Thankfully, I know the secret to a good marriage. Learn something new about your spouse everyday, a ladies magazine extolled.
Putting this into practice has proven slightly difficult. My husband and I spend a great deal of time together. We share a room. (I realize that most couples do that.) We eat most meals together (Still not ahead on the togetherness scale, you say?) We carpool. (So?) We work together--our desks are side by side. Given all this quality time, it can be hard to learn something new everyday.
So, those days when I learn something new about J are red letter ones indeed.
When I was on maternity leave, I would lie in wait for him. I ached to speak to an adult and to wash away the banalities of the day with conversation. My husband on the other hand wanted quiet after spending the greater part of the day attempting to engage others, often teenagers. Our conversations would have a sort of jetlag quality. After the girls went to bed, I would start fast sharing all about my day,interesting tidbits from NPR, things I read here or there, ideas for recipes. When I was well into the second or third topic, J would finally pick on on the first.
It was on one of these nights that we had our strangest argument to date. I started with an interesting way to make a whole thanksgiving dinner in one oven at once, vegan pies for my daughter’s friend with food allergies, and then something from NPR about the election issues. At the last point, J looked up from his magazine. He eyes widened. The charming green of his eyes looked uncharacteristically cold. He wasn’t smiling. I rarely speak about politics. Casual conversation about political issues only serves to disquiet me. So, I braced myself for a rant about whatever issue. But, instead, J began to discuss pies with a strange earnestness.
Apparently, that evening we would be fighting about pumpkin pie. Like a high school debater, I took up the con only to improve my skills. Sacred tradition, silly obsession with lilliputian proportions, hocus pocus and weird ingredients were all uttered; I finally countered with the lowest blow—but the poor little boy has never had pumpkin pie. And, like all good marital arguments, this one ended with laughter. J had somehow missed why I wanted to make allergy-free pies. And, he wasn’t interested in denying a boy his pie.
Later I asked J why he had been so belligerent. I didn’t know you felt so strongly about pumpkin pie, I said. Neither did I, he replied.
Vegan Pumpkin Pielets or Pies if you prefer