I Saved My Husband’s Life
This morning, I saved my husband’s life.
Let me tell you the story.
It all started yesterday. He and I had a fun and wonderful afternoon together, but then got into a slow-burn argument as he was cooking dinner…. not just any dinner, but his famous — and famously intricate — fish tacos.
The problem with me being around my husband while he’s cooking dinner is that I am not really on his speed in the kitchen. Whereas I view the kitchen as a kind of mud-run obstacle course where, instead of mud, you writhe through crumbs and grease, he views it as his own personal, well-lit Master Chef soundstage. And yet, last night, knowing this discrepancy perfectly well, he still insisted that I make the goddamn rice.
Yes, you can fuck up rice. Cause I gone done it.
Well after that, I was sooooo icy cold that I couldn’t get my way (and not cook), and he was sooooo steamy hot that the rice didn't go well and that I’d left dirty pans in the sink and that I “actually cook backwards,” that dinner was practically ruined! My daughter ran off crying and my son, caught in the whirlwind, refused to eat ANYTHING inside of his tacos: only the flour tortilla shells!
And what was even more frustrating than that was how -- instead of actually “eating” the tortilla shells -- my son just kept smooshing/folding them up in his hands like origami and making me guess, over and over, what he had sculpted, like it was a gluten-filled game of charades. “It’s a rug!” I guessed nearly every time. “A round rug!” But it never WAS a rug. It never. WAS. A rug!
The fish itself was a plump mixture of sea bass, cod, and blackfish which my husband had expertly prepared two ways: Old Bay’d and Cajuned. We still had plenty of meat left over, both cooked and uncooked, so I hustled to put it away. We HATE wasting meat. We try and buy or catch only what we, or someone else, will eat. Usually, we give away extra meat to family or friends or, once in a while, to “Huey,” at work, who accepts my yuppie quinoa leftovers in appreciation for his bone-y South American chicken soup, which tangibly warms my soul.
Quickly, I slapped the fish in a tupperware and hustled off to the living room. I would do the dishes when the “Chef” left, I decided. (My fragile constitution could only take so much of a beating. [Bats her eyelashes innocently.])
“Thanks for dinner,” I cooly announced, and proceeded to put my feet up on the couch and pull a blanket over myself to rest. This act of blatant rudeness and inept time management enraged him.
“You’d better clean the dishes!” he growled. And then, he left for bed.
Okay, sure honey. I will do the dishes.
Just let me rest my eyes.
I woke up, on the couch, at 4am, with my contacts still in and the lights completely on. Oooopsiessss, I thought. And then I walked to the kitchen. “Well at least I put the fish away,” I grinned.
There, maxxing on the counter, in clear blue Tupperware, was the fish!! I’d never stuck it in the fridge, after all!
My God: my husband was right! He had cooked good and edible food, and now it was inedible and bad. I actually DO cook backwards!
I panicked immediately -- the calm panic, though, of a quiet, peaceful, pre-dawn morning.
“I’ve got an idea,” I decided. I would slip the fish into the refrigerator, as though nothing had ever happened (or not happened).
I certainly wouldn’t eat it, since I knew how long it had been out of the fridge, but he would probably be fine. What ya don’t know can’t hurt ya, right?? My mind flashed back to an old boss once eating cold cuts from a conference room platter that had been sitting out for 13 hours or more. It could be done. He should be fine.
Or, he might get very sick. My poor hubby. If he died, would that make me guilty of manslaughter, or criminal negligence? What do those terms actually mean? “I knew that your kitchen skills would kill me,” he would probably hiss from his sickbed.
He might succumb, he might not. One thing, though, was certain. If I told him I left his fish out overnight, our home would become a war zone for a week.
I snuck from the house and took a walk.
When I returned, there he was: awake, conciliatory, getting ready for work. His eyes, no longer flashing triggering signs of anger and frustration, were calm and puppyish and confidently gentle. I love this man, I remembered; I cannot make him sick. I cannot poison my husband.
But I also couldn’t tell him what I’d done. So I embarked upon a plan.
Step one was to walk around, naked. You know, to loosen up his gears.
For step two, I approached him, softly. “Hey honey,” I said. “We still have so much uncooked fish in the fridge… What if I bring in your fish from last night to some people at work?”
He thought about it for a solid thirty seconds, calculating in his mind, while I twirled my hair and parted my lips.
“Yeah okay,” he said. “You can do that.”
I sprinted to the fridge, whipped out the fish, wrapped it in an opaque plastic bag, shoved it in the garbage, and thanked my lucky stars. I was a frickin genius!!! For, if I put my husband in the hospital, then who will cook us dinner?
And that, friends, is how I saved my husband’s life.
(You’re welcome sweetie! Love you!!!)