SMOOTHIE RULES – the marital hazards of blended fruit

It was all downhill from here...

Married life is tricky.

On this day, it all began with watermelon. Pureed, with mango, banana and strawberry.  Innocuous, right? But no. I had created a marital trap, a flashpoint to make both Mars and Venus cry. Or howl with laughter, I’m not sure which.

It happened like this:

First thing this morning, I dumped several sandwich bags full of fruit it into our monster blender, covered the lot with cranberry juice and pulverized it to a silken smoothness. Jumbo-sized, I intended to share the smoothie with my husband, but I also wanted to ensure that I had some hope of getting all my fruit servings over the course of the day. I poured myself a small glassful and wandered into our shared office.  

“There’s extra smoothie in the kitchen if you want some,” I said, holding up my glass to show him.

This was my first mistake. (Well, unless you consider “our shared office”, but that’s another story).

At 10:00 a.m., I headed back to the kitchen to pour a second cup only to find the smoothie gone. Disappeared. All 48 ounces.  I felt rather put out, not to mention hungry. Now, you have to understand that I am that rare person who has a hard time eating enough, so to have my day’s nutrition inhaled by my generous-tummied hubby was just a wee bit irritating.  

I emptied another several sandwich-bags worth of fruit into the blender (a decidedly less choice selection), covered it with plain old OJ, and flipped the switch to high speed. Pulsed a few times, and voila, Batch Number Two. I served myself a second helping and then faced a dilemma. Do I leave the remaining smoothie on the counter, vulnerable? Do I hide it? Down the lot of it in one sitting? 

I chose the middle road, knowing full well it would fail. (Have I mentioned that I am married to a litigation lawyer? Read: there is no winning this battle). I grabbed a sticky-note and slapped it on the lid: “Please leave some for me.” I drew a smiley-face underneath intending to convey a sense of cheerful spousal co-operation. I was tempted to write, “Keep your mitts off this, chubby.” But that would have been ungenerous and a decidedly poor example for my children.

Said sticky note was, of course, the second mistake. 

Obviously, he didn’t touch another drop. Not even when the generous leftovers sat stationed in the front of the fridge, overnight no less.

Later, I decide to raise the issue (third mistake). ”You were welcome to have more smoothie, my love,” I venture, “I was just-”

“I was just trying to help out,” he says.

Ah. The “just trying to help out” defence, a favourite in my husband’s arsenal. He typically unleashes it while picking roast beef from between his teeth, after he’s polished off the leftovers of a blade roast cooked with a deliberate surplus intended for a second meal.

“Yes, I realize that, my dear, but-”

 “No, next time I’ll just leave it.”

“I didn’t mean for you not to have any,” I say. “I make lots of purpose.” And then with some hesitation: “It is just that I would also like to have some myself.”

“I can’t operate like that.”

“You can’t read?”

“It is either available or it is not.”

“But I make extra portions on purpose so that-”

“No, I can’t operate like that. Doesn’t work.”

“No, what I mean is-”

“No, I can’t – “

You get the idea. I drop the subject. It is not that important. No one is dying here.  I give him a hug, or rather, I embrace him, hard, laying my head on his chest and gripping his midsection full-on for 30 seconds.  This is my daytime equivalent of not going to bed angry and I try not to grind my teeth while executing it.

The chances of his making a smoothie? Oh, never mind.

It comes up again later, oddly, in the midst of a conversation about congressmen with poor judgement and the wives who stick by them.

“That’s classy,” my husband says of those tough, chin-up wives.  

“I don’t disagree,” I reply, “but it is just a public statement, this “I stand by my man” stuff. Who knows what is really going on in their marriage, if the relationship even continues as a marriage in the private sense.”

“You have to have rules,” he says.

I look at him.

 “Smoothie rules?” I ask.

He smiles. “You can only have access to the smoothie if it has been suitably labelled. And only on even- numbered days.”

I shake my head and poke him gently in the chest.

“No, like what is mine is yours, you big doofus.”

We fall into each other’s arms laughing. No, really, we do. I laugh so hard I shake, and find a place inside where there is no possibility of clenching my teeth.