On the Fare that Deserves No Photo
Last night was Taco Night. I’d say it’s safe to estimate that 90% of Americans have some sort of ritualistic, at least semi-annual variation on the mass consumption of anglicized Mexican food, and I’m also guessing that with most couples, it’s the one who won’t be doing the dishes that becomes hysterical with anticipation. In our house, the enthusiastic party (or, Mr. P) enjoys an array of toppings presented in separate, identical (or at least coordinating) bowls. Dishwashers may be considered “standard” home appliances, but I’ve yet to live anywhere where that term is applicable, and subsequently have the hands of an 80-year-old. Yes, I could wear gloves, but I’m uncomfortable if unable to directly monitor the temperature of my scalding dishwater. I’ve said it before, dish soap should only serve as a backup; all germs should be boiled off upon contact with the dishpan. So Taco Night cultivates an atmosphere of mingling delight and resentment at the Peña home, especially when accompanied by a request for ground beef seasoned with Old El Paso Taco Powder, a substance I believe is more appropriately suited for arms research than oral consumption.
My preferred version of Taco Night is really more Fajita Night, with soft tortillas, herbed chicken fried with onion and pepper strips, and an austere trio of accoutrements. But I’ll trade a fajita monopoly for a happy husband. While husbands are generally thought to be lower-maintenance than wives, they do require some upkeep, like my monthly washing of an unnecessary number of bowls, and tolerance of a taco-scented bedroom for forty-eight hours. Before you get your progressive pants all twisted, I’ll point out that I didn’t say “men” and “women.” I’ve met many couples with a male wife and vice versa, or just two of one or the other. But the minute you secretly roll your eyes over your beloved’s shower-time rendition of “Empire State of Mind” or clench your jaw in fury over the offending amount of time he/she takes to select soap at the market, you can consider yourself a spouse.