I’m not saying that marriage causes spicy curries, I’m just saying that three out of the four curries that have been too hot for me to eat have been cooked since Husband and I got married a couple years ago. Which is what happened this wedding anniversary.
It was one of those fatal meals where I knew, even before Husband dished out the food, that it was going tragically wrong.
See, my husband has bits of log for tastebuds. “Logs?” you say. “Logs,” I confirm. I know this because many years ago, when Husband was still The Last Boyfriend, he and I visited Singapore for a week during summer vacation.
This is not so long and arduous a trip as it sounds; rather, it was a short six-hour flight to that tip of the Malaysian peninsula. (All plane rides are short compared to the thirteen hours from Ohio to Tokyo.) We went there on a lark with very few plans, except for a historical tour and stop in the Raffles Hotel for dim sum and tea in a big, expensive tea party that I was very much looking forward to.
The day went alright. The tour was not actually that historical, but we were puttering happily along when we reached the Raffles Hotel. For those of you that don’t know, Raffles is a big, fancy, expensive hotel in Singapore, where they invented the Singapore Sling, a mixed drink. And so Husband and I were all dressed up and ready to act like adults at this tea. When they brought out the little trays of sandwiches, we speculated what fancy types there were. Watercress, cucumber, and oh, that one looks like tomato.
Halfway through my watercress sandwich, I looked over in time to see Husband casually shove the tomato sandwich in his mouth whole.
I waited pseudo-patiently while he chewed his mouthful and swallowed. “Good?”
“I’m going to kill you.”
But not in the Raffles Hotel, obviously. I took my own tomato sandwich and bit in like a civilized human being, rather than stuffing it in my face….
And discovered that it was not, in fact, tomato.
“Definitely liked that tomato sandwich?” I asked with a fixed grin.
Husband, sensing a trap, looked alarmed. “Yes. Very good.”
“It’s smoked salmon!”
It turns out that Husband had been doctoring his food with Tobasco sauce since I met him not for the spicy flavor, but for any flavor at all. I was dating a man with no taste buds. The list of foods he can’t tell the difference between is long and strange. Cabbage and cucumber, broccoli and cauliflower, salmon and tomato…need I go on? What Husband loves to eat is always strongly-flavored, and often spicy.
Which brings us back to our two-year anniversary curry, nearly four years after that Singapore incident.
My first inklings of disaster came when he turned to me and said, “We do have yogurt, right?”
“Well, it’s a bit spicy. You might want it.”
My suspicions bloomed. “How spicy?”
“It’s not bad.”
I needed confirmation. “Are you going to want a glass of milk with it?”
Defcon five, we have defcon five.
Of course, I was correct. In following the recipe exactly, my husband had come up with the sort of concoction that kills rats in the sewers and takes the tarnish off of silver. I managed four bites before finishing my large glass of milk and setting my fork down for good.
Husband put on his “Oh no what have I done” face and offered to make me something, anything. I suggested new tonsils, as mine seemed to have incinerated, and he wrung his hands a bit more.
“Didn’t you taste it while you were cooking?” I demanded.
“Yeah, but, it wasn’t that spicy then.”
“Foods get spicier as they cook.”
His face clearly showed that was news to him.
Husband finished his plate, but I noticed the pale sheen across his cheeks, the damp tint to his shirt around the collar. It was small consolation.
Luckily, I’d bought Drumstick ice cream cones only the day before, and the evening was salvaged with peanuts, chocolate, and a silly TV show as we cuddled close.
That is, of course, until his uncontrollable gas started.