Shaken and Stirred
It was decades ago now when a defiant younger me actually turned serious about dating, and what I wanted out of it. That meant I had to up my game just a bit.
What better for a third or fourth date than a home cooked romantic dinner for two?
My new and still immaculate apartment even had a switch that could dim the dining room light to just the right level of cozy and set the ‘I’m crazy about you’ mood.
That afternoon I started a big ole pot of spaghetti sauce fresh out of the jar. I added a little of this and that, diced up the garlic and had to stop a time or two to taste test a couple spices (I had no clue what they were, they came with the cool spice rack I bought) before dashing them into my steaming cauldron.
From there I relaxed and let the wonderful aroma float about my new home while I staged the perfect setting at the table.
With an hour to go I fired up the electric stove to cook the noodles, a can of green beans, and some frozen garlic bread. Just as I slid the tray of bread in the oven, knuckles thumped against the front door. (Actually it was the only door.)
A smiling face that I was not ready to see yet starred back at me.
…been called a lot of things, but never too late for dinner.
“Your early,” I said not even trying to hide my shock.
“What was that you told me the other night,” she asked and then answered, “You’ve been called a lot of things, but never too late for dinner.”
“Didn’t sound like something I wanted to be either,” she finished.
And then she did something that simply scrambled my brain. Her arms flung up around my neck as she pulled me into a long…WOW type of kiss.
Our embrace broke finally when her lips felt the need to speak, rather than anything else.
“Is something burning?”
“Just my…” I started with the appropriate wise crack until my brain registered the smell.
“BREAD,” I yelped and bolted for the now smoking oven.
I flung the door open which seemed to anger the smoke alarm. Loud screaming shrieks of a banshee burst from the ceiling to add to the chaos.
Bread topped with what used to be cheese smoldered and smoked on the tray as it slide to a stop on the counter and the stove sizzled from green beans boiling over. No time to think about that when the noodles had been in for way, way too long.
A quick glance at my date revealed a panicked flight to the window to ease the growing gray cloud that filled the ceiling. Her next step was to wave my mail upwards in a vain attempt to sooth the ticked off smoke alarm, while I poured boiling water into the sink with hope of the noodles hitting my slightly too small colander.
As the smoke cleared we assessed our dinner scattered across the kitchen. Black charcoal for bread stewed in it’s own cheesy ooze, a sink full of noodles that were pretty much mush, and a pan with “browned” green beans stuck to it.
“Hey, we still have the sauce,” I happily pointed out.
The smile she flashed me told me everything I needed to know about that woman. It was one of -I can’t believe I am still standing here. Topped off with an eye roll. However, even through all the chaos, my lips (and the rest of me) still tingled from her passionate greeting.
“Should we just order pizza,” I asked sensing the sudden tension in the air.
“I think I’ll take a rain check on dinner,” she said and grabbed the suitcase she called a purse.
“Have a good night then,” I well wished her back as she walked to the door.
I sighed,”So much for romantic. I should have just ordered pizza.”
With nothing to eat but sauce, I chose to fill a bowl, add some crackers and make the best of the evening on my own.
I took my seat at the table after lighting the candles, poured myself a glass of cheap wine and placed a heaping spoonful of my own concoction into my mouth.
My body reacted even before my thoughts could swirl around the shrieking of my taste buds. It gave me the very clear understanding there was no way in hell that bite was even slightly acceptable.
The gag reflex hit and I tried to stop it. The end result was a blood spattered appearance on the dining room wall.
I learned a couple things that night:
- Spices should be left to those who know what they are.
- Any woman who can’t laugh with me at myself is not worth a second date.
- Take down the smoke alarm before you start to cook.
- Don’t wait till the next morning to clean spaghetti sauce off a wall.
- On second second thought… Just Order Pizza!
Another tale worth reading is the way I met Mama : It’s All About The Screws