Wednesday, April 28, 2010
A Marriage Just isn't a Marriage without the Tangy Zip of Miracle Whip
My husband James and I tend to agree on most things. We’re just sickening that way. Before marriage we had the tough conversations, the ones on the “must discuss list” according to relationship experts like Dr. Phil and Father Guido Sarducci. We talked about family finances, child bearing and discipline. We discussed politics, careers, cooking, toilet seat positioning, light bulb wattage, snoring and cover stealing protocol. We covered it all.
Through frequent and exhaustive communication, James and I have become as compatible as…..as…I’ll have to get back to you. However, last night, as we lay in bed, watching Fox News and having a mutual admiration society meeting, the granite foundation of our marriage began to crumble. Oh, the horror! The origin of this destructive fault was…of all things, mayonnaise. Not ketchup. Not honey mustard dressing. Not even wasabi. It was mayonnaise.
It all started innocently, just as Greta van Susteren finished torturing Barney Frank and broke for commercial, I said, “Honey, I think I’ll make a turkey sandwich. Would you like half?”
“Yes, Love Kitten, that’d be great!” replied James.
As I patted his leg and began walking away, he added, “but can you make mine with regular mayonnaise? I can’t stand that Miracle Whip crap.”
“WHAT!?!?” My disbelief morphed into shock, which quickly turned into outrage. All these years I’d used Miracle Whip in every potato salad, pasta salad, deviled egg, pimento cheese, and not to mention the 23,547 sandwiches assembled throughout the course of our marriage.
Growing up in a militaristic household where my parents controlled every thought and morsel of food we kids were fed, I became a bit of a renegade upon moving out on my own. Having watched enough TV in my younger years, I was all too familiar with the slogan “a sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without the tangy zip….” Therefore, my first rebellious adult act was to throw out the Hellmann’s mayonnaise and replace it with Miracle Whip. My parents were stunned, refusing to speak to me at holiday gatherings and NRA meetings. I never wavered from my decision.
“How DARE YOU utter such blasphemy!? We don’t even have any mayonnaise,” I barked, throwing the remote control at James’ head.
“Yes, we do. I bought some Best Foods last week at Kroger,” he replied calmly.
Secretly harboring traitorous feelings toward my condiment choices and then going on covert grocery shopping trips? It was all too much. He might as well have said, “Honey, before we get intimate tonight, I just want you to know that I really prefer your sister. I hope you don’t mind, she’s waiting in the bathroom to replace you in bed.”
“Never mind what this is going to do to our marriage. Let’s get something straight here, Mr. I Let Condiments Come Between My Wife and Me…. there is NO Best Foods mayonnaise in Georgia. It’s Hellmann’s here. It’s Best Foods in California. I don’t know why. If you’re going to cheat on Miracle Whip, you need to call your new fling by the correct name.
The night ended with no turkey sandwiches being made. No intimacy enjoyed. All I could do was lie in the dark thinking about my legal options …just in case James had any other late night confessions involving salad dressing or pickle relish or my sister or anyone’s sister.
He says his feelings haven’t changed for me, that he loves me more today than yesterday, just like the Spiral Staircase song. Yet, I feel a hairline fracture growing between us that could one day become a continental divide.
It all makes sense, really. I remember my grandmother sitting in her rocker, her teeth positioned in her lap next to her snuff can. “Honey, it ain’t the big things that can break up a marriage. Your paw and I, we stayed strong through losing children, crops and all our savings. It’s the little things that tear you apart every time.”
My 84 year old grandfather had just left her for a platinum blond 40 years his junior. He claimed it was because he and “Riffi” both used Listerine and Grandma used Scope. But we all knew there was more to it than oral hygiene product preferences.
Today, things seem perfectly normal. But I can’t afford to let my guard down yet.
Posted by Angela Weight at 10:49 PM