This story could fall under either one of two categories —
“The perils of having your husband cook dinner”
“The importance of labeling freezer items”
For the past five years we have had August’s placenta safely tucked in our freezer. Why? Well, he was born at home and as a special door prize for that act, you get to keep all the guts that fell out of you while giving birth. August was a nine and a half pound baby, so while I crawled around our living room floor begging for someone to kill me with a lamp or the DVD player, August finally tore out of me (literally), but so did most of my intestines, some car keys I had lost and an old license plate I’d eaten years ago. Illinois — Land of Lincoln!
We were planning on August growing up a bit, then having him pick out a tree he liked so we could plant the placenta under the tree and well, I don’t know, have an August placenta tree. We did this with both Buck and Emerson and since they seemed to enjoy throwing organs into a hole, we thought August might too.
But we haven’t yet, so the placenta has been sitting in the freezer for the last five years in a large ziplock – anxious, excited, and unlabeled.
Now I’m pretty sure any woman could probably remember that something that fell out of her vagina was in the freezer. Even if it was twenty, thirty, forty years, I’m guessing she would be able to recognize that object compared to the bag of frozen corn and be able to say, “Let’s not eat that. It fell out of my vagina forty years ago.”
But a guy? In my husband’s defense, it didn’t fall out of him. Maybe if a large organ fell out of his butt he would be able to remember that it was sitting next to the frozen berry medley.
And I do encourage Bill to make dinner. I consider feeding a family of five to be slave labor when only one person is doing it. I also try not to micro-manage Bill in the kitchen. I give him a time, like It would be great if dinner could be ready by six. The rest is up to him. Hey, maybe we’re going to be eating pancakes with a side of potato chips, but at least I didn’t have to cook it.
And that is why I came home right before dinner the other night to find the table set, a salad made, some potatoes mashed….
…and a marinated placenta cooking in the oven.
Bill said, “I don’t know what it is — I think it must be a roast. It didn’t have a label. Smells good though, doesn’t it?”
Confused, I picked up the empty bag on the counter and examined it. I thought, That’s strange. I haven’t used this kind of bag in years… I peered into the oven and looked at the mystery meat, nestled in a bed of onions, happily bubbling away. Then my brain started firing, zig-zagging it’s way through my memory until it drew one horrible conclusion.
THE MAN IS COOKING MY PLACENTA.
Chaos ensued. There was some finger-pointing — Well, you could have labeled it too. And ultimately, a little disappointment on Bill’s part because he was looking forward to the dinner he made. After all, placenta does meet our food standards. The animal it came from (me) is local, organic, grass-fed and free range.
But we decided to eat pizza instead.
And also buy freezer labels.
And now August will one day be able to proudly stand under his very own, “Cooked placenta tree” and say, “Have I got a story to tell you.”