Kitchen Pre-Nup

Photo: Flickr/ammanteufel

Jessica Alpert

Once, I lived with a boy.  As is expected, we shared a lot, especially in the kitchen.  I was just out of college and in a new city, he was starting graduate school and on shaky financial ground.  I noticed that we both started clinging to our worldly goods….maybe too much.

His iron skillet was his pride and joy (he oiled it for at least 15 minutes after each use) and I loved my time-honored wok (and sturdy stand-by for all those late night stir-frys)…..we used each other’s tools but clearly we knew which appliance belonged to whom.

When the sad break-up was upon us, his iron skillet was one of the first pieces of the kitchen to go.  In the harried shuffle of the quick move-out, he took a few of my favorite knives and my gorgeous bamboo cutting board.  It wasn’t worth the fight.  But if he had taken my wok……

This morning, my cousin sent me a great NY Post article about pre pre-nups.  For real.  These dating couples, many who live together (and in some cases those who don’t) create formal and informal contracts delegating objects and responsibilities either to themselves or to their other half should a break-up occur.   In the picture featured on the article, one woman is hugging her juicer (or maybe a food processor)…looks like a Breville to me.  And you know, I understand….sometimes these appliances move with us… from our 20s to our 30s, from Manhattan to Boston, from youthful long-term relationships to a new marriage.   I’m pretty sure any semi-observant Buddhist would shudder at this pre pre-nup concept but I think there’s something to be said about claiming what’s yours….until the very, very end.

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Associate Producer, Here & Now Most recently, Jessica worked as an associate producer at WBUR's daily local program, Radio Boston. Jessica moved to Boston in 2008 and has lived many places since leaving her native Texas. After graduating from college, Jessica worked as a federal employee, documentary film festival producer, oral historian, university teaching assistant, traveling saleswoman and klezmer musician. Her work and projects have appeared in The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Bust, Barnard Magazine, National Public Radio, Public Radio International (PRI), and the BBC. Jessica's freelance radio work has received various awards including accolades from the Religion Newswriters Association and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. As a Fulbright Scholar in El Salvador, Jessica collected and studied oral histories from the Jewish Community based in San Salvador. Jessica received her B.A. in political science from Columbia University’s Barnard College and her M.A. in history from Indiana University. She learned how to make radio from the phenomenal folks at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Jessica lives in Somerville with her husband, twin son and daughter, and two cats. To learn more about Jessica’s projects, both current and past, please visit