That's my wife. Forever complaining about Onions. And Garlic. And Tomatoes. And Cauliflower. And an assortment of vegetables that I didn't even know how to recognize in their uncooked state, until the day I got married.
"I'll get some in the evening."
And that's me. Forever restocking my house with Onions, and Garlic, and Tomatoes and Cauliflower and a wide assortment of vegetables I still have trouble recognizing, so that my wife can continue to cook them and feed our small but happy family.
"Daddy, I'm having trouble with this problem."
My daughter. She's all of eleven years old. It's that exact age when she stops being daddy's little girl and becomes a woman in her own right. You might think it's a little early for that, but it's not. Do you have any idea how much smarter and ahead of us, kids are these days? I mean she's already making eyes at guys a couple of years older than her.
It scares the bejesus out of me.
"Which problem?" I said, as I looked at her book.
"This one. I'm not getting the right answer."
I spent a minute looking at her solution, and pointed out where a minus should have been a plus.
"Thanks Daddy," she said, giving me a smile, and returning to the book.
Only yesterday, it seemed, she used to give me a hug and a kiss on my cheek for things like this. Now it was just "Thanks Daddy".
"If you don't get some onions quickly, we'll be eating out tonight."
My wife was forever threatening me with the "We'll have to eat out if" line. I'd begun buying vegetables by the crate, lately, to keep her off my back. But if she didn't use them soon enough, they simply went bad. It seemed to me that I just couldn't win.
"Which is not a bad idea, if you think about it," she continued, as she came up behind me and put her arms around my neck. She'd just washed her hands, and the scent of Tropical Herbs (or so the soap bottle said) wafted through my senses. She knew exactly what to do when she wanted me to agree to something. And I was putty in her hands.
"Out again?" I asked, trying to resist, as I kissed the inside of her elbow.
"We haven't eaten Chinese in a long time," she replied, kissing me on the cheek - as if I needed any more convincing.
"Mom, Dad! Get a room!"
That was one of her favorite new phrases.
"We're just showing our love for each other, sweetheart," my wife said.
And I continued, "Yes, dear, and we waited till we got married to do this." Just to make sure. My paranoia about my daughter was getting worse everyday.
My wife sat down and looked at me with an amused expression. "Liar!” it seemed to shout.
Ours might have been an arranged marriage, but we had been meeting each other for months before we got married. We'd been very much in love by the time we actually tied the knot. And we'd stayed that way.
My daughter, for her part, blushed as she continued her homework.
"Chinese?" I asked. "Wang's Kitchen or Chen Hui?"
"What's Chen Hui?" my wife asked.
"It's a new place that's opened up next to Tucci Benucch," my daughter answered. "It's supposed to be quite hep. Can we go there please, Daddy?"
My eleven-year-old considered the place ‘hep’. I thought of it as having an 'ambience'. I wondered if there was any difference.
"Chen Hui it is."
"Yay!" my daughter shouted.
My wife just smiled.
"Well, then," I said, "I'm going to have a bath."
"No!" my wife and daughter shouted together.
"You take an hour in the bathroom, Daddy!"
"Yes, and we both have to freshen up too!" my wife chimed in.
"You," I looked at my daughter, "finish your homework, or you're not going anywhere."
"And you," I said, shifting my attention to my lovely wife, "can join me if you want to."
This time, both of them blushed.