Poor Kyle does not care for mushrooms. To say that he “does not care for mushrooms” is putting it mildly. In fact he hates them.
I like mushrooms. I like cream of mushroom soup, both in casseroles and just plain. (Kyle also cringes at the word “casserole.”) I like mushrooms, both uncooked and cooked, fried, baked, stuffed, and fresh. In Chinese food, on a pizza, or sauteed as a side dish with fancy steak dinners. I like mushrooms.
I do. I like them. I buy them. I cook with them.
Today, however, I made the tragic error of not chopping them up finely enough to disguise the fact they were in my salad. That was the first time I’d done that–maybe subconsciously I assumed Poor Kyle was learning to like them, since he still ate my spring rolls with mushrooms ground up so small they could have been anything.
The first time I made this mistake incidentally happened to be the first time Poor Kyle refused to eat even a bite of the dish I prepared. At first he attempted to pick the offending fungi out of the green salad. Moments later, however, he declared, “They are everywhere. I can’t even find one scoop without them!” Throwing the tongs down on the table, he moved on to eat the rice, chicken, and overcooked green beans.
Just like that, I suddenly felt I’d become the wife of a child.
He regretted it immediately; I could tell. He tried to lighten up the conversation, and complimented me heavily on my Caribbean Jerk Chicken. I was almost ready to forgive his tantrum, but then I remembered how he threw those stainless steel tongs with such fervor, and I re-committed myself to the cause of not smiling.
I still love him, to be sure. After dinner he cleared the table, rinsed his dishes *and* put them in a dishwasher, and gave me a giant hug from behind as I stood at the sink [that’s very “I Love Lucy,” isn’t it?]. But I knew that was all the apology I was going to get, so I turned around and hugged him back.
(As I type this post, he is reading over my shoulder and denying he ever felt any remorse.)
But the point is, we are married. Like, totally.
I love Poor Kyle. There is something about him, when he’s really excited about…oh, I don’t know…Christmas, or a new X-Box controller…that reminds me of Ren and Stimpy–or is it SpongeBob? I can tell when he’s in a good mood because he’ll drum his hands as fast as he can on the nearest surface–sometimes the kitchen counter; sometimes his stomach. Often, when we get to watch a new DVD together after work and dinner, he’s so excited just to be lounging that he does this goofy little dance–he stands pigeon-toed, tosses his head back, and swings his arms back and forth. It looks strangely like an Aristocat’s dance, and it’s completely contagious. He teaches me to let go of dramas on which I would normally dwell. He forgives my trespasses much sooner than I forgive his–or my own.
Poor Kyle and I–we can [and sometimes do] communicate wholly in one-syllable words and grunts:
Me: How was your day?
Me: That bad, eh?
P.K.: I know.
Me: I love you, too.
See? We just do.
My conclusion of this in-depth study? I like mushrooms–but I love him.