One cookie left in the package on the counter. I’ve passed it thirty or forty times and it’s still there. It’s been there for several hours sitting in the wide open waiting to be eaten; the package emptied and tossed into the trash can in an act of finality. But, instead nobody touches it.
What is it about the “last” that forces us to avoid eating the last one? What forces us to sip no more than half of the minute remnants from the milk container because we know in theory that we can sip half as we approach infinity and there will always be a theoretical half remaining?
Boys are the worse. Growing up in a house of five boys, I lived this phenomenon on a daily basis. Our house was strewn with bread sacks with one piece of bread left, boxes of Stover’s candies with one piece left (99.99% of the time a piece of some crappy fruit creme chocolate with the investigational thumb poke through the bottom), a half dozen crumbs-on-the-bottom bags of chips in the cabinet and a fridge stocked with a collection of Kool-Aid, juice, milk, tea…etc. containers with microscopic amounts of liquid product staining their bottom side.
Is it the psychology of not wanting the label of being the greedy S.O.B. who ate THE LAST ONE? Do we not want the to accept the responsibility when The Mom throws a holy hell outrage about who ate the last one and didn’t write the need for a replacement on the grocery list? Do we not want to accept the responsibility as the final consumer, with the inherited duties of clean-up and disposal? Or perhaps, it it just plain laziness?
Many questions but few answers.
I just don’t know. But, I am going to sit here and keep an eye on that one cookie for awhile while I try to figure it out.