Expired Food for Expired People

Posted on January 16, 2020


One thing Life in the Boomer Lane knows is that, as we age, children, in the best of cases, can provide us a never-ending source of love, emotional support, and comments about our expired food products.

Boomers have been attributed to a never-ending supply of many atrocities, chief among them the abysmal state of the entire world. Yet boomers, themselves, are far too busy being our own fan club to pay much attention to the voices. Magazines tout that boomers have changed the very face of aging. We have defied gravity and the loss of brain cells. We run and jump and race and swim. We continue to be able to wear the same kind of clothes that we wore decades ago. We have the “best sex ever!!!” We created the best music and can still dance it it, even with artificial hips and knees.

It is no wonder, then, that we are so busy being invincible, that we forget that the food that we have in the refrigerator is aging in ways that we, ourselves, believe we have avoided. We are shocked that the people we invite into our homes and extend our finest hospitality to, i.e. our children, walk in the door, hug us, and head straight to the refrigerator to inspect expiration dates on our food.

This serivce is performed on a regular basis, free of charge, usually during the holiday season, by LBL’s own beloved children. Their eyes graze past the trays, casseroles, and containers of the food LBL has lovingly cooked ahead of time, and settle on the refrigerator door containing the mustard, ketchup, and mayo. She is then confronted with these condiments being lined up in front of her and then being asked the age-old question that has confounded people for millenia, “Have you looked at the expiration date on this, Mom?”

LBL hasn’t looked, which is exactly why all of the dates are expired. She can’t use having lived through the Depression as an excuse, because she was born well after. She can’t even say that new bottles have been purchased to replace them, because they haven’t. She can only stare at the tiny numbers and confirm that, yes, it appears the year indicated does not match the year indicated in her Daytimer.

Before she can say more, their attention is turned to the pantry. Baking ingredients are a popular focus, followed by canned goods. By the time the inspection is over, LBL is grateful they have not looked into the linen closet at the medications she has saved, or the lipstick she continues to use until she can only see metal in the interior of the case.

LBL, herself, has mixed feelings about all this. She doesn’t know whether to purge everything immediately or to embrace her thriftiness or to accept the fact that is is now doing exactly what old people do. It is her right. Then she remembers Aunt Gert, who not only had food products that LBL remembered being on commercials in the 1980s, she kept calendars from that era as well, as if fully expecting events to repeat themselves decades later.

LBL did purge all the worst offenders (the food items, not the children) and thought she would then be able to move on with her life. Instead, Only Daughter had posted the episode on Instagram, to a flood of hilarity and agreement from people LBL didn’t even know, telling their own horror stories of expired food on visits to their parents’ homes. The post was so polular, in fact, that people then clamored for an update, which Only Daughter dutifully provided.

All of this makes LBL think about never replacing items again. She can become a social media influencer of expired food products, as well as giving people tips about using toothpaste well past the time a casual inspection indicates that there is absolutely no toothpast left in the tube. She does the same with soap and body lotion. Even Now Husband, a verifiable old person, is concerned. But LBL, who can neither run nor jump nor swim nor climb, craves noteriety, and she will grab it any way she can.

Posted in: boomers, food, humor, satire