“Sir, the cup and ½ isn’t an option. You can have a ½ and a ½…”

When I think of the surely darling children I’m going to have one day (sans the van – cool soccer mom reputation to maintain here, and yes – I DO shell out extra cash for the quality Hi-C juice boxes at practice), I can’t help but already feel for these unfortunate children with whom no one will want to trade lunches.

At best, I can put together an appallingly delicious sandwich – I mean it. That thing will blow away any previous sandwich standards, especially when the works slap you squarely into tomorrow. Tomato, lettuce, pickles, turkey, and TWO cheeses will fight a dirty and epic battle to conquer your taste buds. Place your bets now, folks.

Ok, so I know you’re thinking that you can get that sandwich anywhere. And probably with a few chips thrown in on the side, or some homemade potato salad. No doubt a pickle slice.

But, guys. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.

 I toast the bread. I TOAST the BREAD!

At worst? Well, fellow blog readers, I am ashamed to tell you that more than once a month, I open the refrigerator to find a year-old jar of peppers, three mismatching beers left behind from a game night I hosted a year ago, and what I can only assume at one time was a piece of fruit that has slowly disintegrated in the crisper drawer. On a positive note, I won’t have to add raisins to my grocery list. Ba-dumm-tumm-dshhhh. Just kidding. I don’t have a grocery list.

Ironically, on the scale of things, my best and worst are only marginally separated.

If you’re single, it’s completely acceptable to live off of sandwiches in your 20s. It’s not like I’m going to come home on my lunch hour and happily slave away in my “Commander in Chef” apron to prepare a roast that I will then slowly devour in a month’s time thanks to those new freezer bags that now offer 25 percent less freezer burn. About time, am I right? Besides the obvious glitch in that plan being that no one under the age of 75 likes roast anyways.

I fear for the day some poor guy slaps a shiny ring on my hand without even questioning why we never eat at my apartment.

Because then. ONLY THEN. A day to mark the end of an era. Sink or swim. Ride or die. Cook or be divorced after years of unhappy silence upon coming home to find an assortment of meats and toppings slapped hastily between two pieces of (perfectly toasted) white bread.

“But…we had sandwiches for lunch,” he’ll say as I hear his stomach literally whimper, acidic tears dripping from its shrunken encasement.  

 “I thought they were so good, that we’d have them again for dinner,” I’ll say, smiling brightly, for I have a surprise for him. A special dessert of the likes only I can manage. Not just any sandwich. ICE CREAM sandwiches. Hy-Vee special: two boxes for $7.50. Helloooooo, Wife of the Year.

At least, that’s how it goes in my mind.

Every Christmas at work, our department has a Thieving Santa party. Our first time around the table last year, I picked out a nice set of decorative plates for dip, alongside a blinged out spreader. Everyone fawned over them and at the time, I chuckled alongside them with seemingly utter delight while quietly having a panic attack thinking, “Now I have to make DIP?!”

When my inner temper tantrum – and the trading – subsided, I looked down rather reluctantly to find I held a crock-pot in my hands. Which, OF COURSE, no one wanted because everyone on the face of the Earth already has a crock-pot. Winner, winner, aaaaahhh, crap, I’m gonna have to make dinner.

“How lucky for you; now you’ll be able to cook easy meals for the whole family!” said the masses, eagerly sharing simple recipes hearty enough for a group of 8+. Except that it’s just me and my cat. And what’s “cooking?”

 It’s still in the box.

I have the cookbooks and the painstakingly handwritten family recipes handed down throughout the generations. I have a recipe holder in the shape of my favorite thing in the world – shoes. I have a spatula and a handful of forks. But, at the end of the day, I have absolutely no ambition to cook.

So, my cookbooks take up much needed space, my recipe holder sits restlessly atop my microwave longing for the day it’ll grip instructions for homemade lasagna, and my kitchen is just a means to get to my dining room, which is a means to get to the television.

And on the days when I’m too tired to make even the simplest of sandwiches?

Thank God for Jimmy Johns.

10 responses to ““Sir, the cup and ½ isn’t an option. You can have a ½ and a ½…”

  1. I have a depressingly pragmatic approach to food. I’ll prepare a big vat of food for lunch, and eat it every day until it runs out or ferments. If my someone points out that I’ve eaten the same thing the last four days in a row, I will point out that it’s still healthy, and makes me full, and turns in to energy (not really – I say something self-deprecating, the undercurrent of which is ‘don’t judge me’).

    I can do one non-frozen vegetable at a time. Carrots? You’re up! Next month: Romaine lettuce.

    • If I get non-frozen items, I have panic attacks every time I open the fridge. I literally hear a ticking time bomb and a little voice in my head saying, “Don’t eat the cookies – they’ll last another year! Eat the strawberries – two days until they’re covered with more fur than your average grizzly!” So it usually ends tragically, with me sobbing on the kitchen floor eating the whole bulk of strawberries for dinner so they don’t go bad. And then for a snack, I notice that the peaches aren’t looking so spry and then, well….hopefully someone comes over in time to pry the yogurt that expires in three days out of my hands.

      Cereal in milk also stresses me out. There is a five-minute window where it is crunchy and delicious. Then, what’s the point?

  2. My wife is a good and creative cook. Without her, my dinner schedule would go this way:

    Monday: Turkey sandwich

    Tuesday: Turkey sandwich

    Wednesday: Frozen pasta (sick of turkey)

    Thursday: Throw away turkey that spoiled, get chicken and rice burrito from Taco Bell

    Friday: Realize when I get home that I forgot to shop, head back out to Taco Bell for another chicken and rice burrito

    Saturday: Pizza

    Sunday: Forget about leftover pizza, eat bowl of Reeces Puffs. Ok, two bowls.

    • Everyone knows pizza is for Sundays. It goes with football (or baseball!), jammies, sheer laziness and the distinct smell of not showering for a day. Come on, oldancestor. I thought you were better than that.

  3. Never doubted your sammie making skills 🙂

  4. I would have a refrigerator that rivaled yours if my husband wasn’t a chef. And manic about a clean refrigerator. There is a loop hole for those of us girls who don’t cook and can’t…husbands who can and do! I hope one of those finds you 😉 or one who loves sandwiches!

  5. Single here too! Used to cook but have lost the gene..oh well…love it!

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