If you were to hang out with my boyfriend for a day, you would know why I call him "Mr. Safety". I have to say, I tease him about his overly-cautious lifestyle quite a bit.
Some of his own self-imposed rules include:
1. All doors shall remain locked at all times, unless you are going in or out of them. Once the passage is complete, any and all locks shall be re-locked. The same goes for windows, cars, sliding doors, gates and anything else with a lock on it. (I, on the other hand, have been known to make a "quick run" to the grocery store and leave my entire house wide open, including the front door, sometimes literally.)
2. All foods, unless individually wrapped or sealed, must be stored in the refrigerator. A "use by" date is just that. After the Constitution, this is the highest law of the land. Anything not consumed or used by then will automatically be thrown away. Anything without a "use by date" -- for example, homemade foods or restaurant takeout -- shall be thrown away in a 24-48 hour period. (I, on the other hand, have been known to say, "Food poisoning, schmood poisoning!" as I scrape the mold off of the strawberry jam and spread it onto the restaurant roll I've had for a week.)
Our differences in opinion on this topic came to a head one day, when I pointed out that sour cream cannot get any more sour, and therefore, the "use by" dates on the cartons are simply a conspiracy cooked up by dairy farmers in order to get us to buy more sour cream. (Yeah, I won that battle!)
3. Anyone who does not follow all traffic laws at all times and in all conditions is deemed an "asshole" and "law breaker". This includes: speed limits, turn signals, the wearing of seat belts, obeying "no right on red" signs, merging politely, stopping at yellow lights and proper use of headlights. I don't think it's any surprise that I have fallen into the "asshole" category many times, according to Mr. Safety.
In my defense, that stupid "no right on red" sign by our house is absurd, since one can clearly see if there's any oncoming traffic. And at some intersections here in town, if you don't turn left on a yellow light, you will be sitting at that intersection, trying to turn left, until you die.
4. Hand-washing or the use of hand sanitizer is obligatory in any of the following situations: everything. I, on the other hand, only think about washing my hands when I'm in a bathroom. (I like to think that the constant exposure to my own germy hands strengthens my immune system, and since Mr. Safety gets sick all the time whereas I never seem to catch anything but a cold, I rest my case.)
So you can imagine my surprise about a week ago, when he came over to my house. We had talked about grabbing some dinner and going shopping, so when I opened my door, I asked him if he was ready to go grab some food.
"Yeah, but I've gotta take a shower," he replied.
"Ok, well, you can come in for a sec. I'm sure you don't stink too much."
"No, I've been doing yard work all afternoon," he explained. He held up his hands -- they were black as soot. He pointed to his shoes -- they were covered in dirt.
"Oh. Ok, yeah, please, just stay outside. You're filthy. Are you starving? I was thinking we could shop first and then get dinner," I said.
"Nah, I'm ok for right now. I had a snack," he replied.
"Yeah? What'd you have?" I asked.
"Oh, just some wild onions that were growing in my yard."
*Thirty second silence as I stare at him and blink.*
"I'm sorry," I said, "did you say 'wild onions'?"
"Yeah. You know, the ones that always grow in your yard. The little white ones, with the long green stems," he explained.
"I know what you mean. Just trying to clarify.........So, you got them from your backyard?"
"The same backyard that Sammy pees in when I bring him over?" I asked.
"Oh. I didn't think about that...." he trailed off.
"You eating anything else back there? Wild tomatoes? Wild carrots? I mean, maybe we could have a Wild Salad for dinner," I said, sarcastically.
"No, nothing else. Just the wild onions."
"Um.........ew, babe. Seriously, who does that? Tell me you at least washed the dirt off before you ate them," I said.
"Nah. Just sort of brushed the dirt off of them," he replied. Seeing the look on my face, he continued, "They're from the ground! They are natural! It's from the earth!"
"Well, so is Sammy's poop, but you don't go around munching away on it! Besides! Hello! Pesticides! This, from the man who won't eat restaurant leftovers???" I exclaimed, utterly confused.
"Well, I was covered in dirt, so I didn't want to go inside to get something, and I was hungry, and they were there, and they smelled good, so..." he tried to explain.
"Wait wait wait. So, you were hungry, and you thought, 'Hmmm. What would be a good snack? I know! Onions! Raw, wild onions!' ?" I said, laughing hysterically at this point.
He was growing indignant and defensive at this point, so I let it go after one final question:
"Tell me the neighbors didn't see you doing this," I said pleadingly.
"No, they didn't. But I do have onion breath."
Mr. Safety, indeed.