Friday, 26 October 2012
Marital Battle #1,246
Is it just me, or does anyone else out there wage tiny wars with their spouses, significant others, roommates or whoever else you share your living space with? You know, the kind of battles that involve sheer cussedness and a lot of curses muttered under one's breath where no one really wins?
For the most part, my husband is an easy-going guy. He doesn't get worked up about things like rude grocery clerks or gas prices or characters on Homeland betraying each other. But when it comes to waging household war on me, he becomes this passive-aggressive soldier of admirable skill.
D is a great living companion in that he unhesitatingly cleans toilets, takes out the trash, and changes diapers. He never complains about any of these tasks and pretty much does them without being asked. Which is cool. What is not cool is the way he washes dishes. Because he always leaves one "to soak."
This is his way of punishing me for cooking in what he sees as an inefficient or "too fancy" way. He loves my cooking, and is thankful that I do the bulk of it around here, but when it comes to cleaning muffin pans, or scraping salmon skin off a baking sheet, he suddenly goes all rebellious on me and leaves that one nasty pan "to soak." Which means it sits there in its own greasy filth until the next day, when I attempt to do something in the sink and have to deal with said soaker myself.
Yes, I could put muffin batter in paper muffin cups, but I think they're a waste of paper. Yes, I could cook salmon on tin foil or parchment paper, but I often forget and the oil always leaks through anyway. That is not the point. The point is that my husband, dear man though he is, keeps leaving these soakers and I keep washing them.
So a few days ago, I decided to do a little rebelling of my own. I roasted a chicken the Jamie Oliver way, stuffing the space between the skin and breast meat with butter and sage, and slathering the entire bird with more butter and herbs. This made a rich, sinful butter gravy for the brussels sprouts to cook in, but it also made a helluva mess in my roasting pan, especially when the bottom skin of the chicken stuck to the pan after I lifted it out.
"I'll do all these dishes," announced D after we put the kids to bed and I was exhaustedly moping around the kitchen. "You go sit down."
"God bless you," I muttered and stumbled into the living room to flop down on the couch and read a magazine. Sometimes my husband knew just what to do and say.
The next morning, I found the kitchen in a state of shiny wonder. Except for the roasting pan hiding in the sink, full of disgusting water, chicken grease and two of my best bamboo serving spoons. Sir Soaks-a-lot had struck again.
That's IT, I thought. If buddy thinks he can get away with this, he is so WRONG. So I took the gross pan out of the sink, set it on the counter, and went about my business. I let the pan sit there all day, and after supper that night, I looked casually at my husband to see if he would mention anything. He didn't. So I said nothing as well. I put most of the dishes away in the dishwasher, washed the remaining ones and left the room. Would he take the bait?
Next morning, greasy chicken pan stared at me balefully from its place on the counter.
"Dude, SERIOUSLY?" I yelled to no one, since D and the kids were gone. I emptied all the water out of the pan, because the thought of chicken grease mould was even more disgusting to me than chicken grease water. Then I set it back on the counter. That's right, my friends. I put it back. Two could play this game. But only one could win.
Last night, I filled the dishwasher while D put the kids to bed. I looked at greasy chicken pan. It was starting to smell a bit funky. The chicken skin was beginning to curl up around the edges. But was I going to wash it?
No. Freaking. Way.
It's still sitting on my counter as I type this. I swear it's whispering to me in a chicken-ish voice, trying to coax me in there to give it "just a rinse or something." But I have vowed that there is no way in hell I am going to wash that stupid thing. Mr. Soaks-a-lot is going to be taught a lesson even if it kills us both from mould poisoning.
Do I love my husband? Yes. Is this a pointless, childish game we're playing after six years of marriage? Yes. Am I going to win?
You bet your greasy chicken pan booty I am.
This is what I came home to last night after a lovely evening out with the girls:
And this is what I woke up to this morning after cooking some beef simmered with tomatoes and wine:
I think I won the battle. But I might be losing the war.