Ever reach into the back of your refrigerator and pull out a carton of milk only to waft it beneath your nose, deciding whether or not it’s safe enough to drink? As if there isn’t a manufacturer-calculated date somewhere stamped on the side. That sniff-test is the only warning our brain needs. Dump it.
Honestly, I stopped drinking milk not because of my lactose intolerance, but because of the fact that I was only able to get about two pours out of my carton before it went bad. Almond milk has a much better (unopened) shelf life, folks and there is NOTHING I hate more than running out of time to fully utilize a product that I’ve purchased. **Insert my dad scolding us at the dinner table about how many kids in Africa will never have the pleasure of knowing what a fish stick was, and that I was to eat it or he would ship me off to share mine personally**
Expiration dates are like stop signs, suggestions you either take seriously….or a recommendation you roll right through. When you really sit down and think about how many things expire within our life time, it’s hard not to build a bit of anxiety about possibly under utilizing everything our hearts may desire. Food, medication, monthly subscriptions, makeup, alcohol, RELATIONSHIPS. I watch one Black Mirror episode and all of a sudden the list becomes way more existential…
When a relationship clearly has an expiration date due to: an expected move, infidelity, self doubt, lack of mutual interest….do we stay or do we go? If the milk carton says Expiration Date: June 10th and you have a very dry bowl of cereal come the 26th, I’d imagine a quick sniff test and it’s trash. So why do we hang on to something seasonal when we know we were built for a lifetime?
I imagine the answer to this is very different for everyone, but essentially some people see value in companionship, even if it’s short term. I can’t say that this is for me, but I think that it’s for a lot of people and that’s OK. Just so long as this is on a mutual playing field and everyone’s needs are both communicated and met.
To me, expiring relationships don’t need to be coddled. Find your nearest trash can and make a three pointer like the Kobe Bryant you know you are. Prioritizing our fear of loneliness over our own intuition is essentially gambling on the milk swig even after you’ve already checked the date. We know it’s gonna taste bad, but we’re thirsty. When this happens to me I feel like I’ve lost a sense of pride within myself and know that I’ve become weak to my own comforts. My expiration dates are without a doubt meaningful and thought provoking. Do I need this? Will this harm me? How do I make sure that I’m utilizing something to it’s full potential?
Life in itself has an expiration date that we will never have the pleasure of finding on the packaging of our bodies. It is only a vague range of time that we are lucky enough to not have a pin point on; essentially weighing down our journey. Like a mail subscription you’ve forgotten to renew…it’s yours for the taking until delivery stops and it’s just not anymore. I had a coworker subscribe to free delivery on Doordash the other day and when the email outlined that she had only a week of this service before needing to cancel, I’ve never seen a grown woman order so much food on an app in my life. Use it or lose it. That’s literally life.