If you told me two years ago I’d have a salt pig in my kitchen, I’d have explained to you I’m not into the “porcine pet” trend (not to mention it’s a violation of New York’s livestock laws). Turns out that it’s not an animal. It’s not even an animal-shaped salt shaker that an extended family member might have left to you in her will. It’s just a bowl. It holds salt. But Jenny fought tooth and nail to give her salt pig some real estate on our tiny kitchen counter.
When Jenny and I moved in together, I had no clue how much baggage she had (literally—
Tumi). You don’t focus on that when you’re excited to move in with someone. You think about drinking wine together, about making breakfast, and about inviting your buddies over for some serious Madden. But then the moving truck arrives and you realize that a lifetime’s collection worth of stuff has to make room for a lifetime worth of someone else’s. In a perfect world, you would look at what you have, what she has, and eliminate the overlap. But it’s not such a quid pro quo arrangement. Instead, it became a March Madness bracket: my Swedish bookcase vs. her French colonial sofa, my dresser vs. her shoe cupboard, and my microwave vs... the salt pig.
Maybe it’s something about my life as a former single guy, but I always thought about furniture according to what it did. Like a power tool. It doesn’t matter what color it is, so long as the battery holds a charge and it can cut what it’s supposed to. Now that I’m married, I’m willing to admit that, yes, the recliner is a beautiful thing to sit in and, in retrospect, my shelves did clash. And maybe I lost my dresser, but I did get one of those organizers that hang from the rod in your closet.
But that salt pig sits there. Right where the microwave used to be. And every time I think about the nachos I could have ready in two minutes, or I want to heat up some milk for Jenny (the secret is that you add the honey after
the milk reaches a boil), I have to turn on the oven or the stove and wait. I try to appreciate how the glaze matches the enameled cookware we got for our wedding. I try to recall Jenny’s story about how her grandmother, who taught her to bake, had one on her counter that was just like it. I think of the few occasions where I’ve used it to cook and think about how many times other people’s fingers have dipped into that very same bowl. And I love Jenny, I really do.
But I want my microwave back.