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CONFESSIONS OF A KLUTZ
9 November 2005
When I was removing clothes from the washer to put into the dryer this morning, I noticed that my red sweater had dyed my white grannie panties pink. Memories came flooding back.
I was a better wife when we first married. I actually did my husband's laundry. He eventually became frustrated with how long it took me to get things folded and put away (I was also washing clothes for several kids, more than one of whom was in cloth diapers at the time) and he took over doing his own laundry, but when we were first married, I did it myself, like normal wives do.
He was, at the time, in the Air Force Reserve. We had a few tense days around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when his unit was under the threat of being called up, but ultimately it was not and he says that he spent his military time digging holes and filling them up again.
He had finished his six months of active duty and by the time we married, he was just going to the base one weekend a month. He would leave before dawn and, in order to let me sleep, he would dress in the dark.
Soon this particular weekend, it wasn't until he got to the base, in the full sunlight, that he discovered that I had washed his uniform shirt with something red and he was wearing a pink shirt. I think it was the only time I ever remember his being openly angry with me. (Not the only time he was angry with me, but the only time he actually told me he was angry).
Not one of my shining moments.
My former classmate, who contacted me recently about our upcoming reunion, has reminded me of another "not one of my shining moments" moments. I did not attend this year's reunion for many reasons, my problems with the Catholic church one of them, and the cost another. Ultimately, based on the report that I received, I think I made a good decision, but she sent photos and I was happy to see the handful of women who showed up for the event.
I hadn't thought about it in years, but as I wrote back to her offering to host a dinner or something here for anybody who was willing to drive this far, I remembered that I did host a reunion at our house once.
It was absolutely, without question, the very WORST afternoon in my life. I was just a few days out of the hospital, after having given birth to Paul. I had invited this group of former classmates to our house for coffee or cocktails or something. Somehow they all thought they had been invited for dinner, and I was too embarrassed to let them know that this was not supposed to be a dinner, but just a cocktail party.
So I was trying to put together a dinner for some 10 people with absolutely nothing in the house. I can't remember what I served now, but I think it was dried out ham and something else.
I'm a darn good cook and though I may not be a good housekeeper, I can put together a pretty good company meal. This was definitely not one of them.
No wonder that I never heard from any of those women again after the event was over! I sort of would like an opportunity, some 30 years later, to redeem myself and prove that I really DO know how to cook!!
You couldn't have proved that by my old boss, though. When I was working for him, Fred lived alone and did his own cooking and once told me that his favorite meal was hamburgers. I was living by myself in my own apartment and had discovered a "recipe" (do you need a recipe for hamburgers?) for the very best burgers I ever ate. I don't remember what was in them now, but some wine and some other stuff.
I was so thrilled that I could make these fabulous burgers for my boss.
It was Christmastime and I had the apartment all decorated, and Christmas music playing (forgetting completely that Fred is Jewish!) and my delicious hamburgers ready to cook, to show off my culinary expertise.
Fred actually asked me to turn off the music after about half an hour of Christmas carols, and when I took the hamburgers out of the broiler, I had burned them crisp. They were as black and as tasty as hocky pucks. I can't remember if Fred ever had dinner at my house again.
I also found what sounded like a great recipe using avocados, which I love. Our friend Andrij was coming for dinner and I was going to show off. I almost never cook something I've cooked before when we have guests. I always test out new recipes on guests because generally things turn out well.
As I went to peel the avocados, they seemed a bit firm, but I went ahead with the recipe. The meal was inedible. I learned then just how gross unripe avocados can be!
I guess I'm fortunate that when I think about these various disasters, there are relatively few of them. But when I make a mistake, it's definitely memorable!
For more of my culinary misadventures, you might want to check out Martha Stewart Doesn't Live Here, four different stories I wrote a long time ago.
Should GW be impeached? Think about why Bill Clinton was impeached--for lying to congress about a sexual liaison. Then read this.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
(some of) my former classmates