Don’t You Just Hate it when They Go All Domestic on Ya?


Being married is a lot like having a roommate.

To promote a sense of domestic calm, and to prevent small rodents and insects from breeding in a dark corner of the living room, it helps if each person sharing the address does some form of houskeeping. One should be assigned  say, to clean the catbox, while the other cohabitor is assigned  trash removal.

In order for this system to work, each person needs to assume his/her duties  with a happy sense pride from working to create a warm and orderly home.

This  is how I think other couples live.

Not us.  No, DH is not a boor in the least.  He assumes domestic duties quite willingly.  In fact, he actually knew how to sort laundry when I met him.  Much to my surprise, it wasn’t until we were married when I discovered that I could kill a man by doing a load of laundry.

If I have a load of clothing drying, and he manages to beat me down to the basement, when he comes back up to the apartment, he invariably has the pale, wan look of someone suffering the dyspepia associated with coronary distress.

Holding up a red skirt and a pair of his white shorts, wtih the look that he just discovered evidence of some form of seedy indiscretion carried out in the backseat of his car, I know the lecture is about to start.

I smile patiently as I wait for him to proclaim his laundry edict: Clothes require proper laundry sorting. This is predicated upon  some weird calculus based on textiles and colors.  He explains as if I were a naughty school girl who spilled chocolate down the front of her school uniform,  “I keep my clothes a long time, because I take care of them.”  (So, that’s it.  if left alone, he’d wander through life wearing the same, permanently grunged out tee-shirt from college.)  I know that highlighting this fact for him will totally undo the logic of his arguments.    So I am saving it up for later.

Instead, I wait for him to breath deeply.  This is how he punctuates his logic.  When he is finally oxygenated and calm, I point out that  my system is more logical.  I sort clothing items based on the number of quarters I have.

Absolute segregation, as history has proven, is totally overrated. At least in the dryer.  Really, none of our clothes or towels have suffered any damage–and  I just saved eight quaters by making  single load–proving how thrifty I can be.  Sadly however, washing really is a different story…Once, in my zest for thriftiness, I ended up taking 2 buses to get the the bank before it closed to score enough quarters to rewash one of DH’s dress shirts that he needed for an interview the next day.  Never mind the fact that I ignored forgot his request to drop it off at the drycleaners.  When he asked,  I rolled my eyes knowing how much moneyI could save by washing and pressing it at home.

Alas, it seems there isn’t much of a call these days for clown enginers.  I had to rewash the shirt more than a couple of times to remove the tie-dyed rainbow hues.

However, drying rarely poses the same danger.  Whites washed separately really have no issue with doing a shimmy party in a dryer filled with more colorful items.  In  fact, they probably enjoy the excitement of mingling with raspberry or turquoise blouses.   Doubling up on the loads saves me enough quarters to wash laundry sorted to the most presnikity of categories.

Unfortunately, such thrift has to be kept in the closet.  While other wives watch the clock to hide their affairs with the UPS man, or their afternoon cocktails and pain pills (I’m reading Valley of the Dolls), I make sure the laundry is done before DH gets home from work.

Cooking  I find is something else best done under the stealth solitude when DH is at work.  Why? If he’s present, he suddenly morphs into a prosectuting attorney as soon as I pull out a pot.

His ears prick up as his eyes  narrow.  For a minute or two, he sits silently as he watches me cook–which is a little too easy as the TV is across from the stove.    Our tiny living room-kitchen is suddenly transformed into a courtroom where the poor pepper corns are  put on the witness  stand:

“Can you explain to the courtroom, why an entire tablspoon of you and your little pals were loitering with the Coriander in the soup over there?”

This interrogation continue with each ingredient is chopped, stirred and added to the dish, culminating with the room-clearing, “Are you sure you need to saute that first?”

Oh, look!  He has shape-shifted from Michael Cutter to Jacques Pepin!  Do I risk dulling my prized chef’s knife?   Instead, I pour him a glass of wine and sotto voce, I ask three simple questions:

1.  Do you like my cooking?  “Of course…”

2.  Do you want to finish cooking this yourself?  “of course not, yours is better.”

3.  Have I ever poisoned you?

With this, he shuffles back to the sofa to watch TV.

Happy Thanksgiving!  I’m making chestnut stuffing.  I’ll post the recipe after I figure it out!  Meanwhile, I bought real chestnuts!!  Just like Paris–or NYC!   Here’s how I roasted them:

Normally, you score an “X” in the shell to let the steam escape.  I love my knives, and this would dull the paring knife.  So,  I put a chestnut on the cutting board and took the can of cranberry relish and WHACK cracked the shell thusly.  It works like a freaking charm–plus, if your DH is pestering you as they are wont to do–this is great fun as a form of theraputic release.

Place the cracked nuts into a rimmed backing sheet filled with water, soak the chestnuts for 15 minutes, drain and pat dry.

Put them in an 450º for 2o minutes until you can smell their fragrant yumminess.

Enjoy!

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Published in: Uncategorized on November 27, 2009 at 4:37 AM  Leave a Comment  
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