Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A primer for the next guy who marries my wife

      I'm not wishing that I won't be here to have and to hold, and to love and to cherish, but if heredity and genetics play out, then my wife will likely survive me by a good twenty years.  I would want her to remarry , if she wished, so that she could have a companion to share those years with too.  She is stubborn however and can be unforgiving, so that guy who comes along is going to have to have a fast learning curve.  I write this blog to give that guy or guys a peek inside what I have learned of her peculiarities and likes and dislikes. You'll thank me later, trust me.

     I'll start with doors.  At some point you are going to have to come into the house and you've got to know that there is only one correct way to come into this house.   It gets tricky, because you'll try to be helpful carrying groceries or something and approach the house from the back (Don't be silly, nobody comes in their front doors and if you thought that, you've got no shot with this girl, give up now)  and you will see two doors.  The closer one is a double sided French door with a curved handle that you can push down with your elbow and easily walk through the wide space and directly into our dining room. The further door is a smaller exterior door with a handle which sticks and turns as easily as opening a 10 year old jar of pickles.  When you do get it open, you are standing in a small, cramped, foyer, with no counter space to set anything down and inevitably you have to walk to the kitchen or circle back around to the dining room to set down what you are carrying.  You (and logic) would think that the better door to enter the home would be the closer, wider, and the easier to open door with convenient access to the rest of the house and counters, and you would be completely
wrong, the only "right" way to enter the house is door 2, which requires much more effort and inevitably puts you exactly where you wouldn't want to be, but there it is, my wife's first peculiarity, things get labeled "right" and "wrong" in her head pretty quickly, and you'd better learn which one is right.  This comes in handy when you are doing things like loading the dishwasher (dished pre-rinsed, but more like pre-washed, forks on the far right, facing towards you, not away, etc) or folding the bathroom towels (in thirds, not halves, so you have space between them). Scared away yet?  OK, I'll give you more.

     Wine.  You'll need this beverage if you are going to date this woman, and more of it, if you end up marrying her.  You'll start by asking her the classic question, Red or White?  She will politely reply that either is fine with her, but don't fall for it, it's a trap, the Answer is always Red.  The only reason we cellar some wine is for the white bottles that we buy or are given, as they have no shot of being enjoyed in this house, so we surround them with bottles of red, and if we get poor enough on the
Only one is correct
monthly budget, we drink them, but thankfully that doesn't happen often.  I know that we live in an area that produces better whites than reds, but she'd rather drink a bad bottle of red, than go near a bottle of white wine.   There's a perk to it though, she looks great with red wine-stained lips.  I hope you get close enough to find out.

     Cooking.  The great news here is that she loves food and derives pleasure from eating it, sometimes so much I blush when I watch her do it.   If you are a foodie, you are going to love to watch her eat a great meal.  The problem lies in her inability to realize that great food preparation requires great messes.  In 20 years of dating, I've not been able to serve her that rare steak with bernaise sauce and sauteed mushrooms, those roasted red potatoes with garlic and onion, Caesar Salad with homemade croutons, and that bundle of small asparagus spears, and make them come out of one pan, but she somehow thinks that it can happen.  She's a great cook in her own right, but either denies or forgets the fact that it takes time, space, and some cookware to make
Don't do this.
great meals.  If you do cook for her, don't be surprised when you place that gourmet meal in front of her, that it is rated by the number of pots and pans that you used (think golf, a low score here is good).  On the topic of cooking, never underestimate the time it will take you to put the food on the table.  You will be questioned unmercilessly during those few extra minutes on what you may have done to make sure dinner arrived on time.  What she truly likes for dinner, is reservations. 

     Family.  This woman lovers her family to death.  Her sisters and brothers mean the world to her, but like with any family, they have their moments when they frustrate you or create unnecessary drama.   At some point this will happen and she will come to you and vent about that minor issue, and you will think she is looking for you to agree with her, but do not do it.  Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!  Only she is able to criticize her family, if you agree, she'll quickly come back with, "Well, your family is not perfect either!" and proceed to tell you why.  I have a large, imperfect family, so I try not to make this mistake anymore.  I've found the best way to reply to this initial situation is a non-committal grunt, but do not nod your head when you do it, it's the same as agreeing.  

     Coffee.  Strong, black, and ready when she first gets up.

    Smells.  You need to know and remember that she has a very sensitive nose and palate.  If she finds a smell offensive, and there are many that she does, and you can't even smell or taste it, this does not relieve you of your responsibility to find and eliminate it.  The garbage will start to stink, to her, as soon as you take your shoes off and sit in you recliner, every time.  When nature calls and you head to the bathroom, you've simply got no options, she doesn't like the smells that you create, nor the sprays that she purchases, to cover up the smells that you create, so I'd recommend going to the bathroom at the neighbors, no, not the close one, the one way down the street.  I happen to like a local beer that is brewed with black raspberries (Shout out to Naked Dove and their Berry Naked).  My wife, however, thinks it smells like dirty feet.  She reminds me of this each and every time I order one and drink it.  I have considered, calling the brewmaster and asking if he could somehow remove the dirty feet smell, as it would be easier than to try and change my wife's mind about it.  If I had a picture of her with a wrinkled nose, smelling something offensive, I would post it right here now, but you won't need the picture, you'll see that face often. 
     Corn.  What? Yes, corn, and yes it deserves it's own paragraph. It's a straight food, but can never be an ingredient in food.  Do not over-think this one, just go with it.  Bread good, corn bread Bad.  Salsa good,
Corn Salsa, Bad.  Chicken soup good, Chicken and corn soup Bad.  Summer Salad good, Summer Salad with roasted corn, Bad.  I am convinced that she must have had a really bad experience with corn as a kid, because how can you like the taste of something, but not like it as ingredient, major or minor, in other dishes?  It's weird, right?  You'll inevitably come across a really great looking recipe that uses corn in it, and want to try it out.  Don't bother, been there, done that, got the wrinkled nose, and the comment "How many dishes did you use to make that Corn Dish?" Save yourself the hassle and have these meals out, when you are dining alone. 

     So this was 7 paragraphs on the quirks and dislikes of my wife.  If I've given the impression that she isn't worth putting up with these small things, I apologize.  The truth is, she'd be worth it, if it were a hundred paragraphs, and after I'm gone, you might get the chance to find out for yourself and reading this blog might get you far enough in the game, that she'll see the best in you too.  Good Luck!


cdyarger said...

Okay, I feel the need to comment here. First, on the "right or wrong" door to come in, the only time I have a preference is during the winter, when salt is being tracked in and ruining our hardwood floor in the dining room. THEN I would prefer the other door be used. Makes sense, right?

Next, I DO like white wine, but not as much as I like red.

Finally, the only objection I have to dirtying so many pans to cook a meal is that why can't some cleaning up be done while the cooking is being done? That's the way I do it.

Hmm, maybe I do have some quirks!! As far as the corn and the smells go, can't say much about that, I am just peculiar!!!

Great blog anyway honey!

Anonymous said...

And I quote, "Corn is a vegetable, NOT an ingredient!"

hahahaha! Great blog, Dad!

Anonymous said...

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