An Ol’ Dog Learns a New Trick

The Kitchen Sink

I am a personal growth story. Unlike Peter Pan and his crowd, I do want to grow up. I’m constantly striving for a calm center, something I wasn’t born with either physically or mentally. Nature and nurture didn’t endow me with the traits to achieve an inner peace—probably the opposite. But you can teach an old dog new tricks. I am learning.

Last Saturday was a perfect example. I was cleaning my kitchen and decided to get rid of some uncooked pasta that had been sitting opened and unused for over a month. I looked at the package and at the garbage pail. (I’m very proud of how little garbage we have. I am an excellent recycler. Now, there goes the hubris! Pride goes before a fall.) I could have thrown the package away, but I decided to put the noodles down the disposal. (Quite off the subject, I do have this conflict quite often. Which is better for the environment—less objects in the landfill or less use of water and electricity?)

As I fed the thin pieces of pasta into the disposal I did wonder if I could be creating glue. I have to say in 40 years, I’ve never done anything like this. My parents were of the Depression Era, and their mentality was passed to me. Never throw away anything you can use. But this time, I was going to do it. We used to like angel hair pasta, now we like a thicker noodle. So why keep this opened package and or eat what we wouldn’t like? Ah, the everyday domestic dilemmas.

So, after a minute the disposal started sounding like it was having lung failure. The sink began to back up and a whirlpool began to eddy across the ever-rising tide. Then it looked like an elfin ghost was water skiing across the center of my sink.

You can imagine my consternation. I turned off the disposal. I got under the sink and started cranking the little do-hicky that’s supposed to unstick the motor. But that wasn’t the issue. The motor wasn’t stuck. I stuck my hand down the sink and began picking out tiny pieces of pasta. This didn’t really help because the problem was that I had, in fact, made glue.

You might be wondering what the moral of this story is. Well, I won’t keep you in suspense. What I learned that day was that it wasn’t necessary to panic. For some reason, I remained calm. I tried to fix it and when it wouldn’t work, I just said, “Oh, well. I guess the plumber will do it on Monday.” My normal reaction would be that it was the end of the world that our kitchen sink wouldn’t be functional for two days.

And the amazing thing was that when I returned from buying take-out, the sink had unclogged itself. I saved so much wear and tear on my body by not worrying, and then the issue resolved itself! Talk about an energy saver.

I wonder if I can do that again.

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