The Plight of the Condiments

January 2016. Originally copyrighted and posted in "Type for Life" by the Center for the Applications of Psychological Type, Gainesville, FL. Used with permission.

I am in the midst of a merge — a merge of stuff from an ESTJ and an ENFP. My ESTJ view of stuff — keep it because it's useful and practical. The ENFP's view of stuff — keep it because it has potential. Altogether, we have too much stuff!

And as an INTJ friend pointed out about our problem of "too much stuff" — "this is a first world problem!" That really puts it in perspective!! I should quit complaining about his stuff, but please indulge me a bit.

One of the many fine qualities I admire in ENFPs is their sense of adventure and in trying out new things. However, I have also discovered that when this applies to condiments, a problem occurs.

Where do you put the millions of bottles of condiments related to adventures with the palate? How do you even locate the right bottle to use among the collections in the refrigerators and cupboards?

How many kinds of mustards does one really need? Are eight kinds of vinegars that essential? What on earth would some of those bottles add to the taste buds?

One friend suggested I sneak a bottle out a night and throw it away. However, it is difficult for me to throw out something already purchased and that has not yet passed its "sell by date." And taking the time to empty and clean the bottle before recycling it…well that might be noisy and my plot discovered!

Another friend began looking for "use it up condiment" books for me, but finding none, located instead some websites with many suggestions. I went grocery shopping with her recently and she kept pointing out foods to buy that would use dipping sauces. Trouble is there is only so much dipping one can do and it takes numerous meals to get through those bottles.

And besides the condiments, think of merging spices!! Some were easy to throw out because they were long past their "sell-by" date, and spices do lose their potency.

Another sure sign was turning the bottle upside down. If it didn't move, the spice went. Actually I took a knife and loosened up the spice and dumped it into a big bowl. That was kind of satisfying. Different spices have different colors, textures, and smells. (No, I did not taste them!)

Three large mixing bowls later with dozens of spices gone, the remaining ones were still too many. However, as much as I love to sort and categorize things, I was done. I gave over cupboard space to extraneous spices. Some acts of sorting just take too much time and energy!

He (the ENFP) took the bowls and since they were organic material threw them on his lawn. He has sold his home and we do not plan a return trip to see what has sprouted (or been killed by this act).

So I am trying to develop my NFP side and be open to other possibilities for condiments and spices — at any quantity. Send me your suggestions, please, along with step-by-step directions!!