I’m not the world’s most romantic guy, but I figured I could make an anniversary dinner.
I should have known better.
Annie is a nursing assistant, and she works hard. Yet, every night when I come home, she’s got dinner ready and gives me her beautiful smile. We both have tough jobs, (I’m a foreign car mechanic) but we agreed early on: since my commute is longer than hers, she does the cooking. The other part of the agreement was: since she works every other weekend, I’d do the laundry and clean the house every weekend.
She does a much better job of fulfilling her part of the agreement than I do. Thus, for our first anniversary, I decided she deserved a wonderful anniversary dinner. And I decided it should be one she wouldn't have to cook.
I asked my boss for an afternoon off – and, surprisingly, he gave it to me. I went straight to the supermarket after work, so I could buy the things I wanted to make for her. I knew she loved salmon (have you SEEN the price of fish, lately?), brown rice and asparagus - and I wanted to make her a hot fudge sundae big and chocolate enough to satisfy her chocolate craving for a week. I bought all the stuff and went home; planning to use our Emeril cook book. How hard could it be?
When Annie came home and saw me there, her glad and surprised look was reward enough for my efforts. When she heard I'd made dinner, she looked at me as though I’d suggested we fly to the moon – on a Frisbee. “You? Cook dinner?” she laughed.
When she saw the actual dinner, however, she was definitely less amused.
I did my best to follow Emeril’s salmon recipe, but the result looked nothing like the salmon dish he had so effortlessly created. My salmon looked like it was headed upstream – through a meat grinder. The rice was partially burned, and the rest of it tasted like wet burlap. Annie was wonderful about it; she gamely gnawed through both dishes.
As for the asparagus, I probably shouldn’t have left the stalks on, but they were actually better than that rancid fish and decrepit rice.
By the time we got to the dessert, I’d apologized at least a hundred times, but Annie gamely smiled through it all. And she ate it. Well, at least a little bit of each thing.
When we’d given up on dinner, I figured at least I knew the dessert would be good. Hot fudge sundaes were our favorite, and when I told her, her smile came back. “Hot fudge sundes? I can’t wait!” she told me. I went out to the kitchen, determined to make it up to her by constructing the world’s best sundaes. I figured there was no way I could mess these up. I got out the ice cream, microwaved the fudge sauce, and put the Cool Whip and nuts on top. I was pretty proud of myself.
And then, I spied the bananas. I figured they’d make a perfect addition to the sundaes. After all, Annie and I both loved banana splits. So, I peeled the bananas and began slicing them.
But, the banana peels didn’t quite make the garbage can, when I carelessly tossed them in.
One of them was on the floor, when Annie came running out to see what I was up to.
Maybe Annie will eventually forgive me for her anniversary dinner– after her cast comes off.
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