Monday, December 05, 2005

Lifestyles of the Newly Married...And Cranky

Ahhh, marriage: The time spent apart because the football team keeps winning; the work stoppage on the Remodel That Will Never End means that the son of a bitch just may not ever end; the stress that is figuring out whether or not, and then how, to merge your finances which includes paying for the Remodel That Will Never End.

But hey! A look on the bright side reveals that: One) if the remodel is never done, you don't have to pay for it. That's money in your pocket! And B) that money in your pocket can be used for marriage counseling, which you obviously need now that you are both so grumpy you argue over mostly petty frustrations, because-a the house, she is-a all torn up.

Or there's always option C) in which you use that money to go out, alone together, to a nice dinner and use the time to communicate. Because you haven't spent time alone together in months and the communication, she has-a suffered. (Why am I writing as though a newly-immigrated Italian man is speaking? Why, with the stereotypes? Honestly, I watched "The Lady and the Tramp" over the weekend, and there's the Italian chefs who feed the dogs leftovers, not to mention that memorable spaghetti scene. But, for me to further a stereotype? Is so not like me. However, for whatever reason it is working for me today, and so I will go with it. Yessiree-a bob!)

Okay, not months, but certainly many, many weeks. Since the honeymoon, at least, which was seven weeks ago.

So instead of being blissful newlyweds, we are grumpy. So badly, I want to empty the boxes, I want to put things away and settle into my home. But there is no place to put things. Our dressers are in the living room, how homey can that be? We have slept on a small futon in a small bedroom crammed with other things we don't need ever since the wedding, while the garage is crammed with things we do need, but cannot find. Which is fine for a while, because we are fairly agreeable, adaptable lads and lassies. But again, it's been seven weeks.

And then there's the rest of the house, which, no matter how many hours I spend cleaning, I can't seem to get enough done to look like anything's been done, before I collapse into a pathetic pile of worthlessness. I mean seriously, how many loads of laundry can three people make in one week? As it turns out? A lot: So much laundry that I couldn't get it all done in one weekend. And I like laundry! I know that sounds weird, but to me it is soothing to have a pile of clothes before you to fold while watching a movie. Pretty soon you've got these clean, neat piles of clothes for your family and it feels so good to have prepared the clothes for them. (G-d, what am I pregnant? It sounds like I'm nesting, but in truth I just really like laundry. Always have. By the way: Not pregnant! I thank yew...)

So the thing I really hate to do is clean the kitchen. Because it's always dirty and it only gets dirty again two seconds after you've cleaned it. It is a vicious cycle: cook, clean, cook, clean, cook, clean; repeat. If only we could subsist on cereal. Hey, cereal does not require cooking! And, contains many vitamins and minerals! Guess what's for dinner? Not just tonight, but every night! Yippee!!!

So, to sum up: the entire house is a mess, with no hope of getting it comfortable until after the Remodel That Will Never End has, in fact, ended; I can no longer physically keep up with the laundry unless I were to become a full time laundress, in which case would probably kill my love for laundry and then where would I find the will to live?; I am sick of cooking; and OH doesn't like what I'm spending money to buy for our home. To, you know, make it homey-er.

Are you tired of me complaining? Because I could do it for much longer. It's free, you know. No? Oh. Well, then me, too. I am sick of it, too.

Okay then, let me tell you about my sweater. I have this great, comfy red wool sweater. I got it at a resale store for something like $5, where I regularly consign some of mine and OC's clothes. Anyway, I love it. It fits perfectly, looks great, and so using all my laundry lady astuteness, I ruined it! I washed it and then dried it in the dryer.

Before you go thinking, "You idiot! Don't you know wool can't be dried in the dryer?" In fact, yes, I did know that. I hand washed it in cold water, and then only wanted to fluff it in the dryer for a minute on low, no; nonexistent, heat. However, I forgot the fucking thing was in the dryer and so it was in there for a loooong time, fluffing and fluffing and fluffing.

I fluffed it up, all right. I fluffed it down to be a size smaller! To give you a visual, my previously cute red sweater now makes my low-rise Gap boot-cuts look like mom jeans. Oh, the humanity! You want to know what else? I've gained about 10 pounds. I think. I'm too afraid to actually get on the scale to check, but my clothes tell me the truth.

Why is it that when I'm happy, I gain weight from triflings, and when I'm unhappy, I lose it by crapping my guts out? Why is it that all I can think about is popcorn and cookies and foodfoodfood? At least I did not give in when, last night, I was craving popcorn so bad I might've traded my new Stuart Weitzman's for a buttery bag. But no, I did not give in. I guess it's time to get sad in order to lose some damn weight. Too bad there is nothing to be sad about in life right now. HA! Be careful what you wish for.

I did find a solution for the wool sweater: soak it in warm water for 10 minutes, then lay on a towel to dry in a cool place. Gently stretch and the wool will release, a little bit. I may be able to save the sweater yet. After all, I only dried it a LITTLE bit.

What else should we talk about? Hey! Here is a recipe for a very, very inexpensive dinner that is also very, very tasty. You will save so much money on this meal that you can go out and buy new shoes! No arguments over money can occur over this meal! Unless, of course, you are dumb enough to wear your new shoes to dinner.

Red Beans & Rice
2 c. rice
1 c. dry red beans (soaked overnight in 4 times the amount of water, or 2 cans red beans)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 Tb. minced garlic
1 Tb. olive oil
Frank's Red Hot Sauce
Taste of Thai Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce

Cook beans for one hour in slow boiling water. (If using canned beans, skip this step.)

Cook rice per instructions.

(Later that same day...) In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add onion and garlic. Saute until gently done, about 5 minutes. Add beans to pan, and then add Frank's Red Hot sauce and garlic chili pepper sauce liberally. I added probably 1/2 c. of each, or more. Heat it all up and then serve over rice. It's spicey, and good, and cheap thing to make. So you can afford more fabulous shoes.

It's all about priorities! And rationalizing!

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