Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Bought Sour Milk Tonight

My stomach hurts and I am feeling violated. I am angry and I am not sure what to do about it. For the moment, I am hastily starting a blog (what?) because it is too cold to go outside, go back to the store, and undo what has been done – I cannot undo the fact that I bought sour milk tonight.

Coincidentally, I had jokingly texted my friend, Steve, that, "My job is going great but I just went grocery shopping at the convenience store. FML." Little did I know that 15 minutes later when pouring a full pint glass of milk from my brand new gallon of Kemps Skim Milk (Kemps, no worries, this is clearly not your fault) that when raising the glass to my lips I would smell what only could be described as a foul, unhygienic stench.

When I say unhygienic, what I am trying to convey is the very wrongness of this smell for a brand new bottle of milk. It goes without saying that brand new skim milk is nearly odorless, more than any of the other options (one percent, two percent, or – if you indulge – whole milk). Everybody knows that, love it or hate it, skim milk basically smells like water. This is how it is supposed to be.

OK, you say. So, BFD, you got some old milk. You win some, you lose some. These are tough times, and 2008 was a bad year.


I have been working 15 hour days for weeks and tonight was my night to treat myself with some fake convenient store groceries for a little junk-food-feast-for-one on my couch while watching the local news and then Sex in the City. Here is what I bought: Dr. Pepper, Doritos Cool Ranch chips, Lucky Charms, Baklava, and... MILK. If you are an occasional junk foodie like me, you can probably see my plan-of-attack strategy here:

Sweet ---> Salty ---> Sweet

First, I ate a bowl of Lucky charms. Second I ate some Doritos and washed it down with the Dr. Pepper. Third, well... third was right where we left off... right when I poured that big, rotten egg glass of evil empire cow juice. If you have followed this account closely enough, you would ask the same question at this point that later occurred to me as well: "Didn't the Lucky Charms require use of the bad milk?" The answer is yes. Some sour milk had already made its way into my stomach. The reason this is a moot point (if it is not already obvious) is this:

The Marbits. Marbits is the technical term for the hyper-color, fragrant, melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows in Lucky Charms. Those things are so delicious, they could cover the stench of... well... sour milk.

So. Act I (Sweet Lucky Charms) and  Act II (Salty Doritos) were over. But Act III (Sweet Baklava and pint glass of milk) was to be the grand finale. The upside to my upside-down day. The reason for believing in the Single Life... It was going to be The Money Snack.

Let's just say I am a bit ashamed to admit this part. I did drink about one fourth of the glass of dirty, nasty, seemingly brand new yet definitely dead-on-arrival sour milk. I was just so sad about the fact that my little piece of baklava now had nothing to accompany it and I had to be certain that the milk was a no-go. Looking back, I think I was simply struggling with denial at that point. 

Needless to say, as soon as I updated my facebook status to explain this sour milk situation, I received multiple concerned IMs. Jenna from New York (I haven't talked to her since elementary school!), Steve from Canada, Jordan from the U of M – multiple people were reaching out and pulling together in a way that was more sincere and heartfelt than if my great aunt had died (I do not have a great aunt). I received stories of similar pain and frustration and even messages of concern (i.e. "DO NOT keep drinking the spoiled milk, I don't care how desperate you are...")

I think the lesson learned here is that there are certain creature comforts, like the familiar non-existent scent of watery skim milk, that we have all grown to love and rely upon. When these common luxuries in our daily life are violated, we pull together and seek refuge by sharing our stories of random acts of spoilage. When Jenna IMed me about the expired cranberry juice she once received at school as a child, I felt oddly validated.

I hope to share future 'sour milk' experiences with you in hopes that it will bring us together in this sometimes stinky experience called life.

I hope your day is less sour and more sweet.