Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Independent Women: 1, Pickel Jars: 0

Today I panicked. I went home to my solitary little apartment above the city around 12:30 for lunch. On the way I picked up some bread and a jar of pickles. When I summited the stairs and set about making lunch, I discovered that I couldn't open the aforementioned jar. I'm not saying it was difficult; that jar was actually impossible to open. No matter what, it wouldn’t budge. I tried banging the edges of the lid on the counters, shaking it, pleading and praying to it but, alas, nothing worked. And the more I tried, the more I wanted to open it. Tasty contents be damned, this was a challenge! But after 15 minutes of prying that turned my hands from red to purple I realized that I was fighting a losing battle. For a while I sat and looked at the jar, willing it to open. We squared off in shoot-out positions inspired by the Westerns my friend and I have been watching. ‘This apartment ain’t big enough for the both of us.’ The jar stared back with stony resolve; the pickles made puppy dog faces begging for freedom. “Oh, God” I thought. “What if this it is? What if this is how I’m doomed to live next year when my tall, strong manfriend leaves. I’ll be surrounded by unopened jars sitting in the dark underneath blown out light bulbs that I can’t possibly reach. Is that what it’s like to be an independent woman? Lord have mercy!” Distress tends to send me back to my southern roots. Scarlet, give me strength! But I didn’t know if she could help. This is what my independent woman icon of a mother calls ‘a boy job,’ much like killing roaches and toting luggage. I paced in front of the obstinate jar, fuming. I knew I could ask my neighbor or beg some random passerby in the hall. But there was no foot traffic on the top floor and this here was a private fight. A personal battle. But what to do? Then, like a flash of lightening, I narrowed my eyes and swept the jar off to the kitchen. I placed it firmly on the counter, reached into a drawer and grabbed a knife. I raised the kitchen cutter high over my head and plunged it into the bosom of the pickle jar lid. It sank into the lid with the satisfying wail of metal giving way. I proceeded to hack away at the lid like Norman Bates until my efforts yielded a sizable albeit jagged hole. Hah! I munched away on the first pickle I managed to pry loose and carefully plucked the rest, avoiding the ragged edges of the lid. It was like playing Operation. Who says board games have no real life application? My mind settled as I munched on the tangy morsel. I realized that men may come and go and even though I hadn't yet found a remedy for those hard to reach light bulbs, deep down at that moment, I knew that I would make it. Come pickle jars and high water. Come what may. I will make it.

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