Mustard – I don’t like the taste of it, the smell of it, the look of it, the texture of it, the colour of it. It grosses me out to the max. As a matter of fact, my aversion to the condiment began inside the womb, for my mother’s cells loathe mustard as well.
My children, who are at the sweet young ages of five and seven, decide to play a prank on their old man.
They take a bottle of mustard and disguise it using their red crayons.
“Hey Dad, we got this new kind of ketchup to try. It’s really good. I think you’ll like it.”
“Um…okay. I’ll try it on my burger.” I cringe at the site of the yellow stream on my hamburger.
“Ah, kids, it kinda looks like mustard to me.”
“Dad, it’s actually ketchup. It’s made from yellow tomatoes. Try it. It’s really good.”
I take a small bite. My senses cry foul at the pungent yellow nastiness. I spit out the mustarded burger in disgust, and my kids laugh and laugh.
Days later, I come home from work.
“Hey Dad, we got you a present today.”
They hand me a mustard shirt. And they laugh and laugh.
I learned a long time ago that for my wife, lavish gifts on special occasions are not as important as sentimental cards.
So this year for our wedding anniversary, I made sure to get a card. But the store I went to didn’t have the greatest selection. I did, however, find a good anniversary card that said, “To my husband…” I purchased the card and with a little creativity, I was able to make it work. In places where the word “husband” appeared, I taped small pieces of paper and wrote “wife.” Below is a picture of my masterpiece.
Mind you, there was a new dish on the table that night, but that was the new normal. My wife had been experimenting with meals since she had been on a new health kick.
The night’s dish was vegetarian tikka masala.
The tikka masala was a lot spicier than the food I’m used to, but I was hungry that night. It didn’t taste too bad. In fact, I went back for seconds.
It was about 30 minutes later when the pain started. My chest was on fire. I gulped down a few antacid tablets, but the fire continued to burn. It burned long and it burned bright. Death was a possibility that night.
“Was there garlic in that?” I ask.
“Tomato sauce?” I ask.
“No. Diced tomatoes,” she says.
“That’s worse,” I say. “Spices? What kind?”
“It’s called garam masala.”
I look up garam masala: acidic and may cause acid reflux.
That evening, my wife— the heart arsonist—mixed in all the ingredients that contribute to my acid reflux and ignited it with a new, near-lethal weapon—garam masala.
“Honestly, I didn’t think you’d actually eat it,” she says.