Was it all a waste?

frying pan 4
Halfway through a sink full of dishes yesterday, I found myself staring into the face of doom. The betrayal was acute. Promises had been made, faith given, trust earned – now lost…forever.

Was it all a waste? These years of vigilance? Filtered water, glass tupperware, good girl dish soap, unbleached parchment paper… all for what? To have faith ripped away in a sunny Calgary kitchen in one moment of terrifying truth? Admittedly, my denial had been going on for quite some time. I’d convinced myself it was just a trick of the light. Or maybe burt bits? The textured surface made it so hard to tell. The online assurances had been so gloriously unanimous. Plus, to play it safe, I’d only ever used wooden spoons!

But holding my favourite frying pan up to the sunlight, the great confessor, there was no more room for self-delusion. Over the past few months, an unholy amount of carcinogenic non-stick coating had somehow scraped off and made its way into our food. Dear God no!!!!

The injustice! I made all the right choices and the universe just chose to mock me for it! “HA!” it jeered. “You think you can beat me? You think you can cheat me – cheat death? Foolish girl!”

If I am a fool I am one of the grand old fools. But even I have to admit there is a strange freedom in knowing there is only so much we can do. As my wise and glamorous pathologist cousin once told me, “Some people get cancer. Some people don’t.”

And so I went on with my day. I did feel a pang of guilt for anyone “rescuing” my pan from the back alley garbage bin. But maybe they will be more observant, less self-deluding… or just less neurotic than myself. Has it all been a waste? My soya waxed paper and organic leafy greens? Of course not. Because like you, I treasure that ever so seductive temptation of control.

We need to choose, because by choosing we create a world we can believe in, for however long we have it. Anyway, all things aside, organic tastes better. And in the end, isn’t that what counts?

4 thoughts on “Was it all a waste?

  1. love the energy of the line drawing – you have a gift of minimalist expression….and great story…hit me at the pit of my stomach – I switched to cast iron frying plans, until alas a new stove forbid cast iron (sob!)…I love how a scratched teflon frying pan leads to consideration of life and death and the unbearable burden of impossible escape! Bravo!

    • Around here, doing the dishes always seems to lead to a “consideration of life and death,” but maybe I’m just using the wrong dish soap lol. My heart aches for the Victorian scullery maids… seriously. What brute agony! I hope what comes off your stove makes up for the switch back. And thank you so much for the blush worthy comment!!

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