My mom labels everything in our fridge. Chicken? Labeled. Pasta? Labeled. Hotdogs? mom's labelsLabeled. And they are not even special types of chicken, pasta, or hotdogs. One just has to look through the opaque containers to know. I could understand if pasta was mixed into a red blush vodka sauce with sautéed sea scallops swimming between little shells that are cooked al dente. But the pasta is plain—neither buttered nor cheesed. My mom labels more than just chicken, pasta, and hotdogs, because her chefbilities range much further than basic foods. Peas? Labeled. Corn? Labeled. I know, tiny, green, round vegetables that cause a magical medley when they roll into lonely corn kernels could be mistaken. I wouldn’t be surprised if my mom labeled the ketchup bottle which, thanks to Heinz, saves my mom the trouble.

Nevertheless, she is my mom. People who know her say that she is the most beautiful person. She is so beautiful that, when I open the fridge and gaze at all the labeled options available to eat, she stands behind the kitchen island and says, “Nat, there are meatballs, and I made pasta.” Oh really Mom, is that what I am looking at right now? Glad I paid attention in English class. And yet, I grab the container with the tuna salad which, you guessed it, is also labeled.

I question why my mom labels the tuna salad. Of the six people who live at my house, my mom and I are the only ones who eat tuna salad, and I am almost sure that we know what it looks like. My mom could spend all day preparing a family dinner in the microwave, and she and I would still reach for the week-old tuna salad.

I should not complain about my mom’s labeling. She means well by wanting to make it easy for someone to find what they want. But after all the trouble my mom goes through of labeling containers before storing them in the fridge, who do we call when we “can’t find” something?