What Were We Thinking?

Burning Desire

img_5595I went hunting for some matches today because I wanted to set something on fire. Relax. I was only going to burn a candle, or Suzy Homemaker in effigy, or something. It had been a long time since I’d gone looking for matches, but for some reason I had a hunch they’d be in the snack cupboard.

Storing matches in the snack cupboard must have made some sort of sense when I put them there years ago. Maybe I’d wanted to see if my kids were paying attention when I told them not to play with matches. Or maybe I’d wanted to see if they could tell the difference between pretzel sticks and matchsticks. More likely it was because we had company coming over and I’d needed a quick place to stash them out of sight. They’ve stayed there ever since.

It wasn’t easy digging through all the stuff in the cupboard to find what I was looking for. I make sure I put our top tier snacks – like SpongeBob fruit snacks, SpongeBob fruit roll-ups and SpongeBob fruit leather – in front where they’re in easy reach. That’s because I want to make sure my kids get three servings of fruit a day. Behind the top tier snacks come the snacks that are eaten only if we’ve run out of top tier snacks. After that are the snacks I bought either because I was under the mistaken impression my kids would eat healthy snacks or because I was drunk (which is usually a precursor to mistakenly thinking my kids would eat healthy snacks). That’s where you’d find the petrified edamame bites and moldy quinoa cupcakes.

Eventually, in the back corner of the cupboard, hiding behind a Teletubbies lunchbox and Hannah Montana birthday napkins (I told you I hadn’t looked for matches in a long time), I finally found them:


I’m not sure why we were giving our daughter a bag of matches or why we thought doing so would ensure a happy new year. She was about 10 years old at the time, so we probably thought it was high time she took up smoking. But, hey, we were only going to let her smoke at home where we could keep an eye on her and make sure she was safe, so don’t judge.

Confessions Burning Desire Bomb Pop Art


Now that I think of it, I doubt we gave our daughter a lifetime supply of matches as a New Years present. I don’t remember what was in the bag originally, but I’m sure it was something more age-appropriate. Maybe a few cherry bombs or some scratch off tickets. Besides, if we’d given our daughter a bag full of matches you can bet she wouldn’t have stored them neatly in the back of the snack cupboard. She would have carefully put them in the same place she put all her other treasured possessions: on the floor of her room.

No, knowing how things work around here, the clock was ticking down furiously to the time the guests were to arrive and my kitchen counters were still covered with weird things I didn’t quite know what to do with. Things like a half-off coupons for products I’d never use but that were too good a deal to just throw away. Or a really long screw that no one knew where it came from but we didn’t want to get rid of in case we need it to hold up our roof or something. With crap like that, a bunch of matches were the least of my worries. I probably just needed some way to corral them quickly.

So I reused a plastic bag, which is good for the environment. Especially when you’re reusing the bag to hold enough matches to burn down a rainforest. And I’m pretty pleased to see I’d thought to store the matches in a plastic bag where they’d stay safe and dry in case a SpongeBob juice box exploded. Nothing ruins arsonistic tendencies faster than soggy matches. Unless it’s stopping to figure out where you put them.

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