Discerning Differences

“Do we have any heavy cream?”


“Where is it?”

“In the fridge.”

Rummage rummage.

“I can’t find it.”

“Top shelf, right in front.”

“It’s not here – I don’t think we have any.”

“We have it – I just bought some.”

“Well, I don’t see it.”

I open the refrigerator door and lift the bright red carton from the top shelf middle.

“Here,” I say, handing him the carton.

“Well, you could at least pretend to have trouble finding it,” he blurts.

“Test this for salt,” he says.

I dip into the pasta water and scoop out a hot noodle , spooning it into my mouth, tasting for – something.

“It’s fine.”

“Are you sure?” he asks.

“Yes, ” I say – never certain what the right amount of salt should taste like.

And so goes a usually comfortable, sometimes testy conversation in our marriage.

He identifies flavors with finesse, yet his eyes steer him deftly around the unseen vacuum cleaner at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be carried to the second floor.

I blindly locate a Lilliputian cheese knife from the mass of tangled silver in the utensil drawer, yet the difference between Godiva and Hershey remains lost on me.

“Does this tie go with this shirt and pants?”


“It doesn’t?”

“Your tie should have a color in common with the rest of your outfit.”


“Do you like the wine?” he asks.


“How does it taste?” he presses.

“Like white wine,” I say.

There you go.

He helps me find flavors, I help him find shoes.

Home sweet home.

It works.