Monday, July 25, 2016

Don't Forget the Calzones

What do you tell a man that you've known for thirty years on your anniversary? I guess it depends on whether or not you love him.

Yes, I love him. 

Can I write Mike a love story with canoes and hikes and a good meal served when he's hungry? I suppose I could because that's what we have together, canoes and dogs and boys and hikes and twenty-five years on the same property in the woods?

And I can't forget the good meals. Mike loves a good meal. I'd guess his favorite are what his mother cooked for him, chicken fricassee, macaroni and cheese, and pink potato salad. We both loved that potato salad. Oh, I've learned to make those for him along with his other favorites, chicken Parmesan, Louisiana meatballs, halloumi chicken, and my calzones. My calzones are a vision with their ricotta, red sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese spilling out on the side that was cut in half and the braided look of the homemade crust where I press edges together. If all that weren't enough, I'm good with pie too, apple, pumpkin, even lemon meringue with lightly zested lemons and a tall meringue that tastes like a marshmallow.

But I know I'm not perfect. I can't tell him I've solved all of our problems, Nick's binge video games, my struggle to keep the yard from growing weeds as tall as the house, my rickety health. I wish I could, but that wasn't part of the deal.

"Did you know I was this way when you married me?" I asked him once in the kitchen when we stood on opposite sides of an old debate. Should the yard look like a forest or a golf course? I've always voted forest and you know where that puts him. Neither of us has ever won except for the summer my mother came to visit and we needed things to look acceptable in a short time. It turns out that the landscapers voted with Mike. But we debate from the same old standpoints anyway. And once in a while I ask him if he knew who I was when he married me.

"Yup," he said looking over his glasses at me.

He wasn't really angry and neither was I. And after knowing the man for thirty years, I know that this, by itself, is worth a great deal to him.

Plus the calzones. Don't forget the calzones.

Thank you for listening, jb

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