The First Step in Solving an Aluminum Foil Problem…


We don’t use a lot of aluminum foil. We’re more of a tupperware family than an aluminum foil family and that’s not an accident. It’s a conscious decision, by me, on how to organize things.

I grew up in a house that used Tupperware. We saved all the leftovers in little square plastic boxes all neatly stacked up in the ‘fridge. We didn’t use a lot of aluminum foil and I can clearly remember my mother folding up and saving little pieces of foil in a kitchen drawer. Waste not – want not, right?

My wife has a predisposition to aluminum foil. It runs in the family. It’s like a disease. Her mother is the queen of aluminum foil – or tin foil as she calls it.

Everything in the ‘fridge is covered in aluminum foil. If my mother was saving every piece of foil larger than 4 square inches, then contrast that with my mother-in-law, ripping off yards and yards of aluminum foil after every meal.

Stand still in her kitchen after a big meal and you run the risk of becoming an aluminum foil mummy. When she’s done, all the leftovers are in their original serving dishes with aluminum foil covering them.

You know what this looks like – dishes on top of plates on top of bowls, all covered with wrinkled up aluminum foil because people have repeatedly peeked inside. Of course, over time, things get squished and start to dry up and, because the foil has been opened and closed so many times, it’s not so much a seal as an open window to the leftovers within.

If the first step in solving a problem is admitting that there is a problem, then my mother-in-law is nowhere.  She’s been main-lining Reynolds Wrap for so many years, she could never make it in the 12-step program for Aluminum abusers –  Alumiholhics Anonymous. She’s out of touch. Her perspective is warped by years and years of doing those skinny little blue and silver and boxes.

She doesn’t realize that most families don’t have their own sales rep from Reynolds Wrap. Or that not everyone’s town dispatches a special truck just to pick up their wrinkled, rolled up, basketball-sized ingots of aluminum for recycling.Image

My mother-in-law thinks everyone buys a 500’ roll of the heavy-duty, restaurant-grade Reynolds Wrap at BJ’s every couple of weeks.

So, while you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal and peacefully drift off to sleep with the Detroit Lions on the TV, just remember, not everyone is off today.

Somewhere, in some backwater plant in the Alcoa empire, a whole gang of third world workers are firing up the smelters because……Christmas is coming and that means another big family meal and another special order from mom.

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