“Best If Used By……”

After many, many years of studying the differences between men and women,  I’ve  narrowed them down to one that is representative of most of the rest: almost always, men will hold on to stuff much longer than women do.  Women love to get rid of things and men will look for any reason to save them.  For example, when it comes to clothes, we men will continue to wear things, regardless of the way they look, until they just wear out…and even beyond that.  We will keep barely functional appliances and electronic devices simply because they may still have some marginal use.  We also hold on to non-material things longer than women–grudges, unsatisfying friendships, and even romantic relationships.   But nowhere is our difference more in evidence than when it comes to food.  A woman is ordinarily really, really quick to throw old food out, whereas a man will keep it until there’s some hard, irrefutable evidence that it’s no longer edible.   To wit: when it comes to leftovers, a growing mold is usually the only proof I’ll accept that some prior meal’s remains isn’t just hitting its stride a few days after it has found its way into my refrigerator.

In a similar vein, I ordinarily use the date stamped on the container of  perishable food as simply a recommendation…merely a suggestion that it would be best to use the product  by a certain date.  I certainly don’t take the notice as an instruction to throw the milk, eggs, etc. in the garbage if the expiration date has come and gone.  If there’s no obvious sign of spoilage, I’m all for holding on to the food item as if it were a collectible.  I know I’m not alone in my thinking about this stuff.  I would survey the staff here at Garfield Realty if more of them starting showing up but until that happens it will have to wait.  Some outside polling and a graph would almost certainly back up my theory but that would require some  time (which I have) and an inclination (which I don’t have).  So please,  just take my word for it.

There is a world-class woman runner from South Africa, Caster Semenya, who was at the center of an international controversy a year ago.  A number of her competitors had accused her of being, in fact, a man.  Apparently, a visual examination turned out to be inconclusive and additional experts were called in.  According to an article written at the time, “a group of doctors, including an endocrinologist, a gynaecologist, an internal medicine expert, an expert on gender and a psychologist have started the gender test but the results may not be known for days, if not weeks.”  I believe it was ultimately determined that she was indeed, a woman.  Had anyone consulted me at the time, I could have saved them a lot of trouble.   All they need have done, was to have gone to her house and made a quick inspection of the items in her refrigerator.  That would have provided them all the proof they needed.

Perfect….No Year!


One Response to ““Best If Used By……””

  1. Mike McPartland Says:

    Well, I’m that typical man that you write about; I throw nothing away, especially old clothing. But I’ve always thought that the reason for my “frugality” is that I’m a Depression & WWII Kid (b.1936). You might remember: That was the time when a great sandwich for us kids was lettuce and tomato on toast with mayonaise.
    Sometimes, we had the luxury of some cucumber with all that! We wore darned socks, our fathers’ worn out shirts, and patches (before they were stylish) on the knees of our dungarees; and we covered the holes in our shoes and sneakers with pieces of cardboard stuffed inside of them. Don’t you remember? Don’t tell me that was just me and my indigent friends!

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