I remember the first time I opened Kerry’s freezer when we were dating. I’m not sure how long we had been going out when I felt comfortable doing so but it was likely after a few months, I’d imagine.
What I saw nearly ended our courtship before it officially began. The mental imagery haunts me to this very day.
It was heinous, what I found in that cold, cold compartment on that beautiful, cloudless autumn day.
The bright, almost blinding sunlight from the kitchen window was juxtaposed against the deep shadow cast upon the frigid skeleton I unearthed in this icy closet of his.
The betrayal. The defilement. The sheer illegitimacy of it all!
I was completely aghast and wondered what other disturbing secrets he’d been hiding from me since our first date.
I can still hear that shrill, terrified pitch emanating out of my own larynx. It was a siren cast at an octave so high only dogs could hear me. Dogs on Mars, that is.
“KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYY!” I screamed when I saw them lying there -- all arctic and lifeless.
“What’s wrong honey?” came the genuine concern only a new boyfriend could have offered in response to that eardrum-perforating explosion.
“How could you? You bought p, p, p, pre-made meatballs?”
Friends, nothing sets off the rabbia in a girl like counterfeit Italian cuisine, capisce?
What I found next in the pantry was another schiaffo in faccia (translation: slap in the face) for yours truly. “Oh my Lord! Ragu?” I said, nearly retching.
My poor little German/English suitor had no idea why I had my rosary beads out praying for his mortal soul.
Suffice it to say, never again did his –or our-- freezer, pantry, fridge, or any other remote location of la cucina contain such imitation Italian foodstuffs.
Fast forward to 2018 when I nearly lost my lunch watching a television commercial (couldn’t find the remote momentarily) for Stouffer’s lasagna. It urged viewers to let Stouffer’s do the cooking FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
I’m not sure how it ended because my head exploded off my neck and shot right through the back window into outer space. Luckily, it landed on Mars and those dogs were so afraid I’d start screaming again, they tossed it back to earth.
DEEP, DEEP CLEANSING BREATH.
Listen, I’m a Mom (to one earthling and one canine unit, both of whom I aim to keep properly nurtured and well-adjusted). I’m a wife. I’m my kid’s biggest swim fan (READ: we travel A LOT these days).
I have a day job. I have a side job. I have a hobby job.
I try to maintain a marginally presentable house most days. I’ve got family members and close peeps whom I try to actually see on rare occasion (as opposed sustaining said relationships via phone call, email or text messaging).
I’m kinda, you know, busy … just like the rest of humankind, yo.
So, I’m absolutely unopposed to short cuts and time savers. To be clear, I’m not shaming any harried human who takes advantage of such modern conveniences. In fact, I’ve been known to toss an Eggo or two in the toaster in a pinch.
All I’m saying is, if my Nonna found out I dumped a frozen lasagna onto the Christmas table … well, let’s just say I’d meet the same sticky end as those frozen meatballs and Ragu from 1995, you dig? #SleepingWIthTheFishes
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who’s fine with instant potatoes, just not on Easter Sunday, okay? Check out her homemade blog www.patriciakimerer.com