I see a recipe arrive in my inbox for a pasta salad for the pot-luck end-of-season coaching development meeting tonight.
Cool! On the way to my girlfriend's house last night, I buy ingredients, and set them aside after I arrive.
After dinner, we sit on her sofa and talk. She gently nudges me and says, 'You need to start the pasta salad.'
I reply, 'I need a few minutes to relax, process, and maybe even cry given the political events this week.'
She smirks a little, but mirth turns into empathy as tears briefly stream down my cheeks.
She whispers, 'Ok. Time for the pasta salad.'
We move to the kitchen and I realize that my sister is chatting with me so I leave briefly and my girlfriend continues preparing the salad. I finish chatting and I see that she made two cups of a wonderful salad dressing. The ingredients are prepared and the salad dressing lathers the salad in a big stainless steel bowl.
'I'm staying at your parent's house tonight. Do they have enough room in their fridge?'
She hands me the phone to call and her dad answers, 'Sure. There's a small fridge downstairs that you can empty the beer out of. Replace the beer in the morning.'
She smiles, 'That's what I thought that he would say.'
We return to the sofa and time escapes us before it's clear that I have to leave. I arrive at her parent's house at 2:00 AM and I creep silently into their house so that I do not disturb them.
I see the college-dorm fridge on a table and open the door. The short shelf is way too short for the steel bowl. I think of my options while I move the beer out of the fridge.
I know what I'll do!
I'll tip the bowl on its side.
So I do.
The weight of the salad strains against the saran wrap cover and I see the dark, savory salad dressing dripping down the fridge.
My weary brain searches for a solution. I can't bang around upstairs for paper-towel.
I take one of my socks and sop up the salad dressing that dripped from the fridge onto the table.
I sigh. Disaster averted. Now what do I do with the salad?
Bags. I need food storage bags. So that means that I have to bang around in the kitchen after all.
So I creep upstairs through the silent house and furtively search through the cupboards and drawers to find, finally! Storage bags!
I need a spoon. So I take a teaspoon and tip-toe downstairs to the salad bowl, bags in hand.
Eventually, I transfer the salad to the bags, tie them and return the salad to the fridge.
I take my other sock and sop up the remaining dressing from the floor of the fridge and place the salad safely in the cold box.
And then after once again creeping up two stairways, dropping my cellphone, stumbling once or twice, I reach their spare bedroom and sleep.