Conversations from the Other Side of the World

I’m in the kitchen, making dinner.  I’ve just chopped up some mushrooms and onions, and begun stir-frying them.  Then I moved on to cucumbers and bell peppers.  The rice cooker is counting down to zero, and the microwave is reheating some popcorn chicken from the store.  Erin is in the other room, working on her lesson plans. Sam: “Hey honey?  Remind me to go to the store for more seaweed wraps tomorrow.”

Erin: “No problem.”

The rice cooker dings, indicating that it is done.  I pop it open and fan away the brief cloud of steam to find two full servings of rice, perfectly cooked.

Sam: “Man I love this thing.”

Erin: “What, the rice cooker?”

Sam: “Yes!  It’s crazy convenient, given how much rice we eat. Oh, hey, dinner’s almost ready.”

Erin: “Hmmm.  I’ll get the drinks.  What do you want?”

Sam: “Actually, could I have some more of that ginger tea?  That stuff was delicious.”

Erin: snickering “No problem.”

Sam: “What?”

Erin: “Nothing.  It’s a very manly drink.”

Sam: “Darn tootin’!”

We begin eating while watching an episode of Spaced. After a few moments, I put my fork down, frustrated.  I get up and head back to the kitchen.

Erin: “You okay?”

Sam: “Yeah.  I realized that the seaweed wraps are easier to eat with chopsticks.”

Erin: “I was just thinking that.  Get me a pair too, okay?”

Sam: “No problem.”

I pause in the doorway on my way back, holding two sets of chopsticks.  Erin sees my mildly perplexed expression.

Erin: “What’s up?”

Sam: “I’m troubled.”

Erin: “Why?”

Sam: “Well, at any point in our lives, did you imagine that you would hear me say ‘I’d like the ginger tea’ or ‘this rice cooker is awesome’ or ‘chopsticks are easier to use than a fork’ or ‘we need to buy more seaweed?’ “

Erin’s expression becomes a mirror of my own.

Erin: “Now that you mention it, no. I’m going to be honest with you and admit that it never crossed my mind that I would have reason or desire to go to a store and willingly purchase seaweed.”

Sam: “It is tasty though, isn’t it.”

Erin: “God help me, it is.”