I had a friend in high school that was allergic to eggs. The kind of allergic that required you to walk around with a needle, just to be sure. Halloween pretty much sucked it for her once we were in middle school and the kids learned about egging cars and toilet papering houses. One friend got the pleasure of having maple syrup poured down her back, beneath her shirt. One of the cool older girls in the ‘hood complimented my friend on her shirt, which was cut in Flashdance style, hanging off one shoulder, splatter painted. Puff paint might have been involved. Older Girl got closer to my friend and went to check the label of her shirt, after my friend gave her the “sure, go ahead" nod. It was a NafNaf shirt; she was proud. That’s when Older Girl pretended to study the label while pouring the syrup down my friend’s back. If this happened to me, it would probably make for a better story, but I think we all get ours eventually. I got mine tonight.
While cleaning the dishes from our dinner (of ricotta fritters, brussel sprouts with bacon, chipollini onion, and maple glaze, sunchokes au gratin, ricotta and broccoli rabe stuffed butterflied chicken and wine-vinegar-marinated rabbit… with Beard Papa custard puffs for dessert), The Suitor yelled to me, as I gathered the rest of the dishes near our sofa, “So, like, am I going to get in trouble if I talk to women in bikinis at the pool in Austin?” What the fuck is that? Why would he go there? Why would he make an issue out of that, enough to formulate the question from our cold New York apartment? He knows my sensitivities, so why would he go there, picking at them? Would I ever dream of bringing up the reverse, asking if he’d mind if I spent an afternoon speaking with a sun-kissed man who took a small interest and had a slightly bigger thing for redheads? No. Why would I want to make him worry? We’re wearing sweats, in our home, cleaning up after dinner and a day of tennis and shopping, and he asks me this. WHY????? That’s just fucked up.
“Talk to whomever the fuck you please.” Then I wondered if it was “whomever” or “whoever.”
“Well, I’m just asking now, so I don’t get in trouble later when I come home raving that I met a really cool girl one afternoon, who also happens to be good-looking.” I seriously wanted to get out the maple syrup and pour it over his head, let it get stuck in his hair, on his clothes, in what chest hair he actually has. What an ass. Why would you do this other than to just push my buttons? "I’m just saying, it’s a pool. If I make a friend there and she happens to be shapely, am I going to get shit for it?" Yes, he used the word shapely. Why would he bring this up now? Why would he bring it up at all? "Well, I mean, I’m just saying, if I want to make a friend, and she happens to be… well, basically, I can tell from your face that I’m only allowed to make friends with men or out of shape old ladies."
"I get it." YOU ASS AND A HALF. "And, yeah, that’s pretty much how it goes. You want to go make friends with shapely women…" And then I didn’t know what else to say. I was too angry. I worry that I’ve shared too much of myself with him during times like these, because this, dear reader, is what I call "rubbing your nose in it." That’s what he was doing. It looked like dish washing, but it was nose-rubbing. I wanted to use the two-handed backhand I perfected in class today with a frying pan to his head.
I know how to push his buttons back. I really do. Instead, I said, “I am insecure. There. Is that what you want to hear? I am. You win. You always win. You got me to shout, "Uncle." Feel good now? Huh? And I would be pissed if you came home telling me you met some really cool girl by the pool, who happens to also be hot, that you think I’d dig. I can make my own friends, thanks. I don’t need my husband-to-be to do that shite for me. Stick to doing the dishes, bitch.” Okay, I didn’t say that last bit. Instead, I just left it with, “I can make my own friends, thanks.” I left it with “thanks anyway, I don’t want syrup with that.” I mean really.
Ahem, after reading this, our conversation continued. "Yeah, why don’t you add the facts in there? Well, it’s not like I care what people think. I mean, write what you want, but you should consider adding the facts." Then he began to enunciate the following:
"FACT: we’re moving to Austin, where we know no one (except the weather man), and we’re looking to make friends, and you wanted a pool–insisted on a pool–and we need to make friends. FACT: the reason you wanted to live in a gated community as our rental was for you to see if you liked the lifestyle and people. Where’d ya think we’d meet ’em, playing shuffleboard at the clubhouse? Please." He said "FACT" a few more times, but there wasn’t any more info than what I’ve stated. Bottom line, he knows my sensitivities and there was no cause for him to go there, to ask me a hypothetical he knew would raise my pulse. And please, if you’re going to chime in with a "well it shouldn’t raise your pulse," I’ll agree but default with "but it does, and that’s who I am. I’m okay with that."
He is absurd and makes me laugh. I can’t help but laugh. He’s caught at it, at being an ass. He’s trying to talk me out of it, to illuminate the facts, by spitting the "ct" of FACT at me. Then he mentions making friends with only men, and added with a laugh and kiss, "I love you, Stephanie." He was wrong. Don’t worry, I’ll never get used to it. He won’t let me.
And if you’re going to ask for the recipes, try TV Food Network or Epicurious. Merci.