Food fight with my new wife
“Allie! You cannot do this!”
“And yet I already did.”
“You know what I mean,” I fumed. “It’s not…”
I searched for the right word. This was our first fight in two days of marriage, and I didn’t want to end things before unwrapping all the wedding gifts. Technically it was two days of cohabitation. We were married, enjoyed a long honeymoon, and upon our return Allie had moved in. That was yesterday.
“It’s not what?” Allie asked with a slight smile.
“It’s not right! This is way south of right. You’re ruining my entire pattern of existence here!”
I was furious. This transgression hurt, and I needed Allie to acknowledge her mistake and make amends. Instead she laughed.
“Your ‘pattern of existence’ is to eat the same crap food every day?” Allie asked. “Honey, I’m going to rock your culinary world.”
“It doesn’t need any rocking. Stop throwing rocks. My world was fine before you stoned my food to death.”
“You’re being a little melodramatic here.”
“You trashed all my food!”
“Marshall, your food was already trash. I now have a vested interest in your long-term survival, so I’m stopping you from eating that trash. I can’t believe you’re still alive! No wonder you never cooked for me when we were dating.”
“You’re a vegetarian. I brought vegetable platters with ranch dip to a bunch of events.”
“I always thought you were doing that as a misguided vegetarian joke…”
I looked sullenly at my empty freezer.
“Allie, I had a lot of good food in here.”
“You should seriously consider your definition of good. Your freezer contained exactly sixteen frozen chicken pot pies and two frozen glasses.”
“Those are for beer,” I explained.
“I know what the glasses are for,” Allie laughed. “That explains the case of beer in your fridge. And the only other items there were two bottles of ketchup and some very old Chinese food.”
Allie shrugged her shoulders, like I was an actor missing my next line. Maybe this was a performance to her. She chose the improv role of a crazy wife with food boundary issues.
“What’s your point?” I finally asked.
“How can you exist solely on chicken pot pies and beer?”
“There’s cereal and other stuff…”
“Oh yeah!” Allie laughed harder. “I found the rest of your sustenance in the pantry. Five boxes of Cheerios, two bags of cookies, and three bags of ‘Jacked’ Doritos!”
“Jacked means spicy street taco flavor,” I explained.
“There’s 920 calories in that bag — that’s what’s jacked. And do you have any idea what’s actually in those chips?”
I thought this was a rhetorical question and waited for her to get it out. I waited a long time.
“You have no clue what you’re putting in your body,” Allie summarized. “And more shocking, you’re content with this ignorance. Why?”
“I’m content with a quick, easy, efficient way of— ”
“You realized this is a slow, hard, painful path to diabetes. Not this year or next, but in a decade you’ll look and feel like a potato. Luckily,” Allie bowed for effect, “I’m here to save you from yourself.”
I stared at my completely empty fridge. The beer was still there. I don’t know what she did with the pies, ketchup and Chinese food. I’d already checked the trash can. My cheerios remained. The Doritos and cookies didn’t make the cut. I opened a few more drawers and doors.
“Why’d you move all of my plates and stuff?” I asked.
“I have good news, sweetie,” Allie beamed. “You’re getting adult silverware!”
“Now you’re picking on my silverware?” I growled.
“The plastic-handled forks and spoons are very functional,” Allie smiled, with a half cup of condescension. “But you only have three of each.”
“Which is plenty. There’s just two of us and I wash the dishes each night.”
A cloud of frustration and resignation formed in Allie’s eyes. I occasionally see this when I discuss physics and science fiction with people who really don’t care about physics and science fiction.
“I have a random question…” Allie said thoughtfully. “Where does one purchase just three forks, spoons and knives? They usually come in larger, more even sets.”
“I’m guessing that’s where you acquired your two plates, three cereal bowls, and one beat up frying pan.”
I nodded, hoping there was a point in our near future.
“Then why the dozen glasses with NFL logos?”
“Sometimes I have a few friends over for beer.”
“But there are thirty-two teams.”
“Target only had NFC teams. And we broke a few. Allie… you’re stripping my life of food happiness.”
“Marshall, you don’t even know what food happiness is. Tonight you will.”
She took me shopping, which I hate. My monthly chicken pot pie, beer and cheerios trips averaged eight minutes in the store. Allie kept me in produce purgatory for two hours. She examined every millimeter of every item for evil preservatives and heroic nutrients. She purchased a cart full of spices and oils and stuff that belonged in a witch’s hut or mad scientist’s laboratory.
“What’s dill weed?” I asked.
“Something adults use.”
“Isn’t buying coconut oil and vegetable oil redundant? They’re both for cooking, right?”
“Honey, you lack the context to understand the answer. I’m impressed you came up with that question!”
I subtly slipped a bag of Oreos into the cart. Allie didn’t notice. When we reached the checkout line my cookies had vanished.
“Honey, I had a bag of— ”
Allie grabbed me and kissed me hard, right in the middle of the line. I suddenly liked grocery shopping.
“Just push the cart and trust me,” Allie whispered. “I’ll reveal all cuisine mysteries when we get home.”
And she did. The meal was amazing! And vegetarian, which I’d always believed was morally opposed to flavor. I was in my late 20s then, pre-kids and pre- a lot of adult things. Now I’m a reluctant fan of healthy eating and, on occasion, blindly trusting my wife.
And I keep my Doritos hidden in the trunk of my car.
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