Tonight I’m making a frisse (curly leaf lettuce) salad with sliced scallions, fresh organic cilantro, sunflower sprouts (I don’t know what they are, exactly, though they taste peppery), banana, avocado, and grilled calamari with a lime vinaigrette. I’m grilling the squid beneath a aluminum-foil-wrapped-brick (we found in our community on our walk back from the pool). Then I’m grilling up a piece of Hawaiian Wahoo, or something like that, and serving it with mango salsa, passion fruit-mango puree, and grilled banana. The boys are having meat. Slabs of it. Steaks. I was a vegetarian for nine years because, basically, steak does nothing for me. Nothing. I get phone calls from my sister, who lives in Montana (home of the Meat Sundae–a pile of meat, topped with baked beans and homemade coleslaw), saying, "Oooh, I need a good juicy steak, something bloody yet burnt." I don’t like steak, but I love carcinogens. I also *love* lamb, love like I walk around proclaiming that I’m going to marry it. Later this week we’re having feta-mint lamburgers on whole wheat buns. I suspect cucumber might be good on there in lieu of pickles.
I know all this (what I’ll be eating for the week) because we spent the day shopping. Central Market, which is like New York’s Fairway, the one uptown with the refrigerator/freezer room, except it’s, well, one hundred times better. Though, I need to find some Peter Luger’s sauce. I know it’s all sugar. It’s also fucking good times. And I haven’t been able to find it here in, what my New York friends now refer to as, Tex-ass. Here they stick to their own. Pride sauce. Made in Texas. I’m sure there’s a stamp with a star on it.
I bought crapass drawers for our closet, since we officially have none. The Rubbermaid ones that make me feel like I live in a dorm, but it is "just a closet," I remind myself. Please. It’s never just a closet. This is the way I work. If I don’t see it, I don’t use it. So if clothing hides on a top shelf I cannot reach, chances are, I’m never wearing it. It’s the same with the refrigerator. "Why do you let shit go bad?" The Suitor used to say, holding up a half-used soggy package of pre-washed spinach.
"Oh, I forgot it was there." It’s the same thing with my arts & craft supplies. "Well, you’re a grown up now," he said to me today, "so now, when you want to do arts & crafts, you can open the closet door, take out your boxes, and do it."
"Yeah, but I don’t work that way." I need an arts and crafts station, a desk where you can store Prismacolor pencils and hand-woven ribbons.
"Well, I don’t need to look at your stuff. You talk about doing all these things, but you don’t do them."
"That’s because ‘those things’ are in a forgotten closet." Why doesn’t he understand? I’ve been this way my whole life. We had a room, growing up, dedicated to arts & crafts. Glue. Paint. Anything goes. So what if that "room" was called "the basement." It was refinished and lovely. "How about this," I say. "I’ll keep things in the closet for now, and I probably won’t use them, but it makes me feel good knowing they are there, and one day I’ll have an arts & crafts room, so I can use them. ‘Cause then I’ll see them." I love the sound of this. It’s as luxurious as a present-wrapping room, with a station for folding and tape dispensers. Even if this all happens in a basement, if it must, then so be it. Guys get rooms with pool tables and bar tables for poker chips. I want an arts & crafts studio room. Big fucking deal.
"But Stephanie, that’s just a microcosm. If it’s not the arts & crafts, it will be something else you need to have out and accessible. Like all your cook books. You and I both know you’ll never use them all, yet you are taking up an entire counter with them, why again?"
Because there is nothing as comforting to me in this entire world than cook books. It’s the first section I hit, each time I enter a new book store. They are beautiful and make life exciting, yet groomed. I will not part with seeing them. It was hard enough having to relegate half of them to a shelf, above the refrigerator that I cannot reach without having to pull out a heavy ladder. I roll my eyes. "It will be something else next, Stephanie."
"So that’s my fear. A house full of things you won’t put away." I like to display books, in stacks, with a piece of coral on a shelf. He thinks this is retarded. I point this out to him in every design magazine. He doesn’t care, whips out some quip about jumping off the Brooklyn bridge.
"There are worse things to fear," I say. Like a lifetime of rubbery squid, I think. Or being married to a whale, I think just now as I suck in my stomach. I will not eat the avocado after all.
View more photos here>> (Sorry, there aren’t that many yet, as I’ve been busy unpacking. Arguing and unpacking. "We discuss," he’ll correct me. "We don’t argue." Yes, yes we do.)
Also, because so many of you asked, get your spice rack here. I didn’t need the strip (but you can use it in your office too, loading up the canisters with paper clips and the like).