Why Raw Chicken and Germaphobes Don’t Mix

As if anyone isn’t at least a little grossed out by raw chicken.

Like I’ve said before, I love my boyfriend. I really love his recent culinary acts, including his oatmeal-Craisin bars. They were delicious. He’s also been big on marinating chicken. Just yesterday we made a trek to our local Walmart and bought a ginormous package of raw chicken. Another thing I’ve mentioned a time or two is my slight germaphobia. Any package of raw chicken instantly grosses me out, especially ones that are dripping with either condensation or raw chicken juice. Ick, just typing those last three words made me puke in my mouth a little.

Anyway.

So we bought this huge package of chicken and Dan’s plan was to cook all of it at once, using multiple marinades, and then freeze whatever we weren’t going to immediately use. I assumed this would be a weekend activity or at least a couple’s activity. Instead, Dan cooked all the chicken while I was away at work and had it sitting in our fridge, ready for my use when I came home. He called while I was at work to let me know what the multiple varieties were and how they had been organized in the fridge.

How sweet, right? He took care of all the cooking so I didn’t have to worry about it or be bothered with it. However, all I could think about for the rest of the day was, “I wish Dan was as big of a germaphobe as I am.”

I have a couple girl friends who are not “clean freaks.” Many of their boyfriends or husbands are, though, and they balance each other out. I know that balance is important in a relationship, but wouldn’t it be nice if both people in a relationship were slightly afraid of disease-causing germs like e. coli and salmonella? Maybe those are escalated from ‘germs’ to ‘bacteria.’ Either way. I should clarify that I’m only a “clean freak” when it comes to germs and bacteria, not when it comes to clutter or stacks of shoe boxes. That’s more Dan’s thing. Aww, balance. However, not the balance I am looking for.

Anyway.

So later in the afternoon, Dan calls to let me know that he didn’t exactly wipe down the counter tops after his chicken preparation. Maybe he knew I had been freaking out about it all afternoon, imagining the bacteria mutating on my granite counters, mixing with other germs and bacteria to create a super-power germ that would grow arms and legs and walk around my condo and wipe its germiness on every surface so that when I drop a pretzel snack on my couch, I have to wonder if the Germ Monster touched that microfiber cushion. And when I walk from that couch to my bedroom and crawl into bed, a little part of me thinks, “Should I sanitize my feet? No, that’s crazy. The Germ Monster never could have covered all of my carpet, my floor, that chair, my office desk, my bath towel,  that box of spiral-shaped macaroni and cheese…right? I mean, how long can a Germ Monster live, anyway? Probably an hour at the most, and that’s probably just in warm temperatures. It’s freezing in here. I get no direct sunlight. What could grow in here?”

I don’t know what could grow in here and I sure as hell don’t want to find out. As soon as I got home, I grabbed a roll of paper towels and my disinfecting dish soap. I took each item on the counter off and inspected it for raw chicken juice. Just as I had suspected: chicken juice on the fruit bowl. Luckily our freshly purchased apples were still in their plastic bag so they were protected from Dan’s indiscretion. Once the counters were cleared and items subjected to Dan’s indiscretion were properly cleaned or disposed of, I doused the counter in dish soap and scrubbed away. Twice.

I’m hoping my persistence and dangerously fast commute home paid off and I was able to destroy all remnants of the potential Germ Monster. But I did make some chicken chili and it was delicious. Thank you, boyfriend.

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