I should have been able to get ahead of her and stop her from doing what she did.
But I wasn’t. In retrospect, I suppose I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of items she brought into the house and just overlooked some of them.
Because had I noticed that hidden among all of the plastic bags she brought home from the large, 24-hour retail store in our town were ingredients for her chili, I would have headed her off at the culinary pass.
But I didn’t. So I didn’t.
It was Wednesday evening. Earlier, my wife had called me on her way home from work.
“I’m going to the large, 24-hour retail store in our town,” she said. “Do we need anything?”
“No,” I said, because — follow me here — we didn’t need anything.
Then I said, “So don’t buy a bunch of stuff just because we think we’re going to get snowed in.”
“I’m just going to get a few things,” my wife said.
“Sigh,” I said.
Any time my wife hears a weather report calling for as much as snow flurries, she acts as if we live on the frozen tundra in the Northwest Territories and buys enough supplies to last us until the spring thaw, which she somehow believes won’t come until late July.
I tried to tell my wife that the forecasted freezing rain was only supposed to last a little while, but she interrupted me.
“You never know,” is what she said.
I wanted to say: “You know what? I do know. I know that you always buy a bunch of stuff we don’t need, and then it sits in our pantry or our freezer until we have to throw it out to make room for all the stuff you buy the next time snow flurries are in the forecast.”
But I didn’t. Because whenever I’ve said that in the past, my wife hasn’t listened to me.
So about an hour and a half later, my wife walked into our kitchen carrying a bunch of plastic bags full of stuff we didn’t need and dropped them on the floor.
“I’ll be back,” she said and went back to her car and brought in more bags. She repeated this process about five more times.
To help out, I decided — while my wife was unloading her car — to make room in our refrigerator.
I took a beer out of the refrigerator.
As a veteran husband, I have developed a motto when it comes to my wife’s snow flurries shopping. Here is that motto: You bought it. You put it away.
It is, I think, a good motto.
The only problem with the motto is by not helping my wife put away the roughly six-month supply of food that she purchased, I didn’t notice her chili ingredients.
It’s important to note that there is a considerable difference between ingredients for my wife’s chili and ingredients for my chili.
Here is that considerable difference: I like my chili. I do not like my wife’s chili.
To be fair, my wife prefers her chili to mine. Although that hasn’t always been the case. For years, my wife said she loved my chili. Until she found the recipe for her chili. Then she dropped my chili like — well, like a bowl of hot chili.
Things like that happen in a marriage. At some point, a husband might — using a purely hypothetical example — announce that he can’t stand his wife’s roast beef. And the wife will not take it personally, understanding that her husband is merely reflecting the ebbs and flows of marriage.
So anyway, whenever one of us feels like chili, we say, “I’m going to make chili,” which means, “I’m going to make my chili, not yours,” turning the other person into a chili hostage.
All of this to explain why, Friday night, we had my wife’s chili for dinner.
Oh well. It could have been worse.
We could have had her roast beef.