I got home around nine the other night and headed straight for the kitchen. Two hours of helping teach 15 kids karate had me craving hot food and hard liquor.
I skipped the liquor and studied the frozen entrées we keep on hand for such occasions. My choices were:
• Vegan enchiladas (No).
• Organic blintzes made with soy cheese and gluten-free flour (Heck no).
• Palak paneer with curried chick peas (Bingo).
I followed the complicated instructions — "Tear back film over chick peas" — and opened the microwave.
Flecks of something that might have once been food covered every surface, including under the glass turntable, which I still don't understand. "Who heated something without a cover?" I asked the room in general (and Doug in particular). I felt like I should have prefaced my question with, "Fee, fie, foe, fum ..."
"Not me," Doug said, trying to sound innocent. It was him, of course, unless the cat had grown opposable while I was gone.
Doug denies everything on principle. It must be some kind of male knee-jerk reaction. Who left the toilet seat up? "Not me." Who walked mud across the clean floor? "Not me." Who wants a Home Depot gift certificate? "Not me. No, wait. Me! Definitely me!" Sorry, too late. But thanks for playing.
But this time Doug 'fessed up: "OK, it was me," he admitted sheepishly.
"I know," I said. I always know. Everything. And he knows I know.
The next night was our "must-see TV" night. As we settled in on the couch, I did something I rarely do. I took off my glasses.
Doug didn't notice, though, because he was performing his standard TV-watching ritual: attaching the remote to his wrist with a chain and padlock lest anyone (me) wrest it from his grip while there's still breath in his body. If the TV remote and I were both drowning, and Doug could only save one of us, I'm not sure which one he would choose.
I rarely remove my specs during waking hours, especially to watch"30 Rock."I wear them 20 hours a day because my vision hasn't been 20/20 since I was in the womb. Maybe not even then; it's hard to tell because it was dark in there.
From the time I get up in the morning until around 3 a.m. — when I awake still wearing them, with a book lying on top of my face — my glasses sit squarely on my nose.
Doug asked if I'd noticed a particular set detail on"The Office."
"No," I said. "I'm not wearing my glasses."
He finally noticed-and sounded duly amazed: "Hey, you're not! But how did you know what was going on?"
"I watched the blobs of color moving around on-screen," I said, "and kept track of the characters by listening to their voices."
"I guess it's true what they say," Doug reflected, "that when one sense goes the others get more sensitive."
I went upstairs to get ready for bed. When Doug came up later I asked if he enjoyed his popcorn.
"How'd you know I had popcorn?" he asked, a tinge of fear in his voice. I merely smiled. "How does she do that?" he muttered to himself as he went to brush his teeth.
The whole house smelled like a movie-theater butter dispenser, that's how.
But don't tell Doug. Let him think I have super senses or special powers. A little mystery is good for a marriage.