Note: If you dislike funny sitcoms, here's my alternative. You won't find much humour below. It is also significantly longer than usual posts. Enjoy!
by Andrea Irvine
She grabbed her apron from the high hanging hook, and wrapped it carefully around her small waist. It was embedded with large stitched on patches of comical apples doing mundane activities. She found it amusing, but her husband didn’t get it. She turned on the burner where a large frying pan rested and poured the pancake batter in the best formed circles she could make.
Her husband sat motionless at the kitchen table, his eyes fixated on the Business section of the newspaper. “New Ways to Manage Your Equity Investments,” it read. His glasses were perched on the end of his nose, as if trying to escape his face.
The smell of the pancakes began to fill the kitchen. Some batter splattered off the pan and onto her apron, and covered one of the apple’s eyes. She quickly grabbed a damp cloth and furiously tried to rub it off. She rubbed harder, grunted, and sighed.
“Why do you wear that thing if you’re going to panic every time you get a drop of anything on it? It’s what the damned thing is for!” her husband said; his eyes still remained glued to the paper.
She threw the cloth into the sink and turned back to her cooking. She took the spatula and flipped each pancake with such force that six new splatters covered her apples. Her scrunched-up face slowly began to relax, and her forehead became increasingly moist as she turned to face him.
“Honey, do you... do you think it’s important to have full honesty in a relationship?” She stood square in front of him. “Honey?”
“Did you say something dear?”
“Could you put that paper down? I’m trying to talk to you.”
“Will you give me a minute? I only get one hour of peace every morning...” He began to quietly mumble to himself.
She exhaled loudly and went back to the pancakes. She carefully pulled them off the pan, being sure not to get any burnt edges. She knew how much he hated burnt pieces. She still hasn’t heard the end of the time that she made one side of his toast “too dark of a brown”. She piled six pancakes on his plate, and three high on her own, then placed the plates neatly on top of the decorative lace tablecloth. She poured two cups of coffee into their beige-stained mugs. She took a small bottle from the cupboard and poured a couple drops into the mug with the redder hue, and put one mug on either side of the table. She cleared her throat, but he didn’t stir. She cleared it again, this time with greater force.
He folded the top half of the paper down, revealing half of his face. “Yes?”
“Breakfast is ready.”
“I don’t think so.”
“I don’t see any butter or syrup on the table.” He put his paper back up, licked his fingers, and turned the page. He took a sip of his coffee. “And I want none of that margarine crap you tried to give me last time.”
After pulling out the butter container and bottle of syrup from the fridge and placed them in front of her husband, she pulled out her chair and took a seat. She pulled her dry pancakes closer and proceeded to cut them into tiny, manageable pieces, but didn’t take a single bite. She took a rather large gulp of her coffee, winced, and then set it on the table.
“So, I ran into Ellen today at the grocery store,” she said as she pushed the pieces of her food around her plate with her fork, “Apparently she and Dick are getting divorced.”
“Good. I couldn’t stand the bastard.” He began gesturing with his fork. “If I had to hear him go on about his heated toilet seat one more time...”
“Well, she told me that she caught him cheating on her with her daughter’s ballet teacher. Apparently, he told her that he was working late most nights, but instead he would just be at her place, screwing for hours. Can you believe that? I mean really, how could someone lie about something like that, for so long?”
“Oh, I knew about that. He’s been fucking every blonde in the neighbourhood for the last few years.” He began shoveling large bites of pancake into his mouth.
“You knew? How come you never told me?”
“Wasn’t any of our damn business. It’s his business what he wants to tell his wife and what he wants to keep secret.”
“Doesn’t explain why you didn’t tell me. You didn’t think you could at least tell your own wife?”
“Again, it wasn’t any of our business. And it’s not like I tell you everything anyway.”
He went back to devouring his pancakes without saying another word. She just sat there, staring at her husband with eyes wide open, her mouth slightly ajar. She didn’t know what to say.
He looked at her expression and swallowed the food he had in his mouth. “What? We’ve had this stupid fight before. Remember? I starting telling you the truth about everything and you didn’t want to hear it.”
“Because all the truths you were telling me were contradicting what you had told me years ago. I mean you could have just told me that...”
“Will you let it go?” he screamed. “You got three kids out of me, so you won anyway. Can I get back to my paper?”
She ripped the paper out his hands and gave him a piercing stare. “No. Honestly, what else haven’t you told me? I want to know.”
“You want to know? You honestly want me to outline everything I’ve never told you right here at the breakfast table?”
“Yes.” She leaned back in her chair, took a few more gulps of coffee and flattened her apron.
“Well, for one thing, you shouldn’t have bought that stupid apron.”
“You’ve never made that much of a secret...”
This was always how their fights began. He would make an offhand comment, usually about her apron. They would yell for another 45 minutes. She accused him of hating their children. He accused her of spending too much money on her hair.
She knocked what little was left in her coffee cup over and it splattered onto his light brown work pants. She went to storm off, up to their bedroom as usual, when he reached out to stop her. He tried to grab her by her waist, but instead grabbed a handful of her apron. She was moving so determinedly and he pulled so hard, that he tore her apron in half.
“You idiot! This apron was the one thing, the one thing, I did that you didn’t agree with, and you just had to get rid of it. But I guess you’re right. *hic* I’ll just go back to being your perfect little wife. Why don’t you get your ass out of here? You know you’d rather be at work anyway.*hic*” She ripped off the apron, threw it in the sink with the dirty cloths, and headed for the door to the living room. She briefly turned back around to her husband, looked him straight in the eye and said in her most civil tone,
“I just wanted to say that all those years that I told you I was using butter, all those years that you bragged to people about how great the butter I found was, I was actually using ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’. That ‘margarine crap’ you hate, that’s real butter, jackass.” She wiped off her hands and walked out of the kitchen.
Andrea Irvine is a 23-year-old writer from Hamilton, Ontario. After completing her English degree at the University of Ottawa, she found her true passion in the Professional Writing program. Her busy schedule of homework, TV watching and attempting to cook keeps her from her love of tea and Scrabble dates.