Last night, this husband fixed lunch for the next day. I thought I'd be nice. The wife was busy building a website. Admittedly, not a really complicated recipe. Two ingredients. Chicken and crock pot. That's it. Place chicken in crock pot and turn it on. My kind of recipe. What could go wrong? After a while, she walks into the kitchen, scans the cutting board and immediately the transformation commences. Her feet morph into talons, her arms to wide spread eagle wings, her head now has hawk eyes and meat ripping beak and she squawks anger. It's coming at me so fast I get "salmonella," "counter top," "cutting board," and "dumb ass." "But this chicken loves me," I tell her. Ok, I shouldn't have said that. Through the machine gun rapidity of her words I catch "not taking me seriously" which around here equates to mortal sin and sleep outside.
She's gone. She's back. There's the laptop website on chicken preparation, salmonella poisoning, cleaning surfaces, wash wash wash soap soap soap and on and on. "Gee, could you say all that just a little nicer, Anna?" I ask. Out loud. And then realize it's way too late to take it back. Transformer hawk wife now goes nuclear. Wing span and talons increase exponentially, beak glows pulsing yellow, spurs sprout from heels. She's gone to the next stage of... radioactive velociraptor gigantus. Even worse, her fists are on her hips. The air is sucked from the room. Maybe I'm transforming into the naked chicken on the cutting board? The writer in me has taken cover, my vocabulary now down to oh twelve words and my blood pressure somewhere in negative territory, but I manage to mumble, "Ok. Ok. I'll fix it." It ain't much but the fire breathing machine eagle slowly swaggers out the room , x-ray eyes hawking at me as she passes. I hear her sit in the squeaky rolling chair at her work desk. There's a good thick wall between us, so I try to move quickly. Chicken in crockpot, plug in, set on low, cover, get cleaning bucket, soap soap soap, wash wash wash, lots of sloshing, cutting board, island surface, plates, the mop, might as well do the floor too, clean up the cleaning supplies and then, breathe. Listen for footsteps. Breathe again. Let another ten minutes pass for cool down period.
Afraid to enter her domain, I call out the agreed upon white-flag-of-truce statement.
"You want some tea?"
"Sure," she responds. It's only one word, but it sounds close to 'I'm-over-it' tone. So, I scout further.
"Yeah, peppermint is fine," she answers. Yes! Her tone is uplifting, almost pleasant. I pump my fists in the air twice. I survived another one. But then she calls back.
"You can stop that silly pumping your fists in the air thing."
Damn. How does she do that?