I (Almost) Called 911 To Open a Jar

My hubby is stronger than me—I have no doubt about it—but he still likes to prove it to me. Now and then he closes the lid of a jar tight., tight enough that I can’t open it again. In his defense, he is absent minded but it still causes me a lot of stress.

“How many times will you do this?” I ask him.

“Sorry I forget, dear.” would come the standard reply.

There are times when I just give up and there are times that I get furious if I am unable to open a jar. There was one time I even thought about calling 911 for help.

I was seven and half months pregnant and my cravings were at their peak. I sat down for lunch and wasn't able to open the jar of coconut chatni that I really wanted to eat. I can't explain how important it was, but all I know is that I wanted the chatni in my tummy.

I twisted the jar to the best of my ability but was defeated each time. I used a napkin to get a better grip but it didn't work. The craving was getting the best of me and I didn't know what to do. I checked the internet. Immersed it in warm water. My hands turned red but the lid didn’t budge.

I could smell the delicious chatni that I had made a few days back. I was so close to it.

I thought of breaking the jar and weighed my options.  I could end up creating a mess. Who would clean that mess? What if I got glass in my good? Maybe I could salvage a little bit and chew slowly? Where could I break the jar? The delicious hard-shelled nectar  wasn't as difficult to remove from its hard shell as it was getting to open its jar.

Anger had become my new companion and frustration joined in soon. All I could think of was the chatni and how insensitive my husband can be.

I called my husband. “When will you come home?”

“Evening. Why what happened?”

“I need to open this jar of chatni.”

“Oh! Sorry dear. Too tight?”

“Yes.” I grunted.

“Maybe you can try the neighbors?”

“Agnes aunty is out of town.”

“Sorry dear, I can’t come now but if you think you can wait for just four hours… I will open it for you.”

“I want it now.”

“Sorry, dear.”

“Can you come now?”

“It isn’t an emergency, dear.”

“It is.”

“Just four hours.”

“Ok, forget it.”

Though he couldn’t help, the conversation gave me an idea. I had seen the fireman rescue cats. I always thought that it was a trivial job. If they can do that, can't they help a pregnant woman in dire need of food?

I decided to call them.

I pictured myself as being calm as I explained why it was so important for me to eat it. They would surely understand. As I waddled towards my phone, I caught my reflection in the mirror. I wasn't wearing my bra as my breasts were becoming big and we were yet to go shopping. I looked in my closet and remembered that everything was in the wash.. My mind got entangled in that and I lost a little bit of momentum. I came to my senses and decided to wait for four hours and eat something else now.

Now, my son is almost three years old and when I look back, I wonder what would have happened. My husband still continues to close the jars as tight as he can but I wonder how would he have reacted if I would have called the police.

- Sunayna Pal


Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Sunayna Pal moved to the US after her marriage. A double postgraduate from XLRI and Annamalai University, she worked in the corporate world for five odd years before opting out to embark on her heart's pursuits - Raising funds for NGOs by selling quilled art and became a certified handwriting analyst. Now, a new mother, she devotes all her free time to writing
and Heartfulness. Dozens of her articles and poems have been published and she is a proud contributor of many international anthologies. Her name has recently appeared in "Subterranean Blue Poetry," "Cecile’s Writers" and "Poetry Super highway"