“What shall we have for dinner?”
My wife asks me this a lot.
I am not sure why because I always tense up when she asks me the question. I think hard about what the answer should be, even after being married for 11 years. I rack my brain to try to guess what is on her mind. The meal has to be easy and quick because it’s getting late and the three kids are getting testy. And it mustn’t be pasta because that’s what I always say.
Half of the time the question is rhetorical – she answers it herself. And I sigh with relief.
The rest of the time is like now. She asks the question and then stares at me with a face that says, “Well?”
At these times my mind always draws a blank on anything but gnocchis, raviolis and spaghettis.
So I mutter my response as a meek question: “Pasta?”
That’s when without failure she throws her head into her hands and says, “Why do I ever ask you? You always say the same thing!”
This, of course, would be a good moment for me to interject and say that maybe she shouldn’t ask me the question. But I am not so stupid. That would mean a long rollicking followed by a grumpy mood and me in the doghouse. Well, I think, I am already pretty much in the doghouse so why not ask her the big question? And so I start to open my mouth to ask but then she looks up with a face that says, “I’ve got it!” and tells me what we will make for dinner. And so instead of saying anything that could change the mood, I offer to make the dinner and do the dishes.
And I sigh with relief.