The Devil in the Details
Friday, August 24, 2012
Tiz-zy [tiz-ee] ” a dither”, or “a nervous, excited, or distracted state”. Despite its resemblance to California, which is also a nervous, excited or distracted state, “tizzy” is not actually, one of the United States. The State of Tizzy, however, is where my wife, Cupcake has permanent residency, especially when there is a chance for visitors in the house. Her problem is, like many other women afflicted with that screwy Y chromosome shortage, she has an incredible memory for mundane specifics. This highlights yet another massive gap between the psyches of men and that of the… ahem… “fairer sex”.
I was thinking about wife-related tizzies, and the hot buttons that cause them, after I received a call from my sister, Lynne. The first born sib, (she refers to us as her “sublings”) she’s known within the family as, “The Duchess”. (The name has nothing to do with “Duchess Potatoes”, which are hallowed spud skins re-stuffed with potato, cheese, chives, sour cream and enough calories they get hate mail from Weight Watchers.) Lynne, it should be noted, is not above being stuffed with potatoes, cheese, chives, and sour cream, either but again, the name similarity is pure coincidence.
My elderly sister mentioned her husband, Ian and she, would be in town for a few days and began fishing for an invite for supper. Offering to bring beer and wine, was definitely using the right bait.
An old hand at Cupcake husbandry, I knew I had to confer with her before extending the invite, however. Despite rampant rumors to the contrary, I’m no fool. Even with decades of experience in the helpmeet department, I was unprepared for what followed.
I just assumed the exchange would go like this: “Hey, hon,” I’d say, “Lynne and Ian will be in town next week. Shall we invite them for supper?” “Okay,” Cupcake would respond.
Of course I should have realized no exchange between spouses is ever that simple. I could not have guessed her reaction in a million years. My bad, I’ll admit. I forgot about her mania for minutiae.
“Hey, hon,” I said. “Lynne and Ian will be in town next week. Shall we invite them for supper?” “Oh dear,” Cupcake instantly got her tizzy on. “What would we serve them?”
“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “Whatever we’re making that day, we’ll just make more of it.”
Cupcake looked at me like I’d grown an extra nostril on my forehead. “Don’t be ridiculous,” she snapped. “You don’t just thrust food at guests, you have to plan every last detail.”
“You do?” I responded in surprise. “It’s just Lynne and Ian. She may be the Duchess but she’s not actually royalty. She wouldn’t mind eating whatever.” It didn’t matter. Cupcake’s mind was already racing faster than safety would dictate for the conditions.
“The first time they came we had chicken…” Cupcake mumbled to herself, obviously looking for more intelligent conversation than I could supply. “Then we served them ham. Last time it was hamburgers.”
“How could you remember all that?” I looked at her in amazement. “Next, you’ll tell me you remember what everybody wore during each dinner.” “Actually,” Cupcake appeared thoughtful. “I probably could. Let’s see… Lynne wore a green top with…”
“Hold it,” I held up my hands in surrender. “I believe you. Why do you remember all that stuff?” “The question should be; ‘Why don’t you remember any of it?” she grunted.
“Because it doesn’t matter!” I answered louder than I intended. “I remember we had a great time and had a fire-pit and ate in the gazebo, but I didn’t pay their clothes any mind. I look at people’s eyes when I talk to them. I mean, jeepers, it’s my sister. Where else should I look?”
“The problem with men is they just don’t care about beauty. And order. And propriety,” she sniffed haughtily. “If left up to them, we’d still live in caves.” “Yeah!” I agreed enthusiastically. “Man caves! With a pool table and shuffleboard and a dart board… maybe even a little beer fridge!”
“See what I mean?” Cupcake spat. “Men!” I notice when Cupcake is angry with me, she takes it out on all men for some reason. Sorry guys. I know she’s mad at you a lot.
“How about this,” I said soothingly. “We’ve already had chicken, beef and ham. Why don’t we have seafood stir-fry with rice and Shake ‘n Bake pork ribs as an entree? I’ll even make it.” “That doesn’t sound too bad,” Cupcake hesitatingly allowed.
“I’ll wear my beige cargo shorts, that dark-brown golf shirt and white socks,” I continued insanely. “You can wear your turquoise top and cream colored Capri pants. Accessorize with the cubic… I mean diamond earrings I got you for Mother’s Day and your gold chain with your flip-flops to finish off.”
“Are you mocking me?” she surveyed my face, her eyes in full squint. “No!” I protested my iffy innocence vigorously. “I would never! I just know how much you love details, I swear!” I braced for a smiting from Above and was relieved when none came.
“Fine,” Cupcake smiled. “Invite them out and you can make supper. Fried rice might be a nice alternative to plain, maybe add in some onions, grated carrots, peas and soya sauce… not too much mind you, and maybe make some…”
Space limitations preclude me from providing every detail but I know I better get it right. She’ll remember for sure.
I fear if ever I actually figure out women, that’s the day I’ll be moving into a rubber-walled room.
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