve even submitted the paperwork, like, twice), has never made it fully through the approval phase.

This is because my Nearly Perfect Husband is bent on self-destruction.

So. So. Sad.

Case in point?

The freakin’ Bisquick.

This is really fresh in my mind as the last argument (mostly terse eye contact and gentle, logical, coaxing) about the freakin’ Bisquick happened not 93 minutes ago in this very kitchen.

Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t even offer you coffee.

See how unfurled I am?

Okay, here it goes.

By the time we moved into the Disposable Shack in 2004, we had already had two separate opportunities to organize our cabinets.

Do you remember the first time you put stuff away in your cabinets – from dishes to glasses to stuff you can eat (or combine with other stuff so you can eat the resulting thing)?

Think back to your very first place with cabinets.

It was awesome.

You get to choose where to put everything.

There is no one to tell you where to put anything.

The power is nearly overwhelming.

So you mentally step back. Consider all the options…

And then put most everything exactly where it was in the kitchen you grew up in. We’ve actually talked about this and tested our theory in John’s siblings’ kitchens.

Syrup?

Over the stove.

Duh.

Glasses?

To the right of the cabinet with the dishes. Unless you can fit them all in the same cabinet. Then glasses on bottom for easy access and dishes above them.

Dishes?

Over the cabinet nearest the outside corner of the kitchen (if the kitchen is an ‘L’ shape that is. If not, closest to the sink, over the dishwasher – whether the dishwasher is left or right). There was some latitude here because Granny (John’s Mom) didn’t have a dishwasher in their kitchen. The inclusion of a dishwasher had a somewhat jarring effect on kitchen organization for all of us.

But you get the gist of this right, put the stuff where we can each find the stuff.

So if there is no syrup in the cabinet above the stove, then there is no syrup.

Period.

Time to buy new syrup.

That’s just logical.

So things changed when we moved into The Big Brown House on the Top of the Hill (the setting of many an original Dingle children’s’ story) in 1993.

The kicker was that our stove and oven were in a little island in the middle of the kitchen.

No syrup cabinet.

So we had the huge decision of where to put the syrup. And we had a sort of pantry cabinet that was awesome. It was really two floor-to-ceiling cabinets that were only about a foot deep, so you couldn’t loose stuff in the back but had a ton of horizontal room (I loved that cabinet).

So anyway, we chose the left side, middle shelves of the cabinet for the syrup and, naturally, pancake mixes and breakfast stuff.

And that worked swimmingly for the ten and a half years that we lived in the Big Brown House on the Top of the Hill.

So when we moved into the Disposable Shack in 2004, we had an actual pantry.  This was so dang exciting I cannot tell you.

So the cabinets in the actual kitchen hold pots and pans and dishes and glasses and spices and stuff, and the pantry cabinets hold the foodstuff.

So we chose the syrup cabinet.

Syrup, pancake mix, cereal, breakfast stuff in general… this all goes into this cabinet.

And has.

Since 2004.

Until last week, when my Nearly Perfect Husband, who is also the designated hot breakfast machine (I dunno, it’s some sort of magic. We ask for omelets, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, or the like and “poof” they appear. It’s just like having a hot breakfast machine.), said he was going to make pancakes.

I said something like “Oh, honey, we can’t because we are out of Bisquick. I could make them from scratch if you want.” And I was sweet and wonderfully appreciative because that’s who I am.

And my Nearly Perfect Husband went into the pantry, and he came out of the pantry.

With Bisquick.

Huh.

I asked him where he got it.

He pointed to a cabinet.

The flour and baking stuff cabinet.

And before you get all hoity-toity technical and tell me that Bisquick can be used for many things other than pancakes… I already know that!

But, in our house, Bisquick goes in the syrup and breakfast cabinet.

So I say, “Oh! Okay, when you put that back, put it in the syrup and breakfast cabinet so I don’t go looking for it the next time I make pancakes (on my own, when my hot breakfast machine is on a business trip or something).” (I speak in parentheses sometimes).

So he says okay, but it seems that it is sort of in a half miffed way.

Fast forward a week, to yesterday.

We are going to make pancakes, so I go to get the Bisquick from the syrup and breakfast stuff cabinet.

No Bisquick.

So I think we are out, and I say that to my Nearly Perfect Husband and I head upstairs to get my phone, because I have left it on my night stand and I am hoping the whole way that Marshal Dillon Dingle – who has developed an unhealthy fascination with my nightstand and everything on it – hasn’t eaten my phone.

And I come down and right there, next to the griddle, is the freakin’ Bisquick!

So I say, “Hey, where did you get the Bisquick?”

And he says, “Oh, right there.” And points to the flour and baking stuff cabinet.

And I say, “Are you moving the Bisquick, like permanently? Because I don’t want to hunt for it all the time.” And I was also thinking, “Who the Hell appointed you King of Cabinet Organization?”

And he says that he only put the Bisquick away in the flour and baking stuff cabinet because there was no room in the syrup and breakfast stuff cabinet due to a sale on Chex cereal.

Fine.

And then self-appointed perfect boy Gabe wanted pancakes again this morning, even though we had them yesterday.

So I go into the syrup and breakfast stuff cabinet to get my pancake mix (mine is gluten-free, and not because I am a health nut, as my favorite breakfast is pie (now gluten-free pie (Damn it.))

Anyway, the cabinet is NOT overcrowded with Chex cereal, there is PLENTY of room and guess what is not there?

The freakin’ Bisquick!

And now MY pancake mix is gone too!

So I back slowly away from the cabinet and in saunters my Nearly Perfect Husband, who casually opens the flour and baking stuff cabinet and pulls out the freakin’ Bisquick, along with my pancake mix, as if nothing is amiss!

So I clear my throat.

And he looks at me, with a giant box of Bisquick in hand, and looks at what he has in his hand. Then back at me, then quickly back at the freakin’ Bisquick.

And he starts explaining, very rapidly, that he has only temporarily housed the Bisquick, and my pancake mix, in the flour and baking stuff cabinet because….wait for it….

He was in a hurry yesterday, and didn’t have TIME to bring them all the way to the syrup and breakfast stuff cabinet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was 38 1/8 inches, people. 1.5 NPH strides.

Which is 38 1/8 inches from the syrup and breakfast stuff cabinet (ya. I just measured.)

But that stride and a half, man. That was a difference maker.

So I gave John the talk about the separate but equal branches of Dingle Household Government. I asked him which one he wanted and he said he sort of liked the Executive Branch.

So I approved that.

Then I said I’d take the Legislative Branch, and we could give the Judicial Branch to the dogs, because I know Marshal Dillon Dingle has a tendency to legislate from the bench but the other three stay relatively fair and non-partisan.

Then I drafted the Freakin’ Bisquick Law – and I voted on it – and since I am the only member of the Legislative Branch of the Dingle Household, I had a 2/3 majority. Plenty to override the threatened veto from the Executive Branch.

My Nearly Perfect Husband decided not to veto it, but did say he wants to run it by the Judicial Branch.

But I am not afraid, because I just moved the moved Puppy Crack (a.k.a., liver treats) out of the dog treat and other dog paraphernalia cabinet, and into the light bulb and bathroom cleaning products cabinet.

My Nearly Perfect Husband will never think to look for them there, so I own the court.

Two can play at this game.

Thanks for readin’.

As always, you can come on over to Just Ponderin’s facebook page to comment or just hang out!

Elena Peters

midlife blogger & pinterest master

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