The man standing at the kitchen counter exhibited intense concentration. The task at hand: converting Thomas's English muffins into an edible food substance. He was poised over the toaster monitoring the crisping of the symmetrical biscuit, contrasting its roundness with the bumpy crannies that lay on the open faces waiting to be anointed with butter.
There was a smallish, yellow-colored, rectangular block at rest on the counter. It was just released from a wax paper prison. With one slice from the gleaming knife, a slab was ready for application on the muffin face. The tension was palpable. One might say the anticipation could be sliced like a hot knife through, yes, butter.
Pop! Up flies the evenly browned disks, crunchy on the outside ready for transformation to a delectable treat.
The man generously spreads the butter on the biscuit and takes a bite. He chews. A look of consternation crosses his brow. Then abject disgust. He walks to the sink and projectile spits his food, slamming the half-mooned reject-of-a-biscuit on the counter. The knife jumps adding a single "tink" to the cacophony.
"What the fuck is this, Wife?" The irate Husband queries.
The Wife, sitting on the couch after a long day at life, does not flinch. She does not raise her eyes to the nonsense that she hears unfolding in the kitchen.
"Uh, what in the world are you talking about Husband?" She mildly responds after the Husband has absently slammed of a few cupboard doors and opened the freezer wide to the world.
"This is unsalted butter!" He adamantly states, vehemently declaring some monumental injustice had occurred. It was as if some crime against humanity had been committed. "We don't have salted butter in this house???" It was more of a statement with a questioning tone, but there was no mistaking the rise in the husbands vocal pitch and the frenzied tone that was emerging.
"Uh...there are two kinds in the freezer. Did you open a box of the wrong kind, Husband?" The Wife asks without emotion. She knows that both unsalted and salted butter live in the freezer. She buys both regularly.
Silence deafens the room. Then a low kind of primitive growling was audible from the Husband's vicinity.
"I think you must have grabbed the wrong kind, Husband."
The spouse returns with further agitation, "What the fuck is unsalted butter doing in our house? My Mom NEVER had unsalted butter in our house when we were kids."
"I use both kinds, Dearest Spouse. Unsalted butter is for baking. Salted for eating. You do know that the salted butter is labeled 'Salted' and the unsalted is labeled 'Unsalted'? Right? They print the words right on the package. We live in modern times, Dear."
"Don't care!!! We don't need unsalted butter in this house!!" This statement, apparently acceptable in the world of men, was not taken lightly by the Wife.
"CAN YOU EVEN READ?? They have the words printed on the package. One says salted and the other says unsalted. It's in English. You can read right? Really, it could not hurt you to look at the label once in a while before running yourself into a tizzy."
"I am throwing out all of the unsalted butter right now!!" The irrational Husband continued.
"NO. I USE the unsalted butter for baking cookies."
"My mom NEVER used unsalted butter for cookies."
"How do you know? You don't even cook. And by the way, they even put the salted butter in a blue-colored four pack and the unsalted in a yellow-colored four pack. Its color coded to prevent idiots from mistaking one for the other."
"That's it. It's all going in the trash right now." The husband had no other come back than his idle threats to control the contents of the freezer. Once or twice a year the Husband was known to go through the refrigerator and throw out half of the contents, just because he did not like them, but this evening was not to be one of those events.
"Don't even do it." The Wife stated with some measurable heat.
The Husband wisely stepped out of range of the flame thrower. The unsalted butter was left in it's rightful place and a new set of English muffins were consumed sans salted butter.
Fast forward: Two days later.
"Hey, you made some cookies!" The Husband states with noticeable happiness upon arriving home from work, seeing a loaded plate on the kitchen counter.
"Yeah, I baked cookies with the unsalted butter," The Wife confirms making a point to identify the food product requiring the use of the butter which caused so much trouble from the night before last.
The husband grabs a cookie and nibbles on it then puts the remainder in his mouth and eats it.
"What kind of cookies are these, Wife?" He inquires.
"Pumpkin chocolate chip. They are Halloween cookies or Thanksgiving cookies," the Wife replies. She is aware that something is not settling right with the Husband. She knows all to well the signs of discontent. The Husband does not hide his emotions, but rather wears them like a purple mo-hawk carved across his head.
"Why can't I just have plain chocolate chip? Actually, chocolate chip with exactly three chips per cookie. Can't you just make the dough and then individually poke three chips in on the top when you put the dough on the pan?" The audacity of this question was obviously incomprehensible to the Husband. He prattled on about how he preferred his cookies while the Wife heard his complaint.
This cookie request was not a new concept for the Wife. The wife had actually laughed about this request with her sister-in-law, who was also told that she should make chocolate chip cookies in this manner.
Then with no other alternative the Wife asked, "Are you fucking Van Halen now? They used to ask for only green M&M's in their dressing room or some such nonsense in their contract. The kids may think you are a rock star, but I am well over being star struck at this point, Husband."
"Well, I think I should get the kind of cookies that I like," the Husband somewhat flippantly to the rationale provided by his Wife. "Well, maybe not the three chip per cookie thing. Just normal cookies, OK?"
This simply stated comment held little merit with the Wife. She was the one who actually made the cookies and really only to prove a point that unsalted butter was necessary in the house. Then the Wife pulled out the card of guilt, or so she thought, "Husband, I really was hoping you would like these cookies, since I made them specially for you. You tell me how much you love pumpkin pie and this seemed like the perfect merge between cookies and pumpkins."
"No. I want plain chocolate chip."
"So sorry, I guess me and the kids will enjoy eating them instead." And the Wife's colorful wording could be heard echoing around the house, "You're an ungrateful cookie hating bastard..."
Fast forward: three day later.
Husband: "You know those cookies you made a few days ago?"
Wife: "How could I forget them?"
Husband: "Well, I have a theory."
Wife: "Oh God. What now?"
Husband: "I think next time I go to Starbucks and get you a drink, I am going to order the most fucked up combination I could possibly think of and bring it back to you."
Wife: "You are so sweet and endearing. Thanks for thinking of me."
Husband: "Really, you making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies is like me ordering a drink that you would not like at Starbucks."
Wife: "There is a difference here Husband. I DID NOT INTENTIONALLY try to make cookies that you don't like. Your action is intentional, where as mine was not."
Husband: "I think you knew I would not like those cookies."
Wife: "When was the last time you got me a Starbucks??? What? Like once last year?"
Husband: "You want decaf? Forget it! Your getting a triple espresso, extra foam, soy, peppermint mocha. I swear."
Wife: "Espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee. If you really want to mess me up you should get me some coffee instead. And I like new drinks anyway."
Husband: "Just you wait."
And this is why unsalted butter means the next time my Husband brings me a Starbucks it is going to taste strange.
I just say "Whatever..."
(p.s. This is supposed to be funny or at a minimum slightly amusing. If not, I blew it. My husband is quite the sarcastic, teasing, instigating kind of spouse. But I love him anyway.)