Saturday, March 29, 2008

The incredible, edible jar

If you've seen me in the last year, you probably know that I've become "the jar lady." Or you may remember that back at our staff appreciation party in November I was voted "Most Unflappable and Most Likely To Be Seen Carrying a Jar." Yes... I am those hippies whom I used to mock in college.

After the moonshine jokes die down, usually someone will pipe up with "no really, why the jar?" It's been a while, but I got questioneed again today by my new coworker (an OCer who plays nothing but John Mayer and DMB. What is this, 2003?)

OK, here is my Full Jar Disclosure

1. I have lots of jars. LOTS of jars.

2. I never liked using plastic as it tastes gross and gets moldy. The new awareness of dioxin and everyone going green was a good excuse to just toss the plastic habit.

3. Unfortunately, I've never been a good owner of permanent containers. I guarantee the first time I sport a pretty metal bottle, I will LOSE it. And the second time. And so on.

4. So I tried reusing glass bottles like honest tea. Whoa... I could leave my water in the car all day and it still tasted great! (And I felt less likely to come over with a case of cancer in the morning.) But the problems with this were trifold - I rarely imbibe anything but water so I was buying tea just for the container, the bottles are easily breakable, and the second you set one down someone is sure to recycle it.

5. In the beginning...
Day one: Out of desperation, I grab a mason jar on the way out the door. Huh, look how perfectly it fits in my car drink holder.
Day two: I need caffeine. Huh... I can start out with hot tea in the morning and switch to water later.
Day three: I drop it several times and marvel at not having to back away guiltily from a pile of shards. Huh... tempered glass you say...
Day four: I leave it behind. Oh well, I have 238478 jars just like it. (Also, the upside to being "the jar lady" is that even without a nametag or a trendy sticker everyone knows the provenance of my errant jar and will be sure to save it for me.)
Day five: I move into a house with a dishwasher. Huh... I can easily sterilize my jars for canning or drinking...
Day six: I plan a short hike. Huh, this half-pint jelly jar is the perfect size to fit into my little pack...
Day seven: I marvel. Wow, what CAN'T you do with a mason jar! It's totally the new duct tape. (Hey N, remember that guy who wrote his junior theme entirely on duct tape?)

Discussion topic: Was my jar habit created in just 7 days, or is it a metaphor? You decide.

Pitfalls? I have found exactly 2, neither of which apply here in california.
1. Hot weather. Texas in September? Hello condensation. One of those beer cozies in a large size, please.
2. Cold weather. New England in March. Not looking forward to transporting an icicle, I went without my trusty jar for the first time, and bought my first and only 2 plastic bottles of the last year. One before each flight.

Speaking of flying, I did bring a jar on my southwest adventure trip and bravely faced my first forray into non-plastic traveling. I mean, if folks looked at me askance in SANTA CRUZ...
Airport security: "Is that a jar in your bag?"
me: Yes.
me: Damn you, The Man was supposed to hassle me some more! How am I supposed to feel quirky and self-righteous now!

But look, No Impact Man uses a jar too! Ah, feel that sense of superiority rushing back.


  1. You've pretty much converted me, you know. Must mostly I'm just impressed you worked "the provenance of my errant jar" into the whole mix. Fancy schmancy!

  2. That was supposed to be "But mostly." But you can't expect us folks on the lower vocabulary rungs to use good grammar.

  3. Ha, the secret of my constant blog editing is that I don't just fix typos... I add fancy words in for fun. I think that phrase started out as "who had left the jar behind." Classy, I know.

  4. I have thought of doing this with jam jars. No, not mason jars, just jam jars, from which I have eaten the jam. I have, um, a lot of them.

  5. And all of mine have lids!!