Monday, June 2, 2014
Bless His Heart
Me: Do you have my phone?
Spouse: Yes, I'm charging it.
Me: I need it for a second. [Name of friend] posted something cryptic on Facebook, and -
Spouse: She has a rule against that.
Me: Right, so I need to call her and/or text her, and find out what is wrong and/or tease her about being a hypocrite.
Spouse: Okay, here.
[I call my friend. I establish that her world isn't ending. We discuss a possible grown-up outing for Friday.]
Spouse [while I am still on the phone, channeling his own children]: Oh, that reminds me, you need to keep Sunday open -
Me [doing that hiss-whisper thing that you do when someone interrupts you on the phone]: I'M. ON. THE. PHONE. WAIT FIVE SECONDS, PLEASE.
[I hang up.]
Me: Okay, what about Sunday?
Spouse: You need to keep Sunday open, because there's a thing -
Me: Nope, no "thing." Not for me. Already HAVE a thing. Vacation Bible School exec board. Remember? Church meeting, after church, last Sunday, and another, different church meeting, after church, THIS Sunday? We talked about this.
Spouse: Oh. Okay. What's in the oven?
Me: Dude, SERIOUSLY? Carnitas. You watched me carve up a pork roast.
Spouse: I wasn't sure if that was what I was smelling.
Me: What, the thing that smells EXACTLY like carnitas? Wait, I need to apologize -
Spouse: You should do that more often.
Me: - because I just realized that the ten conversations that I have had about this weekend's schedule were not, actually, conversations that I had with YOU.
Spouse: Thought so.
Me: But I'm not retracting my carnitas sarcasm. You earned that.
Spouse [sticking out hand]: Hi, Parnell M., WHITE BOY. I have never smelled carnitas cooking IN MY LIFE. Do you think [mother-in-law's full name] made carnitas for us growing up?
Me: Do you think [mother's name] made carnitas for ME growing up? You eat them, so you OUGHT to be able to extrapolate what they smell like when they are cooking from what they smell like WHEN YOU ARE EATING THEM.
Spouse: I'm turning them off. They look done.
Me: Does the meat shred easily with a fork?
Spouse: Is it supposed to do that?
Me: SERIOUSLY? IT'S A TACO FILLING. You're from here, so I should not have to explain carnitas to you. Or carne asada, or al pastor, or barbacoa . . . it's just food. Mexican food in Texas is JUST FOOD.
Bless his sweet little heart. No, really - bless him for:
Indulging my need to verbally spar (and giving as good as he gets); and
Indulging my odd, quasi-Mexican tendencies, which I have blamed variously on:
Spending part of my early childhood in a border town. When your nursery is decorated with painted wooden screens, wood carvings of clowns and THIS EXACT papier mache doll:
you're going to absorb some stuff by osmosis.
Spending part of that part of my early childhood with Lita, who kept house for us and who (I have been assured - I don't remember back that far) I worshipped, and worshipped me. Again, I was too young to remember, but for all I know, she recited carnitas recipes to me on a continuous loop when I was in her care. Really good ones.
The fact that I am Hungarian-American, and Mexican is analogous to Hungarian in a lot of respects. I am 100% serious about this. I believe that I am genetically programmed to crave spicy meat dishes, and want to cool them down with dollops of sour cream, while wearing colorfully embroidered blouses. It's in my DNA.
Spouse tolerates all of this, and does not complain when I serve him fajitas and carnitas back to back, even though he would much rather eat Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food 24/7 (because Asian is analogous to Irish in a lot of - nope, not really, can't even attempt to pull that one off). He also tolerates the fact that I, occasionally, confuse him with my best girlfriends and assume that he is part of our "hive mind." (I actually think that he might find it flattering)
For this, he will get Thai basil fried rice - after the "little meats" are all gone.