I know without asking Mr. Wonderful that I am not a perfect wife. Still, I can point to a few Herculean efforts over the years. Ten moves - all but one for his job - which is roughly three years of hanging curtains. I gave birth to three lovely daughters. No small effort, that. And wonder of wonders, I am finally a college basketball fan.
So, dear Lord, how can it be that one seemingly small shortcoming from more than forty Thanksgivings ago remains my all-time epic fail?
Yes, the PECAN PIE!
A bit of background: My childhood Thanksgivings consisted of Aunt June meticulously planning every detail, then sprinting between the kitchen and dining room to ensure hot gravy. Later there were pies.
When Mr. Wonderful and I made our first married home at Ft. Lost-in-the-Woods, family was far off, so "orphans" got together. But our celebrations were very different - as in less. Much less. The low point was arriving for dinner one Christmas to be told, “grab a paper plate and help yourself to what’s left on the stove. We got hungry – we ate.”
Still, there were bright spots. The best was a Thanksgiving we spent with fellow Hoosiers and their family. True, the quarters were, like ours, long ready for bulldozing, but the food was delicious and our hosts treated us like family.
I had baked pies. As we said our good-byes, I insisted that our hosts keep the remaining pie - a bit of pecan - so their family could enjoy it with the other leftovers. Mr. Wonderful seemed supportive of my impulsive generosity - until we completed the thirty second walk to our quarters.
"MY PIE! MY PECAN PIE! YOU GAVE THEM MY PECAN PIE!”
I remember his lament as if it were yesterday. Why? Because I probably heard it again yesterday. And last week. And every time we see pie on a menu. And every time someone mentions pie. And when our three oldest grandchildren decided that pecan pie is their new favorite and there were no leftovers.
You get the picture.
Never mind that for more than forty years I have made pecan pie every Thanksgiving (except the year that my kitchen was torn down to the studs). Never mind that I awake at dawn to bake the pies before putting the turkey into the oven so the pie crusts are just-baked flaky. Never mind that the pecan pies I bake after all these years of experience are surely superior to that first effort!
Nope. The memory of that first pecan pie haunts Mr. Wonderful, and as a result, me.
So, IN HINDSIGHT, here is my advice for young marrieds: you may be able to give away his too-short-1970’s-basketball-shorts. You may even be able to hide his Mario Andretti poster.
But pray, dear newlyweds, that you NEVER GIVE AWAY HIS PECAN PIE!!!!!!!!!.
NOT IF HE BECOMES DIABETIC.
NOT IF HE DEVELOPS A RAGING NUT ALLERGY THAT INVARIABLY RESULTS IN ANAPHYLAXIS.
NOT EVEN AT GUNPOINT.
UNLESS YOU WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT FOR THE