So there I was in our extremely tiny kitchen, your honor, trying to juggle the cooking of three different dinners at once. I would like to submit that one of those meals was for the benefit of a young family with a new baby, which will be delivered this evening. The other two were for myself and my husband.
Imagine the scene: Every inch of limited counter space weighed down with casserole dishes, disposable aluminum pans, ingredients, bowls that I hadn’t yet had a moment to wash.
My brain was overloaded with varying oven temperatures, managing the timing, and figuring the most efficient usage of glass dishes.
All this at the end of my busiest and most exhausting workday of the week. The fact that I was still standing – WITHOUT EVEN THE BENEFIT OF AN AFTERNOON NAP – is shocking.
Enter The Husband, with a small load of provisions from Costco. He proceeded to place the enormous quantities of cereal, frozen berries, and cleaning supplies in their various storage spaces around the house.
That brings us to the egregious offense, your honor.
Just as I was at the breaking point of my “making three meals in a kitchen the size of a postage stamp” logic puzzle, The Husband began rummaging through the cabinet that holds our hoard of breakfast cereal, crackers, and grains. I turned to put a dish into the oven and tripped over a pile of boxes and canisters.
“Look at all this!” he exclaimed. “How am I supposed to know what’s fresh and what’s stale? All this is going to waste because we don’t even know what’s back here!”
“Yes,” I agreed, “You’re probably right. But this really is not a good time for you to tackle that project.”
His voice rose. “You mean you just want all this food to languish here until we throw it out?”
My voice matched his. “Yes. Just this moment this is exactly what I mean. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a little busy in here.”
“All you have to do is answer questions while I pull this stuff out,” he continued. He held up a tube of saltine crackers. “How old are THESE, for example?”
I gritted my teeth and tried to breathe. You see, your honor, I was trying very sincerely to remain calm in an extremely provoking situation. “I don’t know how old those cracker are,” I answered in a deliberately measured tone. “And right now I don’t care. I’m warning you to get out of this kitchen before I start kicking your pile of boxes out of here and into the living room.”
Muttering and grumbling, The Husband gave up for the moment. He gathered up a load of other Costco items and carried them downstairs to the laundry room.
Moments later he returned with a mostly-empty package of bottled water. “These were just sitting down there, right in the cupboard! How am I supposed to use them if I don’t even know they’re there?”
My patience was gone by this point. “I couldn’t care less if you use them. You’re the one that bought them. Keep track of the damn things yourself. And get them out of here – they definitely don’t belong upstairs.”
The Husband squinted at the tiny lettering on one bottle of water. “December 2016,” he read aloud. “If they stay downstairs I’ll never remember to drink them before they expire!”
Sarcasm took over. I’m not proud of it, your honor, but I think you’ll see that I was severely provoked. “Well,” I said. “You’d better set them out in a prominent place with all your other CRAP so you don’t forget you have them.” (In my defense I was only repeating his so-often stated need to have every item he owns out in plain sight at all times so he can find any little twist tie, glasses-wiping cloth, and sock at any moment.)
My sarcasm backfired, as you’ll witness in the picture below, Exhibit A:
The lining up of the water bottles was accompanied by a great deal of raised-voice complaining that all he was doing was trying to clear out messy storage spaces, an activity which I often ask of him. How dare I thwart him? The hypocrisy was glaringly obvious!
I remind you that throughout this exchange I was completely absorbed in the task of cooking meals to fill up my husband’s middle-age-spread gut.
I would like to point out that at no time did I resort to physical violence.
I merely refused to speak to my husband for two hours. I submit, however, that this enforced silence was in his own best interest, as I was perilously close to committing justifiable homicide.
I rest my case.