A few days ago, I saw a few bags of groceries on the table that my wife had bought and hadn’t put away. In one bag, I found two large jars of chunky peanut butter. I couldn’t believe it.
In my cupboard were six large jars of extra chunky peanut butter, all with a few spoonfuls missing. I couldn’t understand why we needed more. More than that, I couldn’t understand why we didn’t have any regular peanut butter.
Later, when I saw Barbara, I asked about it. She said, “I like extra chunky.”
I asked her why she needed to buy more when we already had several opened jars already. She didn’t have an answer. They were on sale.`I won’t write about that attitude just now. It will cause a problem in my marriage.
I’m not the only one in the house that likes creamy. They like it chunky or creamy. She will not eat creamy. Funny thing is, it’s the creamy peanut butter that I buy that disappears and it’s the chunky that stays in the cupboard forever.
It’s not just along the peanut butter front that we have this difference. I was making the family pancakes the other day. I asked her how many she wanted.
She said, “Does it have corn in it?”
I said, “No.”
“Then I don’t want any. I don’t like it if there isn’t something in it.”
Her meatloaf is full of chunky stuff: bell peppers, onions, and one or two things I can’t identify. It’s so full of stuff that it doesn’t slice. It crumbles into a pile.
There has to be a metaphor in all of this, something that explains us in some way. My wife’s worshippers will be upset at me for this, but I think I know what it all means.
I like things simple. She likes things complicated. I think it’s no more or less than that.
Take chili for example. My mother made a very spicy chili that I grew up loving. Everyone on my side of the family, even the step-family, loved it. When we would visit my stepfather’s family when I was a boy, they would beg my mom to make her chili. She grew up in New Mexico, so chili must be made hot.
It’s very simple. It has beans, meat, onions, and chili powder. There’s not much too it. As long as you use the right chili powder and the right proportions, it’s a hit with most people.
Barbara likes it, although she has Oregon taste buds and milds it down way too much. One day, she made some and served it up to the family. She had added all sorts of other stuff to it. She complicated it. She’s the only one in the family who liked it that way.
If I were to write about all of the other ways that I think Barbara complicates things, I’d have to hire a divorce lawyer, so I’ll just leave it at that. For me, things are best when they are uncomplicated. I like creamy peanut butter, plain pancakes, meatloaf you can slice, and plain old chili. Life is complicated enough without adding extra ingredients.