“Do you want some fish?”
“You said that you didn’t want to eat fish.”
Amanda and I are shopping. She picks up a container of olives. “I’m getting some spicy olives. Is that OK?”
“Sure, that’s fine.”
Besides being an artist, Amanda is also a caterer. She takes food preparation very seriously. So seriously that she is either asking my opinion on every single purchase or giving me a play-by-play of things she feels confident enough to buy on her own.
The trouble is, I couldn’t care less what she picks out in terms of food and have been telling her so for the last five minutes: “Honey, whatever you want is fine with me. I trust your choices and your cooking.”
But, it doesn’t help. As we walk through the grocery store, she points out the olive oil. “This is a very good price,” she says, “but we already have some at home.”
She picks up a bag of polenta. “This is for my clients,” she says. It’s like a game of “Show & Tell” at school where the child must describe every action, but I possess much forbearance towards my wife. After all, I get to eat her fantastic meals five days out of seven (I’m in the city during the week; she meets me there on Wednesdays when she makes her own meal deliveries to her clients.)
When we get to the vegetables, the questions begin again in earnest. “Do you like dill?” she asks, taking a nice-looking package of dill and waving it in my face. “It’s OK,” I say, but she has already put it back. “What, wasn’t I enthusiastic enough?” I ask, but she’s now got some mint in her hand. “Do you want to make some mint tea with fresh mint?” “Sure, why not?” I reply, but that bag has been put back, too.
“Do you like fennel?” she asks, pointing to the bin. “Yes, I love fennel,” I reply.
Finally! I have finally spoken with enough authority and enthusiasm for Amanda to react positively. She picks up the fennel and puts it in one of the two hand baskets that I’m carrying. After two dozen questions I have answered convincingly and conclusively. I have made an undeniable contribution to the shopping process!
Actually, I believe that my passivity and easy-goingness is what Amanda really wants anyway. If I were very bossy and opinionated about the food we pass by as in “Get this!” “Don’t get that!” etc., I’m sure Amanda would do all of her shopping alone.
As we head to the cashier Amanda points to the fruit. “Do we have enough fruit?”
“Yes, dear,” I reply.
“Are you sure? Would you like some bananas?”
When we’ve finally pulled up to the cashier I know that the ordeal is over. I’ve been grilled (no pun intended) over every purchase but I can now relax. Tonight’s meal, and tomorrow’s as well, will be of five-star restaurant quality.
As I grab the bag of groceries on the way out I wink at her and say, “Thanks, honey, that was fun.”