Saturday, January 1, 2011

Does my husband intentionally annoy me to keep me from soliciting his help in the kitchen?

My household has been awfully lazy today. A combination of staying up late to ring in the New Year with friends, being awakened in the wee hours by the storms, and finding ourselves lulled into a stupor by the heavy early morning rains caused us to sleep later than usual. Especially me. In fact, I climbed out of bed this morning to find that coffee, biscuits, and bacon awaited me, courtesy of my sweet husband.

A late breakfast led to a late lunch and then, ironically, a nap. When I woke up, it was dangerously close to dinnertime. I had no groceries and no plan. Deciding to do my small part to keep New Years Day traditions alive, I dashed off to the grocery store to buy the necessary ingredients for black-eyed pea soup and accompanying jalapeno corn muffins, one of our favorite meals.

Because time was of the essence and the ten minutes of preparation the muffins required would have seriously cut into the prep time I needed for the soup, I reluctantly asked my husband if he could please just follows the directions and make the muffins for me. Since he had already told me that the football game he was watching had ended, he basically had no excuse. He agreed. I removed the page from my recipe binder...a recipe, I might add, that he's helped me make before...and got straight to work on my chopping. Hilarity ensued. Here's a play-by-play of what took place after that point.

1. He stalled.

2. Stalled some more.

3. Detecting a hesitation in the movement of the oven drawer (while securing the muffin pan) he proceeded to rattle it around, rearrange its contents, study the drawer's design, and finally close it to resume the muffin preparation.

4. Solicited my help in selecting a "medium bowl" to house the cornbread mixture.

5. Diagnosed himself with an acute allergy to celery, due to his aversion to the stench from the stalks I was chopping.

6. Was suddenly overtaken by an intense stomach pain.

7. Complained that the onions (that I was chopping!) were bothering his eyes.

8. Farted.

9. Upon my asking if it was okay for me to blog about this experience, responded that it didn't matter. He wouldn't be able to read it anyway due to the onset of his blindess from the onions.

10. More complaints, sniffling, about the celery, onions, shallots.

11. Required a break due to the effects of the onions. (Said break involved him walking approximately 4 feet to the kitchen doorway that leads to the living room, where he watched a few minutes of ESPN.)

12. Reacted dramatically to a piercing sound that resulted from the knife meeting the plate as he chopped jalapenos.

13. Finally (roughly half an hour later) poured the batter in the cups, slid the pan into the oven, set the timer, and went directly outside to let his eyes recover.

My emotions during this entire episode ranged from gratitude to irritation to amusement to homicidal. There was a point when I almost exiled him from the kitchen, another instant when I just shook my head laughing at his OCD tendencies, and then another where I looked at the extremely sharp knife in my hands and thought about my options. Then I remembered that I look good in neither orange nor jumpsuits.

I questioned my own sanity for having asked for his assistance (because, after almost four years of marriage, this should be an experience I'm all too familiar with). I questioned (and still do) whether his actions were all intentional (as it usually only takes a few seconds of him exhibiting a general lack of urgency before I just give in and do it myself).

All in all, though, dinner was a success! His corn muffins were excellent, a little easy on the heat because he used the exact 2 tablespoon of jalapenos the recipe calls for instead of adding a little more like I often do. He declared my soup to be the best it's ever been, likely because I added a little extra hot sauce in anticipation of a milder-than-usual muffin alongside it. We even managed to get everything ready and sit down to dinner at a somewhat reasonable hour.

However I must say that, if I had it to do over again, I might just accept the fact that we'd be eating dinner at 8:30 and prepare the whole meal myself. Alone. In a stress-free, whine-free, flatulence-free environment.

Then again, what fun would that be?

Q: Does my husband intentionally annoy me to keep me from soliciting his help in the kitchen?

A: If so, it isn't working.