Usually I’m a ‘do-it-now’ type, mostly because I have a shitty memory and if I don’t ‘do it now’, I’ll forget about it forever. Or, if not forever, at least until somebody says, “Weren’t you supposed to have done that last week/month/year?”
But sometimes I know that a task needs to be done, and I just can’t bring myself to do it. Usually I suck it up and do it anyway after a bit of procrastination, but sometimes… I just… don’t. Even though I know I should.
My step-mom lives over 2,000 kilometres away, so I only get to visit her about twice a year. When I was there a couple of years ago I made cioppino (a kind of seafood soup/stew) for supper. The leftovers got stashed in the fridge, and the next day I went home.
Six months later, I was back. My step-mom lives alone, but she has two fridges. And what did I find, lurking at the very back of the very bottom shelf of the fridge that rarely gets used?
You guessed it. That bowl of leftover cioppino. Covered with clear plastic wrap that displayed all its grotty black edges and fuzzy white spots, while sealing in what was undoubtedly the stench to end all stenches.
But I didn’t deal with it right away. I was only there for a few days, and we were busy. I forgot all about the Black-Death-In-A-Bowl. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
Six months later…
It was still there.
I’m not normally squeamish. In our household I’m the one who guts the fish, butchers the meat, bandages the wounds, and cleans up the vomit. But I avoided The Bowl That Shall Not Be Named. I didn’t even mention it to my step-mom, because that would have meant admitting I had known it was there all along… and then one of us would have to deal with it.
A few days later I cravenly fled home. Cringing with shame, but not ashamed enough to actually deal with that vessel of festering putrefaction.
Six months later…
It was gone. I heaved a huge but secret sigh of relief and said nothing.
Later I was yakking on the phone to my niece, who had been out to visit my step-mom just before I’d made my latest visit. “Yeah, we cleaned out the fridge,” she said blithely. “There was a bowl in there that was just…”
I burst out laughing. “That was you? You finally dealt with the bowl?” I confessed the whole sordid story and added, “I just couldn’t bear to open that up and wash out the bowl. You’re a better woman than I.”
She started laughing, too. “No, I’m not. I buried it.”
“Buried it? Bowl and all?”
“Yep. I just carried the whole thing out behind the shed and dug a hole and put it in. I nearly puked when I covered it over and it squished up through the dirt…”
By then we were crying with laughter. Dang, I wish I’d thought of that solution a year ago!
So, tomorrow I leave for my step-mom’s again. By the time I arrive she’ll have read this and I’ll have to offer my abject apologies; but I can’t promise I’ll never do it again.
And I think cioppino is permanently off the menu.
What your finest example of procrastination?