Somewhere far in the past, I bought a jar of jimmies. Jimmies. You know, sprinkles, sugar strands, hundrends-and-thousands. We rarely use jimmies on anything. I knew, when I bought them, they would be seldom used and take up valuable space in my pantry. I didn't care. I bought them for the jar.
I have scoured the internet for a photo of the cute, whimsical jar, but one like it cannot be found. It was pear shaped, full and bulbous on the bottom, narrowing toward the top. The entire jar was painted to look like a clown -- blue pants, striped shirt, funny face. And, sniff, the cap was a yellow baseball cap.
Now, no one needs jimmies, And I know no one really needs a jar that looks like a baseball-playing clown. But it was cute and unusual and it lended a lot of charachter to my otherwise-boring look pantry. It was the kind of jar that my kids will forget all about until they're about 30 years old, wandering around an antiques show and suddenly, upon seeing the jar, a flood of warm childhood memories will come flooding back to them and they'll think back, fondly, about the warm, fun home they had as children. That kind of jar.
Have you noticed I have been referring to the bottle in the past tense. Mmmm-hmmm.
Well, as I said, I knew the jimmies would be in there a long time. We rarely have something around here that calls for jimmies and, even when we do, we rarely remember to use them. I, in particular, never eat jimmies. If you're honest with yourself, you'll admit that jimmies really have almost no taste. I don't need to waste calories on things with no taste. So I forego jimmies. My husband and kids are the ones who sometimes have them. That's okay, the bottle dressed up the pantry and when they were finally gone, I planned to use the jar for cinnamon-sugar or something else cute and totally unnecessary.
In the meantime, the bottle had come to be a major figure in our pantry. He was the ambassador. The mascot of the "totally unnecessary" section, standing tall to welcome you to the half of the shelf that held such things as ice cream cones, jello, a couple rolls of lifesavers, a bag of lemon drops, pink sanding sugar, and gum. When you came to the clown, it must have been a fun day. No other reason to be in that section.
And he presided over the entire collection of gingerbread house decorations at Christmastime. All the other decorations were in mundane, predictable bowls and containers. There he stood, tall, in the middle of the four of us, watching . . . he could, because he had a face.
Okay, this all probably says more about me than I'm really willing to put into words, but I loved that little jar. That's the whole reason I bought him. He was overpriced. So overpriced, soon he, and all the others like him, were marshalled over to the clearance rack in the dark corner of the grocery store. There he stood looking like something out of Toy Story, something that was waiting to be loved. Okay, okay, it was just cute. And once it was on the clearance rack, it wasn't so overpriced anymore.
Home he came, and home he stayed. He stood watch in that pantry, welcoming all visitors for at least 3 years. Through thick and thin, good and bad, hot and cold, the clown jar was always there.
Until. My husband. Used the last of the jimmies.
What do you say to a man who coldly discarded that sweet little jar?
"Get out and take your mundanely packaged condiments with you!"
"How does that small, cold, green heart of yours keep ticking?"
"You'll hear from my lawyer, buddy-boy!"
Yes, yes, and yes. And all more than once.
All I received in return was a wide-eyed look of innocent surprise and a simple question, "Why would you keep an empty jar?"
(I have searched and searched,
I can find no picture to show you.)