Happy Day Before Thanksgiving.
Are all your annual traditions idling, ready to kick into gear? Most of ours are, but I’ve attempted to short-circuit one and you’d have thought I committed a crime.
Every night before Thanksgiving, we have Chinese food. I don’t know why. It is a tradition of Basil’s childhood, one he carried into our marriage along with a penchant for leaving dirty socks ON TOP of the hamper and maintaining a condiment stock that would rival that of any supermarket.
So for 19 years, we have had our beef and broccoli before the turkey and stuffing. And then must find space in the overfilled fridge to store the leftovers.
But I digress.
Basil’s birthday is Friday and I decided this year that I would surprise him with two quarts of the award-winning chowder made by one of our favorite Cape Cod restaurants, Captain Parker’s Pub. I saw this morning that the package was out for delivery and announced over breakfast: “We’re not having Chinese food tonight.”
“What do you mean?” he demanded. “We always have Chinese food. We have to have Chinese food. I promised Catherine we would have Chinese food.”
Feeling a migraine starting to kick in above my right eye, I urged him to trust me, that come tonight he would not be missing Chinese food.
He was not easily swayed, which didn’t surprise me.
Oh, Basil claims to be spontaneous, but he cleaves to routine, especially if food is involved — sandwiches on white bread, never wheat; spaghetti over other pasta shapes; steak, not chicken; strawberry jelly, not some other flavor. Early in our marriage I attempted to substitute low-fat Hellmann’s and there was nearly an insurrection. Ground turkey in a recipe instead of beef? The complaints go on for days.
Anyway, he muttered and complained, then finally went off to run some errands while I got a bit of work done, made apple pie and started to prep tomorrow’s veggies.
When FedEx delivered the chowdah, I texted Basil, “Your dinner has arrived.”
He was very surprised to find the soup when he got home, and agreed it was the Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.
And then he left to pick up some lunch-sized portions of Chinese food to go with it.