By June Mathews
It occurs to me that I’m no longer in a position to make fun of Jimmie for bidding on – and subsequently purchasing – a stack of old cigar boxes at an auction a few years ago. Despite assurances that he had “all kinds of uses” for them, they’re still sitting empty on a shelf in the basement, and I rarely let an opportunity pass to remind him.
But I guess you could say we’re now even. I got a little carried away at an auction a while back and bought 200 of those fold-over Styrofoam go-boxes, and so far, they’re pretty much just sitting in the basement, too.
Now don’t go telling Jimmie I admitted it, but I’m still questioning my judgment on that one. I mean, really, what was I thinking? I neither own nor work at a place that has anything to do with serving food, and other than bringing home leftovers in containers provided by the restaurants we patronize, I have no use for go-boxes whatsoever. I actually experienced a twinge of buyer’s regret immediately upon taking possession, wondering what the heck I was going to do with all those things.
But in my defense, I got a screaming good deal – six bucks for the entire batch – and when it comes to bargains, I can’t be held responsible. Thanks to a mother who can sniff out a clearance sale from miles away, bargain hunting is in my blood.
Honestly, though, I’m not quite sure purchasing a package of 200 go-boxes that have thus far done nothing but take up space qualifies as a bargain. In fact, if I had to categorize the purchase, I’d probably put it somewhere between “less that practical” and “downright wasteful.” Bargains, in my book, are things you pay little money for but can actually use.
And as for go-boxes in general, they’ve never been at the top of my priority list. More often than not, I heedlessly leave them behind on restaurant tables, even though I’ve gone to the trouble of asking for them and carefully placing my leftovers inside. At least I have good intentions in terms of wasting not. But I often wind up not only wasting the food but a perfectly good go-box, too.
Especially painful is the memory of the time Jimmie and I celebrated an anniversary at our favorite Italian restaurant. Too full after our meal to eat dessert right away, we requested an order of cannoli in a go-box to take home and enjoy with coffee later that evening. The waiter brought it with the check; we took our time finishing the last of our iced tea and headed to the car.
As we turned onto our street 20 miles later, we realized the luscious pastries we’d been anticipating during the drive home were back at the restaurant, likely tossed into the trash before we got out of the parking lot. I don’t cry easily, especially not over food, but I’m tearing up even now, just thinking about that untouched order of cannoli.
So given my tendency to forget go-boxes – or even when I remember to bring them home, my tendency to stuff them into the refrigerator, only to toss them unopened into the trash a few days later – why I’d buy a huge batch of the doggone things is a mystery to me.
But if anybody happens to need some Styrofoam go-boxes, I know where you can get 200 of them for a great price. And in case you’re wondering how good a deal it might be, do you think “just get them out of my basement” is cheap enough?
Email June Mathews at firstname.lastname@example.org.