I dislike mayonnaise, but I succumb to it. I can’t come up with a better lube for tuna or egg salad. I used to make my own, when I had a full house and a food processor, but the homemade emulsion never lasted more than half a week in the refrigerator, so that’s not an option for solitary one-room me. I buy a small jar of Best Foods and it lasts forever (scary as a Twinkie).

Mayo was on my shopping list a month ago, when I walked to the Red Apple market in my Eugene neighborhood, and I selected the smallest jar there and paid for it and I thought I packed it in the green cloth bag I was carrying.

But when I got back to my cottage and put my purchases away and opened the can of tuna, drained it, and forked it onto the plate, when I was ready for the dollop of mayo, I couldn’t find the jar. I looked in the proper kitchen cabinet: no. I pulled the green bag back out of my closet: no. I was fielding grandson questions at the time about why I wouldn’t give them snacks, and also barring the 4-month old puppy from entering my place to steal my bath puff (again), and I began to feel harassed. I dashed to the front house and Sean informed me that theirs is a Miracle Whip kitchen: no.

It was with exasperation that I put my boots and jacket back on, and headed down the street again, to purchase mayo again, to complete my lunch.

My luck turned. I was thinking I’d have to go to Red Barn at least, and maybe all the way back to the supermarket, but I could see the train that was going to slow me down, so I decided to try the Quick Stop on our side of the tracks. Glory be: the owner had Best Foods mayo! The jar was a little bigger than I wanted, and the price a little higher at $4.59, but lunch awaited and that train was a long one. I bought it and headed home.

Which is when I had a deja vu moment. I experienced a strong recollection of returning home, recently, with mayo in my possession, and putting the unopened jar in the refrigerator.

Yep. That’s where the small jar was. I castigated myself while I laughed. I mashed up the tuna with mayo while I wondered: was I too flustered by kids and dog to think clearly? Was the episode a symptom of coming dementia?

And then I laughed louder. I realized my error was due to geographical confusion. See, when I’m in Berkeley I have so few kitchen shelves that I store even unopened jars in the fridge. In Eugene I have a full kitchen; I can use cupboards and refrigerator as designers intended. In my distraction, unpacking while talking to kids, I’d placed that unopened mayo where it belongs in my other house.

It worked out okay. I decided I’m not crazy yet. And I learned that Katie doesn’t like Miracle Whip either. Now she has a mayo source in the cottage behind her house.

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