Expiration Dates

IMG_0693Hubby bought a 38-ounce bottle of ketchup two summers ago when I wasn’t around to supervise. The stamped expiration date is April 28, 2016, but it hasn’t turned blue, and it smells okay, so I’m not going to waste it by throwing it away. The last time we bought a gigantic bottle of ketchup was in 1992 when both kids lived at home and the four of us smothered it on everything from eggs to calves liver . . . don’t judge.

My children used to get a big chuckle out of rummaging through my refrigerator and pointing out the jars and packages that had expired. At first I was embarrassed by their mockery, but then I read an article about expiration dates being pointless. Reference this video that explains why. Personally, I believe the expiration date stamp is so food companies can sell more of their products. Instead of worrying about the date stamped on the sweet pickles, I rely on a very dependable source . . . my nose . . . and I have a pretty accurate sniffer. The nose knows! As for my left overs not injected with preservatives, I secure them in my 20-year old Tupperware and mark the date on a piece of masking tape. Okay, so I’m a little OCD . . . I’m comfortable with that.

There are other things that have expiration dates . . . here are just a few:

High Heels

Wearing high heels definitely expire after three hours. Any longer than that will deaden the balls of your feet, and your ankles will tip over. When I was a teller in a bank, I tortured my little doggies by wearing those plastic high heels from Payless Shoes for eight hours . . . a ridiculously long time. I would slip them off periodically during the day, but then my swollen feet would cry, and I’d end up walking to the car after work like I’d just dumped in my pants. I’ve wised up in my old age and have replaced my high heels with flip-flops to protect my attractive bunions the heels caused.

Cocktail Parties

My expiration date for a cocktail party is about two hours. I’m not one for small talk, which lasts for about five minutes when you begin the conversation with “Boy, it sure is hot.” I usually end up talking to Ms. Diarrhea Mouth and getting trapped by the wall as I casually take small steps backwards away from her. If I’m at a friend’s house, I can circulate for about one hour, and then I’m in the kitchen cleaning up. Recently we’ve been what I call “running with the big dogs.” Let me explain. Hubby is a terrific golfer, so all the guys want to play with him in order to get some free tips. Golf attracts some pretty influential people, and occasionally we are invited to small gatherings hosted by the country club elite. The other night we went to an engagement party at someone’s lake cabin. This “cabin” is about three times the size of our modest home, and I’d have to take out a loan to buy the hand towels on display in their “powder room.” After about one hour I tired of comments such as “I lunched with an old friend in Paris last week, then flew to Morocco for a quick visit with the king,” or “You’ll have to come by for a cruise on our new pontoon I just ordered. It has leather seats and a wet bar.” They have no intention of inviting Trailer Trash Trixie for a cruise on their Cadillac pontoon, so I mentally planned a grocery list for my big visit to Central Market the next day.

Hair Color

Six weeks is the maximum expiration date to attack the roots, five weeks is optimal. I’ve been coloring my hair for almost thirty years. I think my original color is somewhere within a dark brown hue, but I have a hunch it’s pretty much all grey now. Going to a stylist gets pretty expensive, but if I tried to color my own hair I’d drip more brown on the dog than I would on my roots. Once the roots start to show, it’s all over. The grey sprouting from my colic can be very subtle at five weeks, but it becomes a neon sign on the 36th day.

I only worry about expiration dates when it involves my comfort, my ADD, or my vanity. Food? Eh, not so much. That’s what my nose and Pepto Bismol are for.