Taco Tuesday and Toasters

Last Friday, I came across a Jimmy Kimmel clip and realized something quite shocking: in the world of emojis, “eggplant” is code for “penis,” “peach” is code for “ass,” and “taco” is code for “vagina,” which makes all those recipes I’ve posted, complete with cutesy emojis, kind of offensive. When I realized this, I heard from one person who went so far as to say that she had NEVER seen anyone use those particular emojis for the food which they are modeled after. In other words, all those Taco Tuesday posts take on a very different meaning from what I had intended.

I feel like one of those old people who use “LOL” as “Lots of Love!” and who horrify their children by saying they want to Netflix and Chill with the whole family. After all, it was a mere six months ago when my dear friend Allison (HI ALLISON) tipped me off as to the Netflix and Chill meaning, and who really knows what hip new saying I will find out is a horrifying double entendre in another six months. After all, I’ve been using eggplants and chili peppers all over the place ever since such emojis were made available to me.

In other exciting news, we got a new toaster this weekend. I had been waiting for my old toaster to die for years. I hated it immediately; it was so finicky with the dial that the slightest movement would take the bread from the “dry bread” stage to the “completely burnt and inedible” stage within seconds. Toasting one slice of bread only was a complete act of faith, and the “Cancel” button never worked, so that when I could see the toast going into the “OMG it is going to burn” stage my only option was to unplug it. When it died this weekend I actually cheered. The great satisfaction I have for our new toaster is matched only by the satisfaction I got from getting it 40% off on Bay Days, and makes me think that I probably could have done this sooner.

I read a piece this weekend entitled “Memo to parents: Your adult children don’t want your stuff.” The premise was this: we all have our own style and tastes, and limited space, and we don’t want to fill that limited space with your “heirlooms.” The whole piece gave me massively mixed feelings; as someone who lives in a small bungalow that is entirely filled with my own furniture and artwork of my own taste, I understand the author’s point of view.

But on the other hand, it really made me sad. It made me sad to think about people of my grandparents’ generation, saving up to buy something good and lasting, and then have no one want it. And I get it, I really do, but I still think it’s sad. People are not their things, and the world is about more than just possessions, but still. I have a few things that belonged to my grandmothers, and I treasure them very much.

In terms of our old toaster, I held onto it because I didn’t want to waste money on a new one when the old one still worked, however substandardly, but I also knew that it wouldn’t last forever. Things are made to be disposable now, more’s the pity. My mother-in-law still has the chest freezer that she had when she was first married; they just celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary. Back then, things didn’t get thrown out. Now, we are lucky if our washing machine lasts more than five years, or if our dishwasher doesn’t need to be replaced twice in a decade.

Part of what I think is sad is that there is a huge disconnect in thinking between generations. Back in our grandparents’ day, you took pride in your possessions, and you assumed you would pass them on when you died. Part of that was because our grandparents didn’t really have much in the way of “stuff.” Today, we have way too much stuff, and we take great joy not in passing it along to beloved family members, but getting rid of it in trash bags at the Goodwill. So it is an entirely new way of thinking, in this world of more, more, more.

Of course, the dark side of taking great care of and pride in your possessions is the propensity to not use it. I was thinking of this when I read my friend Swistle’s (HI SWISTLE) post about using the “good stuff.” How many of us have boxes of things that we never use because they are too precious? I have my grandmother’s china, a full set, that was given to her on her 40th anniversary. It was saved for me, the only granddaughter on that side, and given to me at my wedding shower. It is absolutely precious to me, it is beautiful, I love it, I am happy to have it, and yet, I never use it. Each piece is carefully wrapped up and stored.

This. This is ridiculous. Why DON’T I use it? I should not need an occasion to use the beautiful china. Sure, I don’t have the cupboard space to store it properly, but wouldn’t it make an everyday dinner kind of special, and worth the effort? I don’t even need to worry about it getting broken because I cannot remember the last time one of my children broke a plate or anything. And if it did get broken, at least it would be used and enjoyed.

But here’s the thing: life is brief and fleeting and we shouldn’t waste it eating substandard toast, so to speak. My husband has given me two beautiful diamond rings; one is an anniversary ring for our tenth, and the other is a solitaire for my 40th birthday. They are fancy and yet I wear them almost every day, taking them off only for gardening or rolling out cookie dough or similar. They make me feel happy and sparkly. If we have pretty clothes, or expensive shoes, or a gorgeous handbag, why should these things hide in our closet when we could use them every day and make ourselves feel fabulous? What are we saving these things for? If our generation is indicative of future generations, no one will want these things when we die so we might as well use them now. How sad would it be to die with boxes of super-fancy soap and unused guest towels? So let’s agree to drink the wine, use the truffle oil, and set out the china for pizza night. Or Taco Tuesday.


  1. When you next find out what hip new saying has a horrifying double entendre, I will be learning it simultaneously, probably also from Allison. Because that’s how it went down with “Netflix and chill.”

  2. Yes! I love using crystal and china! I think it makes the food taste better and I find the sound very soothing, actually. I love the book Simple Abundance, and she talks about doing all those little things to make each day special.
    My dear grandma is in a tiny seniors’ residence and was recently encouraged to get rid of some things taking up space, like her silver serving pieces. She was reluctant to let go of them if they were just going to be donated, as they cost a lot back in the day, but no one in the family wanted to take them. Sad face emoji…


    I absolutely thought food emojis were supposed to be actual food. WHY WOULD AN EGGPLANT BE A PENIS

    I think it was here that I learned, just in the nick of time, what Netflix and Chill had come to mean.

    I have my grandmother’s china, and I love it, and I bring it out…on Thanksgiving. That’s it. But one thing I did recently was take one of the teacup/mug things (it’s a hybrid) and put it with my other mugs so I see it all the time and can use it more than once a year. I’m thinking of also taking out one lunch plate and adding it to my stack of lunch plates.

  4. I have so many reactions! First, I DIDN’T know that about the food emojis, although I had not used them (YET) so you saved me from that embarrassment. I did know about Netflix and Chill. It’s probably because I taught high school so recently, plus having a middle schooler, that keeps me at least intermittently in the loop. I really don’t want to be the clueless old person, if only to avoid such horrifying faux pas.

    Secondly, I’ve been thinking about using the good china–like, say, even once. I should do that. Soon. I was planning to wait until we have a bigger house in which to host holiday dinners…but really, why wait?

  5. My problem with the not wanting my parents’ stuff (or grandparents or great grandparents) is two fold: (1) H and I were 30 when we got married. We both had lived on our own and furnished our own apartments and had struggled just to make our own stuff fit in our house. We literally do not have any room for other people’s things even now at 46. Our house is full of things to our taste and

    (2) I’m an only child from a family that’s basically dying out so the lines of passing stuff down have become so small that I’m being offered almost a flood of heirlooms. I don’t mean to be ungrateful but when these things were bought it was likely anticipated that they would be spread among many children upon the original owner’s death and now there is only me. It’s nuts. I can’t afford to develop sentimental attachment or my house will look like an episode of Hoarders. I know it saddens my mom some that I don’t want/need/have room for my great great aunt’s table/dining room hutch/armoire/china/chairs/silver, etc but I don’t. Sigh.

  6. I think toasters are one of the most mysterious appliances to buy – they have such an enormous range in price, and there’s really no way to predict which one will be good and which one will have the exact flaw you mention here – burning the toast at one setting and leaving it as slightly warm bread at the setting immediately below that. Which brand did you end up getting?

    • I got a Cuisinart and I’m very pleased with it. TBH I wasn’t going to buy another Cuisinart because my old one was one, but this one is completely different and did I mention it was 40% off? I like it a lot.

  7. I totally agree with using the good stuff. It’s such a strong tendency, to save it for the really special occasions, but then it just never gets used. I have my grandmother’s china and I try to take it out at least four or five times a year – special dinners, like Christmas and Easter, but not like the queen is coming over special, you know?

    As for the icons – this post is the first I have learned of this. YIKES. I was watching something on TV where people were texting each other – was it on the late late show, maybe? – and the female guest was sending the host eggplant eggplant eggplant and clearly the host did not get it at all, as he kept talking about how weird and nonsensical she was, and I was right there with him. Now we know. EEP.

    This reminds me of one of the first ever episodes of Modern Family, when Phil is showing off how cool he is by telling the camera how he knows what all the short forms mean, and he says WTF means “why the face?” which is actually, quite usable as a PG alternative, but also, HILARIOUS. My husband and I say it to each other all the time now.

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