Oh No You Didn’t!

I was a bit distracted today. Last night, as I was falling into a deep deep sleep at 8:45pm, my husband dropped a bomb. A major announcement. Something he knew would send me reeling, so he waited until I was only half concious. He told me my Thanksgiving stuffing “needs work”. Excuse me? I’m sorry what? I felt like someone dumped cold water on me. It needs work? The stuffing I’ve been making for almost two decades? The one that we never have leftovers for?? Really? Then he kept talking. “It’s not clumpy enough.” “The sausage bits are too big.” “Maybe try a new recipe.”

I pretended to continue falling asleep, when in reality I was really seething for almost 10 minutes before actually falling asleep. How dare you sir!!! 

This morning I woke up and decided to ignore everything he said. This is the dude that has been licking his plate clean every Thanksgiving for the past 18 years. All of a sudden he’s on Chopped judging my technique?? Well I would not let him derail me. I mean, really, what am I supposed to do? Test run the stuffing? What am I a newlywed? But I was tortured. Obsessed. Fine! You win husband! I’ll do a trial run.

So I went through my work calls, work emails, work work – and then at 5pm…or maybe 4:59…I went out and bought all the stuff to make test stuffing. AKA dinner.

Here’s how it went down…buy this

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Then grab the entire 8 oz of butter. Yes. All of it. Do it. I also add in some fresh sage.

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Then add in the pre-chopped onions and celery or chop it all yourself if you’re a better person than me.

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Take whatever bread you are using, cut it up into rough pieces while thinking of your husband smack talking your hard work when all he does to prep for major holidays is take a shower. Ahem. Then bake at 200 degrees for an hour to dry out.

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Start another pan and cook the sausage. Here’s a before and after of what it should look like.

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I forget to add an egg to the ingredient photo – but you need an egg. At this point you’ll mix about a 1/3 of the stock with the egg and set it aside. Then generously butter a dish because…well, you know. Because butter.

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By now the onion, celery, sage mix is golden brown and swimming in butter.

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Time to combine the bread, sausage, onion/celery/butter mix and add a generous dose of fresh parsley and sage.

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You’ll note that I don’t add any salt because the butter I use is salted and, although I’ve never actually tasted it, I imagine the sausage to be salty. The only thing you have to add is the egg/turkey stock mixture and about a cup of just the stock.

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Then, for shits and giggles, add more butter.

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Bake for about an hour and done.

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When your husband says,”Sorry I doubted you, you are the best stuffing maker on the planet.” Drop the oven mitt on the floor and walk out of the kitchen.

P.S. – Don’t forget that your family can’t have food until Sunday because of all the calories they’ve consumed on Friday night and you should give your husband a small aspirin because of all the butter intake.

Some people.

In general – I’d say about 95% of time – I run into nice people. Decent people. People who like people. Yeah there are some roadragers (is that a word?) and cranky people out there – but one on one, face to face, you usually get nice. Am I right? Am I delusional? I don’t think so. That’s why I was so shocked at a little episode we had yesterday. Let me share.

Because my husband and I are 90 and can’t stay up too late, we tend to go to a Sunday morning matinée to get our movie on. This also works because my teen and tween sleep the morning away and we make it home in time to all have an early lunch together. I love an early lunch. There are lots of other pluses to this scenario. Less crowds. Cheaper tickets. Older audiences. We love it all.

So yesterday we decided to sneak away and see Birdman. We made it there in the nick of time, got our tickets and ran to the theater. To our shock and awe – it was packed. Really packed. Friday night showing packed. My husband spotted two seats and we made our way. There were two couples separated by the open spots we wanted. We asked both couples if the seats were taken and one of them said instantly,”nope all yours.” The husband in the other couple said nothing, but the wife said,”they’re taken.” Okey dokey then. We moved on. We found seats a couple of rows behind them.

As the previews started we noticed more couples trying to find seats. They went through the same interaction with those couples as we did – and they were both turned away the same way.

The movie started. My husband leaned over and said,”there’s no one sitting in those seats. No one is coming. She lied.”

He was right. She basically just didn’t want anyone sitting there. Not a big deal right? Wrong. It takes me about two seconds to go through my emotions when this stuff happens. Disgust, anger, annoyance, and then finally, acceptance of the fact that they are not nice people. Or maybe they have some sitting-next-to-strangers disorder. Whatever. This is not the case with my husband, who is bothered to his very core, his very soul about the injustice. He grapples with their entitlement, he struggles with their complete lack of empathy for other movie goers. He’s upset. And he stays upset.

It doesn’t help that the movie is dark and sad. It doesn’t help that we have a clear sight view of this selfish couple, or that he knows the other folks turned away had to sit in the very front. Their movie going experience all but destroyed (not really).

The movie ends. He turns to me and says,” What did you think? That was great right? Oh, I’m going to say something to that couple. They should know that we know.”

In the early stages of my marriage I would have tried to talk him out of this, explained that we needed to be the bigger person etc. All that talk would have incited him even more. The other thing the talk would have done is to get him angry at me too, how could I not understand how horrible these people were? How could I not see he was right? Now, 18 years in, I say nothing. I say not one word. If he wants to say something, by all means, go for it. He is right. Some people should be called out, no matter how much of a scene it would make.

So I watched him go down the aisle, pass the couple and keep moving. When we got outside I asked him why he changed his mind, he said,” eh, some people.”

Some people indeed.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Ladysitter

I was chatting with one of the smart young women I work with yesterday. She’s getting married in less than a week and seemed so calm and relaxed. She told me her secret. She has what she calls her ladysitter.
Never heard of such a thing? Same. Apparently a ladysitter comes in, organizes her house while she works, puts up the art she’s been meaning to hang for weeks – that kinda stuff. She’s no housekeeper, no no no. She does the things that make this gal feel put together. Thank you note envelopes written out. Registry gifts sorted and tagged. Duplicates returned to the store they came from. Reminders to refresh the pantry and buy household needs. The men reading this won’t understand because you already have a mansitter. That would be your wife. Or your mother. Or your girlfriend.
If you’re gay – one of you understands this. The other thinks birthday cards get magically sent to your loved ones.
Sigh.
A ladysitter.
I want one.

How to find true love

Find someone that gets the following text from you at 6:30am after you’ve watched an episode of The Good Wife (which they don’t know) and they still answer you seriously.

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The End.

Putting my marriage at risk for you

I’m going to get in major trouble for posting this pic. But I can’t help myself. In real life, my husband looks like a serious dude. Sometimes his frown does not turn upside down – know what I’m sayin’?

But I think deep inside – he’s always smiling. Look at him doing karaoke with his aunt. Not only did he belt out a tune (Sinatra I think), but then he busted a few moves to make her laugh.

The pic is blurry so I’m hoping he won’t be too angry. He’ll be smiling on the inside when he sees this. Ahem.

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Best Decision Ever.

Ummm…can we just skip over my explanation of not writing during the last 15 days? Ok. Thanks. More importantly – I couldn’t wait to write this post. 

We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout. Really we did. Swear on June and Johnny we did.  And when we made that decision it was filled with worry and anxiety. Are we doing the right thing? Yes. Are we too young? Yes. Will we make it? I sure hope so. But once we were married and living our little life in NYC – all that worry went away. We had a great first year of marriage. Lots of traveling for work and for pleasure. Lots of painting the town red. Not a care in the world. If we wanted to eat out at 2 AM, we could. If we wanted to leave at a moment’s notice to hop a plane to a tropical island, we could. But in reality we never did. We were pretty tame. But we were happy.

Right after the holidays we decided that this would be the year we had a baby. Unlike the wedding/marriage/decision to stay together forever thing- this was an easy one. I loved kids. He…didn’t hate kids. It was perfect. We talked it through. We made a 6 month plan. We’d get our finances locked down. We’d figure out if we could stay in the apartment. We’d figure out if we needed to buy a car. We’d take part of the year to really sort it out. But we forgot something important.

I am a fertile myrtle.  My body was made for baby bearing, and I’m not just talking about my hips. Just looking at babies could get me pregnant. And indeed, just thinking of having a baby was all it took. Well, not ALL it took. I’m not magic, but you get the point. I got pregnant quickly. Supersonic preggers. Look Ma, I got skills!

We were so excited. I won’t brag about how easy breezy the first months were. No morning sickness. No nothing. Just happy little butterfly flutters in my belly. We found out what we were having, because, well, you know. I’m nosy. I need to know things.

A girl!! Exactly what we wanted.

After that, instead of a Friday night movie – we’d head to Barnes and Noble and look up baby names. There must be an Irish/Ukrainian/Indian name right? Not so much. We knew the middle name would be Anne, because 1) Indians don’t really have middle names so I was open to anything and 2) My husband’s family has a long line of strong, beautiful women with that middle name. She could have no other middle name.

But there was an Indian first name that I loved. Asha. It means wish. Not just a small, penny-in-a-fountain wish – but a deep, burning, full-of-love wish. Asha Anne? It could work. I began working on my husband, trying to convince him that this was the name for our little one. He wasn’t loving it, but I think I would have talked him into it. Eventually.

2 months into my “Asha” obsession, my husband came home from work with a deeper than usual frown on his face. Then he proceeded to tell me about a woman who’d just started in his group that was making his life miserable. Anyone care to guess what her name was? Anyone? Bueller? No? It was ASHA. What? Come on!  In the words of Vizzini in The Princess Bride – inconceivable!

Long story short, we didn’t go with that name. But we found something even better. There are so many other details about that time that fill my head.

I could tell you about my doctor (I’d never met a Hasidic Jew before and the first time we were introduced he said,” you don’t ask me why I have curls and I won’t ask you why you don’t wear a dot, ok? Loved him). I could talk about the raging postpartum depression I had that lasted for months, and then one day, just turned off like a light. I could talk about how we painted a hallway yellow and called it a baby room (it was beautiful).

I went into labor at 5am. We hopped into a cab and my water broke. The driver didn’t act surprised, #cabsaredirty. I was in labor for a bit and then she was born. I remember my husband clearly saying to me, in the midst of my epidural haze, “we’re a family”. The next few hours, days, weeks, months were a blur.

I’m sure a lot of people assumed she was a “surprise” because we were so young. None of our friends were even married, let alone parents. We lived in a city where it was normal to see a twenty year old strolling around with a baby – because she was the nanny, not the mommy.

But we were unapologetic. She wasn’t Asha, but she was. Because she was a wish. A plan. A purpose.

That was 15 years ago. There’s a ton of words I could use to describe her. She’s funny, smart, beautiful, kind, thoughtful, stubborn, careful, sarcastic, passionate, loyal – I could go on and on.  Every time someone from the outside world tells me how amazing she is, I try not to do what I naturally want to do – which is to say,” I know right?”. I just say thank you and go cry in a corner.

Happiest Birthday to my first-born. Here’s what happens when you blink.  Your baby goes from this…

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To this…

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Comedy of Errors without the Comedy

It was a simple plan.

Friday night my son had soccer practice at 6:30. I was going to drop him off, watch a bit of practice and leave.

My daughter and a friend had to go to a dance at 7:00. And by had to I mean they would have LITERALLY died without going to this dance.

My husband planned to get home from work by 6:30, join me at the soccer field so I could take off and he could take him home.

We were meeting some friends for dinner at 7:30.

We can do this. We’ve done this before, like, a million times. I’ll drop off the boy. My husband will pick him up, buy him dinner, bring him to a friend’s for a sleepover, and go straight to the restaurant. I will drop off the girls  (another mom was doing pick-up) and meet at the restaurant. All’s well.

Then here’s what happened.

When I got to the soccer field I couldn’t find our team. I know that sounds insane – but it’s a sea of 9 year boys running around a football field. And they don’t wear their uniforms for practice – thanks for asking. It also turned out that they moved from our usual spot to the back field. Anyhoo, we didn’t get there till 6:45.

At 6:50 my husband called to say there is terrible traffic. He’s not making it to the field by 7:15.

No worries, I say. I’ll stay at the field and take him back, you (I’m looking at you husband), take the girls to the dance.

Small caveat that I had to fill him in on. On the way to the dance, you have to stop by another kid’s house and pick him up too.

Another small caveat I had to fill him in on. The dance was in the next town over.

As every wife and mother out there knows, there are certain details of how we get our day done which are on a “Need to Know” basis.

“Why didn’t I know that this dance wasn’t in our town?” he asks.

“What? Who are we picking up? Where?” he shouts.

Need to know baby. As in up until now, you didn’t need to know.

I’ll spare you the “spirited” discussion and “colorful” language that flowed like water from both of us. Did I mention that we never remembered to call our friends and say we’d be late?

We did make it to dinner – at 7:45. Not bad for a total breakdown of plans and routine.

Thankfully our dinner companions laughed off the lateness when we told them our tale of woe. You see, they have grown kids, and I’m sure they were thinking,” you think it’s bad now…wait until next year.”

But they didn’t tell us that. It’s on a “Need to Know” basis.

 

 

 

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