Jan 22

Still not so coordinated, sometimes

Milk carton

Image via Wikipedia

Do you ever realize that you’re the same old nebbish you were when you were 13, only technology has gotten better, so it’s better hidden?

I had an encounter just now with my old nemesis: the milk carton opening. You know, the old-style, inverse pup-tent like affair that you have to sort of “lift-and-separate” to get to open? Well, my lift-and-separate maneuver has always been more of the squash-and-tear, resulting in many mangled containers and associated messy milk dribbling.

Imagine my joy when those little space-astronaut-plastic-docking-station-tops appeared on cardboard milk cartons (yes, this whole thing could’ve been avoided by sticking with the always-safe-with-a-plastic-lid gallon jug, but there’s only one of me, and I’m just not *that* healthy). Hooray! No more trying to jam a knife between the layers of cardboard that should have separated already! No more turning the carton around and trying the “open other side” side in desperation! No more feeling like someone who never should’ve been allowed to graduate kindergarten because of her inability to master milk opening (in my defense, I was a lunchbox girl, and I am great with thermoses!)

Well, all those feelings of inadequacy and incompetency just resurfaced as I was faced with opening a Trader Joe‘s(1) organic milk container. After some attempts at just-the-right combination of lifting-and-separating, followed by some squeezing and pushing (and failing mightily) I ended up using using a fork to pry the damn thing open.

It’s like being 13 all over again. Sigh.

(1) In a classic “displacement,” I hold Trader Joe’s in no way responsible for my shame. I luuuuuuuuurve Trader Joe’s.

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Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2007/01/22/441/


  1. theevilhalf

    And just what do you do when the little pull ring on those oh-so-wonderful-space-astronaut-plastic-docking-station-tops snap off as has happened to me lately and often? Do you, like me, get out a knife and end up mangling the top so the cap doesn’t screw on anymore?

    FWIW, I use a pair of scissors to cut the carton edges when it gets mangled and won’t open correctly.

    1. gina

      The loss of the docking ring handle has not yet happened to me (whew!), so thank heavens for small favors.

      Good tip with the scissors. I’ll remember that :)

      1. meep

        I was just going to mention the scissors. What Stu didn’t mention was that he wasn’t the person who mangled the carton…

  2. jhvilas

    If no one is looking, grab the recalcitrant, unseparable part of the carton with your teeth and pull (of course while still holding “open other side” with a hand or three). Perhaps more sanitary would be a pair of pliers, or perhaps not.

  3. jhvilas

    Or get a cow. :)

    1. gina

      Now that would be hilarious. If I can’t open a cardboard milk container, whatever would make you think I’d be able to milk a real honest-to-gosh-alive cow? ;-)

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