Pickles, Revisited


After a post on Facebook by a friend struggling with opening a pickle jar reminded me of this post, I decided to repost it. It was a good memory in a weird way. This was originally posted on 12-14-2010.)

I had a mild psychotic episode tonight.  Over a jar of pickles. Nothing is more frustrating than a jar of pickles.  No, really.  I love pickles. They are tasty, green and a decently healthy snack if you ignore the sodium.  I like things that are green. I hate the jar pickles come in. I can open juice bottles and beers and peanut butter jars and even those god-forsaken juice pouches you have to stab the little straw into.  But pickle jars annoy the hell out of me.

I mean really, the things are soaked in a brine that is more salt than liquid.  In a pinch it can be used as embalming fluid. You can leave a jar of pickles in the fridge for over a year and the damn things are still edible.  How fresh do they need to stay that the lids need to be clamped on quite so tightly?

I was actually doing fine with struggling against it. I had already used the knife-tapping trick and was about to bang the edge of the lid on the counter when the errant thought occurred to me.  A single errant thought that sent me into a rampage.

“Chris would be handy right-about now.” Chris being Christian, my ex-husband.

No sooner had the thought floated across my brain that I had a total melt-down and a small crisis of identity soon followed. If I couldn’t open a jar of pickles by myself, how then would I support my daughter? How could I expect myself to maintain a budget and keep my daughter out of trouble and repair the car? I had spent so long in the company of someone else that I was no longer sure how to function sans that presence, useless as it may have been. I was near tears, fully in the throes of pickle-induced panic; the salty, chartreuse waves of self-doubt that threatened to overcome logic.

But threaten is all they could do. After all I was an independent strong woman.  I am intuitive and ingenious and innovative and all those empowering “in-” words chronically single women employ to make themselves feel better. I have left my life of constant company and the mild comfort in that comes in not being physically alone, even if you are emotionally alone. I left in favor of freedom and overcame great obstacles like touching roach traps in my newly single life.  Little things like opening a pickle jar would not defeat me.

Thirty minutes later, some very distinct curse words I’d not yet had the chance to employ, and a hammer later I sat on my kitchen floor eating a pickle spear.  The southwest corner of my kitchen was dripping with pickle juice  and broken glass, but I had my pickle spear, no husband needed to retrieve.  It’s a small victory.  But an important one.


Wow, over two years since a moment with pickles. Lots has changed. I’m happy to report I’ve done fine with the bill-paying and child-rearing.  My life has moved forward in monumental ways. For instance, after learning how to live independently and enjoy my own identity, I’m learning how to do that with another human. But I’m pretty sure I’ll never ask him to open a jar of pickles…

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