Monthly Archives: February 2011
I’ll admit it, one of the perks of marriage I was looking forward to was the street-cred. It really seemed like after a decade of sharing his life with me, supporting me through graduate school, and holding my hand through thick and thin, John deserved a different title than one that could be applied to some dude you met at the bar last weekend who took you out for a drink and groped you in the car. It’s still hard to believe that boyfriend is really the best the English language can do to cover the entire realm between dating and marriage.
A few years ago I experienced the deficiencies of boyfriend firsthand. John was having some issues with his car insurance, and somehow I ended up going by the insurance place to get some more information on his behalf. I wasn’t asking them to reveal details of his account – I had all the details in my hands – I was just asking clarifying questions about their policies.
I remember the lady behind the counter narrowing her eyes in suspicion at me: And why are you here asking about it instead of him? she demanded. Because he picked me up at the corner last night and now I’m just curious to know about the details of his third-party liability coverage, that’s why!! She answered my questions reluctantly and as vaguely as possible, and her eyes never resumed their relaxed state.
Contrast that with today’s experience at an institution that I would consider to hold slightly more sensitive information. I had to go to an investment company’s office to drop off a form on behalf of my mother-in-law – due to an address mix-up their mail was being sent to our house, while John’s mail was going to his sister’s house (there’s a long and boring story to explain such a colossal mix-up but I’ll spare you).
I entered their intimidatingly fancy offices – complete with a front desk about 20 feet longer than necessary and glass art on the walls – feeling every bit like an intruder. Like I shouldn’t be there. I handed over the form and explained about the addresses. This time all I had to do was say husband and mother-in-law and the eyes stayed smiling. They looked up the account, apologized for the mix-up, and ensured me they would fix it immediately.
Marriage does hold a very honoured position in society. Everyone deserves the right to those smiling eyes.*
*Luckily Canada was the fourth country in the world to grant same-sex marriage rights, but most countries in the world still do not, including (I’m ashamed to say) my normally-oh-so-progressive country of origin, Finland. They do allow same-sex partnerships that afford similar rights to marriage and are making some progress toward recognizing marriage by that name.
P.S. I asked for John’s ideas on the title and he proceeded to spend the rest of the time I was writing singing the theme song from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Apparently I was bel-aired. Like I said, street cred.
It’s been kind of a shitty week. Not in any meaningful way, just in a job-and-life-conspiring-to-make-you-pull-your-hair-out kinda way. I have not been helping my own case. See despite being a total control freak in nearly all aspects of my life, I cannot for the life of me keep track of the only three things that I need to carry with me on a daily basis: keys, cell phone, and wallet. Just three little, itty, bitty things. Seems so simple – even people who think Obama is a secret Muslim manage to do this on a daily basis! But just try and reach me on my cell phone – chances are it’s dead or then fully charged in my other jacket pocket. Or perhaps offer me a service, such as a massage, and attempt to acquire your pay in return – quite possibly my wallet will have magically disappeared from my purse where it should be!*
So this morning when I realized I had left my wallet sitting on my desk at work overnight I was not terribly surprised. It was no big deal – I collected a pile of dimes and quarters from the bowl at the entryway to pay for the bus and skipped off with a jingly, heavy pocket. Insert long day at work, lots of stats, blah blah blah.
It wasn’t until on the way home that I realized the chain reaction I had set off with that forgotten wallet. You see all that jingly change in my pocket replaced the usual jingle that should be there – my keys. They weren’t in my purse either no matter how hard I searched, hoping against hope that a secret key had sneaked into one of the pockets while I wasn’t looking. Fuck fuck fuck. I have been dreading this day: I leave before John in the mornings and do not need to lock the door on my way out so I knew forgetting my keys was only a matter of time. Of all the days to pick, this was not a good one:
- John has been under a daunting deadline and working late every night this week. Today is no exception as the deadline is tomorrow. He wasn’t going to be home until 7 pm at the earliest and it was 4:30 pm.
- He works a half hour drive away – minimum.
- I had a puppy inside really wishing for company and a walk.
- It’s -1°C outside – that’s 30°F for those of you below the 49th parallel.
I had no choice but to call in my life-line as I hung my head in shame – at least I had a charged cell phone with me for once.
Here’s the thing, when I broke the news to John that his wife is a complete failure in the adult world and he would have to interrupt his mountain of work to come rescue her, he didn’t even groan. He drove home in rush-hour traffic to let me into the house, quickly ate the guilt-sushi I had bought, gave me hugs, then drove back to work where he will likely be until some ungodly hour tonight. I can’t honestly say I would be that nice.
Somehow the sink full of dirty dishes, overflowing reycling bins, and stinky garbage that had me in a blind rage at him last night don’t seem so bad now. I think I gots me a good one. Husband that is, not brain.
*Luckily my massage therapist is nice and let me phone in my credit card number. The next day, with my face still burning from embarrassment, I brought her a tin of my favourite tea and a card that I hope screamed I am a responsible adult – I swear!!!
This is most definitely not a cooking blog, however I decided it would be just plain selfish if I didn’t share my ridiculously easy recipe for curried lentils.* It has saved me from many a take-out meal because it literally takes 2 minutes to prepare (plus a decent amount of cooking time, but I can spend that time cuddled up on the couch in a blanket so it doesn’t count). It is hearty, cozy and (gasp) also healthy. Unfortunately I can’t take credit for it – it is from the book Becoming Vegetarian by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis (original recipe halved).
To make enough for a dinner for two (and probably some leftovers to take for lunch) you need:
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- curry paste to taste (we use a couple tablespoons of mild curry paste)
- 1 cup of lentils – any colour (just adjust the cooking time as needed)
- 2.5 cups water
And to add at the end:
- 1 tbsp soy sauce OR 1/2 tsp salt
Throw ingredients into a pot, bring to boil, then let simmer covered over low heat for about 45 minutes for brown or green lentils or about 25 minutes for red. You’ll know the lentils are cooked when you can smush them against the roof of your mouth pretty easily. At the end add the salt/soy sauce and serve!
We like to have it over rice but this is totally optional (it does require you to emerge out of your blanket briefly to put on rice).
And for the nutrition-conscious among you, per 1 cup this meal contains:
- 256 calories
- 19 g protein
- 21 g dietary fibre
- 6 mg iron
- 32 units of hearty warmth (that’s 45% of your daily recommended intake)
* Hey look at that! My step dad eventually succeeded in making me eat beans!
** It wasn’t. I got so excited to take this picture that I left out step two of the recipe. Do NOT forget step two! I had to scoop these horribly bland lentils off the rice and add soy sauce to the whole mix – then it was delicious. And no you can’t cheat and combine steps 1 and 2 because salt added to cooking lentils makes them tough.