There is a reason that manufacturers put sell by and use by dates on food.

If you eat it past that date, you will die. 

It’s really very simple, and it’s a rule I strictly adhere to. After my weekly shopping trip, I go through the fridge and throw out anything that has gone past its date. Once a month, I go through and really get crazy, finding any errant pickles or salad dressings that may have been missed in the weekly purge. With a family of five, there isn’t much that doesn’t get used unless it’s been lost behind leftovers, or was a suspect purchase to begin with.

(Not once has the Husband consumed more than one of a six pack of V-8s, despite claiming to “absolutely love them!”)

I also hate wasting food, so if I see something is coming up on a use by date, I do everything I can to make sure it gets eaten. I currently have two days to eat 3 quarts of Greek yogurt. The rare exception is cheese – I will absolutely not eat or serve cheese that looks even slightly fuzzy. I was a victim of my mother ‘just cut off the green! It’s perfectly fine!’ and the thought of moldy cheese is a grossness surpassed only by cheese that has gotten wet.

I would rather shoot fireworks off out of my asshole than eat wet cheese.

Unfortunately, I’ve passed this peculiarity on to Katie, who was asking “What’s the date on that?” to just about everything I pulled out of the fridge by the time she was five. She is a pathological milk-sniffer, and will no doubt grow into one of those annoying women who pull all the milk out of the dairy case to get to the one in the very back with the latest date on it.

Not that I do that.

My fear of expired goods extends to non-food items, as well, and especially medication. There is not a vitamin, aspirin, eye drop or stool softener that is safe from my scrutiny.

“I swear we had some Neosporin in here.” the Husband said.
“Yeah, it expired.” I sighed. “Sorry.”
“Neosporin expires? Are you sure?”
“Of course it expires! Everything expires.”
“Fine, I’ll just put a Band Aid on it. Where are they?”
“Oh, they expired.”
“Band Aids DO NOT expire!”
“Umm, yes? They do? The adhesive breaks down and they don’t perform as well.”
“Seriously? This cut is going to get infected and they’ll have to amputate it, all because the Neosporin and Band Aids were ‘expired’. I hope you remember that when I’m walking around with 9 fingers and I’m unable to pick my dirty clothes up off the floor and always put the toilet seat down, like I do now.” *
“Well, I guess we could whip up some penicillin, I just tossed some moldy cheese in the trash…”

*This is where you realize the conversation is a total fabrication.