My butter is too fat.

Is there a word that describes things that are inherently stupid? Like the fact that hotdogs come in 10 packs and buns come in eight? Or the fact that a package of Poptarts is TWO servings? Honestly. Who the heck only eats ONE Poptart? Or when it says on the package of Planter’s Honey Roasted, “May contain nuts”?

Is this all one department somewhere? Is there a factory hidden in some nondescript industrial park in an obscure suburb where the mission statement is, “Our goal is to be the Number One irritant of consumers everywhere!” Because I am convinced it takes serious effort, coordination and a solid business plan to create products of such intense and unrelenting ridiculousness.

And, it just so happens that I have a specific example in mind.

Last month I wrote a guest post for Dealusional and recounted in glorious detail a shopping trip to Macy’s where we scored huge on the discount meter. I mean, we redlined that baby. And we were proud.

One item on that raging list o’ cut-price booty was a butter dish. Why did we need a butter dish? Because ours is chipped. We have a wee bit of a problem with any dishware not made of reinforced titanium. I have three kids. I also have granite countertops. *Crash!* “Sorry!” is heard in our kitchen more often than “What’s for dinner?”

So as Himself and I were perusing the kitchen department, owing to our really, really wanting a dutch oven and a kitchen knife able to cut items more robust than overripe peaches, we spotted a butter dish and remembered a recent conversation where we discussed what life was like for people who don’t have chunks missing from every dish they own. Oh, how we envy those people. We want to be like them. We think that those people – the unchipped people – must have better, smoother, richer lives with fewer embarrassing dinner party moments wherein they try to pass of the magnitude of chips as the sad consequence of a nasty infestation of kitchen squirrels.

So when the butter dish caught our eye, into the pile it went.

The butter dish was then dutifully washed by one of the children and put away. Note that I said “put away,” not “filled with butter.” Putting butter into the butter dish and putting said butter dish into the refrigerator requires a level of forethought, planning and execution that is a challenge for the average teenager. It matters not that the child in question gets straight A’s, plays several musical instruments, can type or text at 90 words per minute and juggles a social calendar that rivals Paris Hilton’s. Putting butter IN a butter dish is simply asking too much.

For this reason, we didn’t use the new butter dish right away.  It took me a little while to remember that we’d purchased it. But one day while setting the table for a family brunch I mused, “Two butter dishes would be helpful here…” and then thought, “Hey! I have a second butter dish! How Martha-y of me!” And I rummaged around cupboards till I found where the kids had hidden it. (Another ongoing challenge – deducing where a teenager will think to put things. You know, like butter dishes. Or forks.)

I found the butter dish, unwrapped a new cube of butter and put the cover over the it, where it then sat, hovering a good 3/4 inch over the plate.

Huh?

I picked the cover back up, looked in it and  looked back at the butter (as if I might have overlooked a baboon hiding in the lid or failed to notice that the cube of butter was actually the size of a pineapple).  All looked fine so I tried again.

No go. The cover was NOT going over the butter. So what did I do next?

The axiom in my family for these sorts of situations is, “If force doesn’t work, use more force.”

So I pushed the lid down.

When I then lifted the lid up, this was the result:

I shouted for Himself,  indignantly brandished the butter filled butter cover at him and demanded an explanation. (Because the best thing to do in situations like this is yell at innocent family members.) Himself looked at the clearly dysfunctional butter situation and remarked that the dish must be for a long, slender cube of butter.

He is probably right.

Except, I do not, I will not, I categorically refuse to buy butter based on shape. I have three children, I buy what’s on sale.

And truth be told, I have not seen butter of the long, slender shape for quite some time, so even if I were irrational enough to let the butter dish dictate my grocery shopping habits, it’s unlikely I could accommodate this little piece of Diva crockery.

That there even exists two shapes of butter which requires that attention be paid to the size of butter dishes to ensure that cube and dish will be anatomically compatible is proof that society as we know it is doomed.

We used the butter dish, taking the butter from the lid to spread on our various foodstuffs, until it was all used up. We advised any guests unfortunate enough to dine with us for the next week or so that we would be setting the table with a trick butter dish and then let them figure it out.

A local charity is sending a truck round the neighborhood this week to pick up donations of household goods.

Guess what’s in our pile?

28 comments

  1. Wow… Road Rage I’ve heard of. But Butter Dish rage? I think this might be a first. Take a few days to relax, maybe a yoga class or two, and then all will be good. Just try not to think about the forks. It’s for your own well being.
    A concerned friend,
    Dana

  2. So, here’s what you do. As the butter sits out on the dish uncovered for everyone to use during dinner, it will soften. Then you can sort of force the lid on it and reshape the butter. So, just let your butter sit out a while to soften before putting it in the butter dish. It will harden back up when it goes back in the refrigerator waiting for it’s next use. Oh, and I guess I hate to admit it but I frequently eat only one pop tart. I hate them for breakfast but occasionally want one for a quick snack after work and just eat one. I have to get a ziplock bag out to keep the 2nd one in until the next time I want just one. I’m probably the only one that does that.

  3. O.M.G. Lori, what a great post, truly. These marketing geniuses are the same people who can’t seem to standardize women’s clothing sizes.

    I don’t recall seeing fat butter here in Texas, where everything is…well. Never mind. I’m going to leave it at that.

  4. That’s just ridonkulous. Seriously. Though I love that you guys “adapted” your use. You should get points for thinking outside the box.

  5. Just the other day, my son and husband were trying to figure out that same Hot Dog/Hot Dog Bun Conundrum. I didn’t know that it bothered other people, too.

    The thing that gets me is why do They bury the scoop halfway down the box of Clorox II so that you wind up spilling half the box as you’re digging your way down to find the scoop? Clever, clever marketing people….

  6. I used to mock my mom’s set of Corelle dishware, but now I’m thinking maybe they weren’t as hideous as I remember.

    Hmmm, who needs a butter dish anyway.

  7. Since we’re on the topic of absurd product labeling, I would like to take this opportunity to say that the favorite product in our family was the $1 store pregnancy test, complete with stick, small plastic cup, plastic gloves, and the words:

    “instructions en espanol.”

    And also, I would like to say that I’m glad I’m not the only person who yells at innocent family members.

    1. I don’t know if that adoption thing will be legal. It is clear that we are related somehow.

      “More cowbell” often follows the “More force” comment in my house.

  8. Uh oh, did I fail to read package directions that say, “Put butter in a dish”? Dang, now that I know you are supposed to, you tell me it doesn’t fit anyway! My lame self would just turn the said butter dish upside down and call it a day, but that’s just me, if I had a butter dish…

    My lame husband can’t be bothered to butter the corn, made me get a “butter budy” that holds the stick, has a curved edge to glide over the corn cob. Great theory, ‘cept you guessed it, my butter was too fat for the girdle too! Kinda looked like a playdough factory tool making hair for a few minutes, but got her in there. Soon as we finished the butter, good old buddy took a sudden liking to the trash and made a leap for it.

    Thanks for the laugh, glad I’m not alone in my kitchen mysteries.

  9. OK, I realize that Martha, Paula and the Barefoot Contessa would likely all require actual butter for dinner parties (thus the need for a butter DISH). However, my recommendation is simple: butter in a tub, baby.

    Bonus points for the supposedly healthier (but who really knows for sure) use of Smart Balance, which is the way we go in this house except when we are baking.

    All that being said, I love butter and the pretty houses that keep you from screwing up your tablescape with less-than-chic ‘butter on a wrapper.’ Yes, -10 points for presentation if you’re forced to go that route.

    I’ve never had this particular problem with my own butter dish, so I have to think the butter-dish-making company got a little slack with quality control, thus your dud. Infuriating, to say the least. But it sure did make for a laugh-til-you cry post. LOVE. IT.

  10. That’s too funny. If it makes you feel any better, our children have the same problems of hiding dishes and lacking foresight that might be required to actually fill a butter dish. And I, like you, buy what’s on sale, not what is the right shape!

    1. I am glad to know that our children are normal, at least, and not the victims of tragically bad parenting whereby things like filling butter dishes, replacing toilet paper rolls, putting things that you have tripped over away are somehow no longer viable behaviors because we made them eat vegetables and write thank-you cards.

  11. My mom used to have one of those funny shaped butter dishes……so annoying!

    My grandma insists on using a circle-shaped one. You know, for all that circle shaped butter out there. lol

    1. Ummm…circle shaped butter?

      Nope. I’m sorry. That should be illegal. Apparently I can barely cope with rectangles. Adding more geometry is ONLY GOING TO MAKE THIS WORSE.

      I’m writing my congressman.

  12. This is funny – sorry but it is just funny.

    I would have kept the dish, and cut the butter in half (long ways) to make it work :o) I can’t stand to think I wasted money (even if it was just 1.00) I would find a way to use it for a while at least :)

    I really enjoyed this post

    Visiting from SITS!

    1. Thank you for stopping by, kind lady!

      And I actually considered cutting the butter in half.

      Then I remembered the hazard I am with a knife.

      I had to think about the safety of the family.

  13. I have never seen long, slender butter. Maybe Martha Stuart can put some out because that butter dish situation is a little dopey. But there’s so many crazy situations like that. For example, the people who package children’s toys are crazy angry, but the lightbulb people are totally content with a thin strip of paper. Go figure.

    Stopping by from SITS

    1. Yes, because what you want is for a child to sustain an injury trying to get to the Spiderman action figure and able to get to round glass objects by breathing hard.

      Yep. Tons o’ sense there!

      And thank you for swingin’ by!

  14. You KNEW I’d hop over here when you left me a comment saying the weirdness of your children rivaled that of my Teen Minions. And I feel the pain in your butter dish tale. I have a stack of ornate rectangles that I use at cocktail parties that were orphaned from their now deceased butter domes. I suspect heightened gravity is the culprit with these products, honestly.

    Nevertheless, Target sells a dandy stainless steel model. I also considered cast iron.

    1. Heightened gravity! Why had that never occurred to me before??

      Brilliant! Of course! And all this time I’ve been blaming the poor children…

  15. Oh heavenly butter why do thou mockest this woman with the slender butter dish! Seriously, I had the same problem and ended up skipping the lid action for saran wrap.

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