Monday, October 10, 2011

My First Dinner With My Husband As Newlyweds: Pilot Lights, Spiders And A Pizza


As I prepare dinner for my family (now, two adults and three children), I am sometimes taken back the year 2000.  My husband and I married in June 2000, and, after carrying out a time-honored tradition of being a "June Bride", I was now a married woman and was embarking on a new adventure in life. 

I didn't know that so many of my adventures would be in the kitchen.  Or, that so many would involve the use of a fire extinguisher. 

My husband and moved into our first apartment together just a few days before we were married.  It was a small apartment, just big enough for two newlyweds and a few pieces of furniture.  I was excited!  I was getting married, I was finishing up college and the world was my oyster.  And I being the Southern born and bred bell that I am, felt like a pearl.  I just couldn't wait to start this next chapter of my life! 

I remember our first meal together at home, as husband and wife.  I had gone to the grocery store (with coupons!) and had purchased enough food for two people for two weeks.  Looking back now, I realize I bought enough food for an entire naval fleet and thankfully have fine-tuned my couponing skills since. 

Taking some tried and true advice from my mom, I planned a simple meal.  But I had been working all day and forgot to put the soup to simmer in the crockpot before I left for work that morning.  But I knew I could put the ingredients into a soup pot and let it simmer on the stove and it would just as delicious. 

Oh, if only the stove had worked. 

I came home, got all the necessary ingredients out, pulled out a brand new pot we had received as a wedding gift (thank you) and I even put on an apron. 

Lookout June, there's a new super-wife on the block! 

I poured everything into the pot, put the pot on the stove and.....what the heck?  Oh, wait, "It's a gas stove", I reminded myself.  I had grown up with an electric stove and it took about a second to figure this out.  I turned the knob to ignite the burner. 

Click, click, click.  Nothing. 

I tried again.  Click, click, click.  Nothing.  (And what is that smell?)

I returned the knob to the original position.  Click, click, click.  Nothing.  (Hmmmmm.  "This is not going well", I thought)

And I suspect a contact high. 

I turned towards the fridge, found the number for the apartment maintenance and called.  Elevator music. 

I waited patiently for another score of something I didn't recognize and finally, the phone rang and a real, live person came onto the line:

"Thank you for calling ---------------- 24 hour maintenance.  How may I direct your call?" 

I replied:  "My stove is not working." 

She replied:  "What do you mean it is not working?  Did you turn it on?" 

REALLY?!  Now why didn't I think of that?

I replied: "Yes, I have tried to turn the burner on several times and none of the stove top burners are lighting." 

She replied:  "Did you check to see if the pilot light is out?" 

I replied:  "No.  I am not sure where it is."

She replied:  "Please look in your storage closet on your deck or patio.  If it is out, you can light it yourself with a match or a lighter." 

I replied:  "I will go check.  Please wait a moment while I check."

At this point, I remember putting the phone down, getting my keys from my pocket-book, unlocking the back door, walking out onto our small, not-so-private-balcony and opening the storage door.  All I see are spider webs. 

And I cannot stand spiders! 

There is no use even attempting to look to see if the pilot light is out because it would require my sticking my hand somewhere into the midst of Charlotte's web and that wasn't about to happen.

I quickly return to the phone, inform the woman on the phone the pilot light is out and I need someone to assist me.  She seems almost delighted to inform me that it will be 1-2 hours before someone is able to assist me. 

1-2 hours?!  But this is our first dinner together!  I have soup in a pot, on the stove, and sandwiches ready to go as soon as my handsome, new husband bursts through the front door and I he asks me how my day was!  Didn't she understand?  Couldn't she help me?  Why has one of the spiders from the closet decided to enter my new apartment?

Without thinking, I reached for a paper towel to get the spider and in my doing so, knocked the entire pot of soup onto the kitchen floor.  I slipped in my effort to reach for more paper towels to clean up the mess and ended bottom first, in a pool of homemade vegetable soup.  And the spider was still in the apartment. 

I pulled myself up, trying to keep my composure and was now faced with a challenge:  I have soup dripping from my backside, a spider making its way across my living room floor and I now have to get my soggy, soup covered britches off without getting the tomato based broth onto the carpet.  Thank goodness the laundry room was right off the kitchen.  I did what a girl had to do.

I put my pants into the washing machine, turned the water on and lept across the mess in the kitchen to deal with the 8-legged pest who had entered my home, uninvited.  I moved in and cornered the spider.  He was a goner! 

And just as I was about to take aim at our uninvited house guest, I heard my husband's key in the door. 

OH MY GOSH! 

My husband walked into our apartment and saw me standing in our dining room, in striking position, without my pants on from work, and looked at me as though I had lost my mind. 

What?  Isn't this how most wives greet their husbands after a long day at work?

I didn't say a word.  I just looked at him.  Unsure if I was going to laugh, cry or scream.  I heard a voice saying "Hello?" "Hello?" 

The woman on the phone from maintenance!  I never hung up the phone!  My husband walked over to the kitchen, saw the mess on the floor, hung up the phone and took over the execution. 

And picked up the phone again and started to dial. 

"Who are you calling?"  I asked. 

"I'm ordering a pizza."  he replied. 

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