"What?" I said to my Sweet Sven.
"Weren't you listening?"
"Of course, I was listening."
"Then why don't you know what I just said."
"What was it?"
"You said something about spaghetti?"
"Let me start over," he says.
And then he told me a lunch story.
"I figured out how to reheat spaghetti in the microwave without it splattering all over."
This was an interesting sentence coming from a man who has never reheated anything without splattering it all over.
Unless I happened to be standing there.
Staring at him.
I snapped to attention.
I couldn't believe that he'd finally figured out the old napkin trick. The one that I'd been trying to teach him for thirty-two years of wedded bliss.
"What's your secret?" I said, all knowingly.
"Noodles on top."
What? Did he just say, Laces Out?
"What?" I said, out loud. "Are you talking about that movie?"
"What?" he said.
"Millie," he says all serious. "You know how I hate putting a napkin on top of my food, because it soaks up the juice."
First of all.
I would just like to say that Sven made that up.
Second of all.
I would just like to say that when I place a napkin on top of a plate of spaghetti that I set in the microwave, it doesn't soak up the juice.
Okay, maybe the tip of the corner of the napkin once in a blue moon slops up a half a teaspoon of the good stuff, if not placed perfectly, properly.
And I mean if.
If Sven actually ever tried placing a napkin on top of his plate of spaghetti, in the microwave, even once.
What in the hell did he do?
Sit on it?
"You just have an aversion to napkins," I said, matter of fact like.
Because I was speaking factually.
Get your lie detectors out.
Sven never uses napkins.
Not even that time he received that standing ovation at the bowling banquet. And it wasn't when he got that pin for the top of our dresser either. It was for the stack of gnawed off ribs on that platter in front of him in the crowded restaurant. And all that sauce covering his face.
And how he stood up, holding his hands in the air, causing our surrounding bowling comrades to shriek.
And the women to duck.
"What?" he says, looking around in surprise like a gangster who'd just mowed over thirty people with a machine gun because he was a little moody and he didn't know what all the hoopla was about.
"Millie, I am going to the restroom," he says.
And then he gives a nod and walks out of the dining area, still with his hands in the air like a surgeon who'd just scrubbed up for surgery.
He hadn't needed a napkin that night either.
Sven has also since been banned from eating ribs in public.
And I don't make them at home.
That way he can jump in the lake when he is done.
"I put some noodles on my plate," he says.
"Yeah," I answered.
"And then I put the sauce over the top of my noodles."
"Mmm-hmmmm," I respond.
"And then, I put some more noodles on top of the sauce instead of a napkin."
Sven was never going to use a napkin.
"I figured why not?" he says. "Maybe it'll keep it from splattering all over the place. Because I know how you hate that."
"Sounds like a good idea," I said. "And?"
"It turned out perfect. And it didn't splatter."
He is still trying to win me over.
Even after all these years.
It reminded me of that time that he wrote my name in the snow with his own stream of pee.
He'd even dotted both I's.
He opens the microwave door.
It looked like it always does in there, unless it happens to be a Saturday morning and I just cleaned it.
"What's that stuff?" I said, pointing to the shit all stuck inside.
"That was already there," he says defiantly.
The writing was all over the walls.
And the door.
He'd obviously reheated the stir fry that he'd made on Wednesday, the day before.
"Very impressive," I said.
He stood there with his slow Norwegian smile emerging.
"I knew you'd like it. Anyway, I'm never using a napkin again," he says.
"So, are we going to keep a bowl of noodles in the refrigerator from now on?"
"What?" he says.
"What?" I said.
And he wonders why I don't listen to him.
Sven is just lucky that he is so cute.
Laces Out, people.