Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Me? Picky? Surely You Jest!

Last night Vince and I ate leftovers for dinner. Leftovers actually make me very happy. Why, you ask? Why would anyone prefer leftovers over something freshly prepared? Well, because I don’t like doing dishes. Vince cooks a lot of great meals – my mom calls his dishes “concoctions” – and there are always tons of utensils and dishes and pots and pans to clean afterwards. And don’t get me started on the messy counters and a stove that looks like someone accidentally blew up a science experiment.

Eating leftovers, on the other hand, means washing a couple plates and forks plus a simple counter wipe-up. That, I can handle without too much complaint!

The other night when dinner was freshly prepared? I washed the same cutting board five times. Five times! C’mon – isn’t that a little excessive? Anyone with me here?! Every time Vince plucked the cutting board from the strainer to cut up something else, I glared at him a little more darkly. Like that helped. He just laughed at my expression. And, okay, so the dinner was pretty darn delicious. But I did tell him that five times was my limit and if he dirtied the cutting board one more time, there was going to be a changing of the guard and I was handing the dish soap over to him! And that was the last time he used the cutting board that night. Interesting

But anyway, we had salads with our leftovers last night, so I opened a new bottle of salad dressing that had been on sale for $1 at Kroger. And, um, it wasn’t very good. Whaddya want for a dollar – right? Well, Vince is very good at finding real bargains. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever noticed salad dressings for only $1 before. I will usually buy things on sale, but they’re my favorites. And, generally speaking, they cost more than a dollar.

There are some generic products I’m okay with, but with many products I’m pretty brand loyal. What can I say? A lot of years of trial and error got me to this place.

So, anyway, I dressed the salad, took a bite…and then made a face. It was not very good. Vince looked at me and said, “Oh, come on – if I’d put that salad dressing in another bottle, you’d never know the difference!”

“Oh, I beg to differ,” I said. “I’m a little picky when it comes to salad dressing.”

He looked at me and started laughing. “A little picky?” he managed to choke out. “Janie, you’re picky about everything!!!” Once he said that, I started laughing, too. And then the irony of that statement truly hit us and we were both in hysterics. By the time we were done laughing and had a chance to catch our breath, we were red in the face and I was wiping away tears.

Wow. I guess I am picky. I never really thought about it before. It’s a good thing I found a guy who isn’t terribly bothered by my pickiness, huh?!

Do you remember the scene in When Harry Met Sally… when Sally orders pie a la mode? She’ll take this with that on the side and the other thing, but only if it’s fresh, and if it isn’t fresh, then she’ll take something else entirely? As she’s going through her long list of directives, the waitress looks over at Harry and rolls her eyes. He just shrugs as if to say, whaddya gonna do?

Well, I sort of rolled my eyes when Sally ordered like that too. I agreed with Harry that Sally was high maintenance but thought she was low maintenance – and that was the worst kind. I felt pretty smug because I thought I was a low maintenance kinda woman. I mean, I never order like that in a restaurant.

Living on my own all those years made being picky pretty easy. I bought the stuff I liked and didn’t have to justify it to anyone. I certainly didn’t buy or order things I didn’t like. Broccoli, for example, is okay raw and in salads, but I’m not crazy about steamed broccoli. Vince can get me to eat it now, but only if he puts cheese sauce on it.

He knows not to put mushrooms in omelets or pasta. He doesn’t put jalapenos or use spicy spices in anything if he wants me to eat it. And he knows I’ll turn up my nose to cooked carrots, but that I love raw carrots. Olives are good, but mushy olives are not.

And it’s not only food that I’m picky about. I am completely brand loyal when it comes to laundry detergent, for instance. Don’t even try to point out the stuff that’s on sale. I do not care. I do not want all my clothes smelling like different laundry detergents. What’s more, the scent of laundry detergent should match the scent of the dryer sheets. Oh, and if I could get laundry detergent that smelled like my favorite perfume, I’d be in heaven!

Egads! I AM a “Sally”!

Fortunately for me, Vince is a patient man. Maybe he’s so patient because he recognizes that I was on my own for a lot of years and he understands that it takes a little time to meld two lives together. Sometimes it takes a little patience. And, okay, in my case, perhaps it takes a lot of patience.

Sometimes it also takes a little compromise. Tell you what, honey. I’ll try steamed broccoli for dinner tonight without cheese sauce…

…Okay, no...I can’t do it.

Maybe we could just have the cheese sauce on the side?!

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