I just want to know why when it is 100 degrees outside, why oh why, would John-Wayne want me to cook for him instead of going to dinner? It was hotter than the hubs of hell outside and if I cooked dinner it would be hell inside the house also. Hell for me, I can’t take the heat anyway. Our old house had a crazy old swamp cooler in the living room that worked great for that room. It was basically a fan with hay around it and a garden hose screwed into the side. The cool air never reached the kitchen area. So on this particular day, after a day’s work, no I did not want to cook, with a passion. It was against my law, against my being, against all of my beliefs.
Like I said before, I did not drive in those days, so just jumping in the car and taking myself and the kids to dinner was not an option. Damned John-Wayne, he just wanted to sit in front of the cooler, in his boxers, drinkin’ a beer and watchin’ the t.v. and have me serve him. How could he be so cruel? Did he not know that it would kill me to cook tonight? I told him. He just wanted me to cook. Damn.
I really did not think he cared about me, he surely could not love me. There was no brutality required here. I was a princess, darn him, did he not realize that? Maybe I would get my princess crown out and remind him of that fact. I mean geez, I was once Miss Tomato Queen in my teen years. Well that was an idea, why not? Maybe he would realize just what a prize for a wife he had and then he would take me to dinner.
I went up stairs to the hot bedroom and rummaged around in the back of my closet finding what I was looking for. Ah, there it was, the Tomato Queen dress and banner, along with the crown I kept in a box on the top shelf. I put on the dress made of red taffeta and green lace. It still fit, though barely. The skirt was so short, right up to my behind. Geez, it did not seem so short in my Tomato Queen years. The bodice was low cut showing cleavage. That’s alright, I thought, I still got it, why not shake it? I slipped the green satin banner across my shoulder and under my arm. The crown went on my head. I looked in the mirror, not bad for a twenty something wife and mother. On went the red high heels and down the stairs I pranced, sweating all the way.
J.W. just laughed and said, “Hey look at Ma”. Sally-O chirped, “You look pretty Mama”. I went and paraded in front of John-Wayne and the cooler to see the effect it had on him. “Well?”, I asked him. “It is such a shame to have to go cook dinner in this outfit, but off I go!” John-Wayne’s eyes got big and his mouth dropped open and he said, “hey baby”, but I just sashayed into the kitchen to begin the stupid dinner he wanted, thinking he might just stop me . Revenge is sweet sometimes. Even revenge on a big jack-ass like John-Wayne.
I pulled out pots and pans, sweating more and cursing under my breath, but trying to look and sound sweet, like the princess I knew I was. I began by filling up a big pan full of water and setting it to boil on the stove for iced tea. Next followed 2 more pans with water set to boiling for hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. I’d show that S.O.B., he could make me cook, but he would be miserable right along with me. Soon, the pans of water broke into a boil.
Steam filled the air as I added tea bags, hot dogs and macaroni, making a green salad on the side, ( I had to eat something cool didn’t I?}. I boiled that dinner at the highest levels possible, sweating like a porker as I was cooking, sweating all down the front and back of my Tomato Queen dress. At least the skirt being short was cool there, but that was it. The taffeta was sticking to my body. What an ass I was, thinking that the princess crown would make John-Wayne see me in a different light. All he wanted was a full belly, a beer, an cool area to watch his favorite shows, and maybe a little fun under the Tomato Queen’s skirt. He did not really care that I was killing myself in the kitchen with the steam and all.
Well if I was gonna be miserable, then so would he, though I felt sorry for the kids, none of this was their fault. Oh well, they were kids, they could handle it. It must have been 150 degrees in that blazing inferno of a kitchen, as I set the table. The ice in the tea glasses was melting faster than I could fill them. I slapped the sugar bowl down and went into the living room and announced sweetly, “dinner is served”. I would give him what he wanted, an obedient lovely wife. Haaa!
They all came in to fill their plates, the kids sitting down at the table while I helped them. I put some food on my plate, and turned to hand John-Wayne his iced tea. He said, “hey that looks good baby, but I don’t know why you wanna do them kids that way, making the kitchen so hot and all.” Instead of sitting down at the table, he turned and walked back to his swamp cooled couch with his plate of food, leaving me with my mouth hanging open and on fire at the kitchen table.
That is when I learned what passive-aggressive behavior was. I also learned that the revenge was wasted on John-Wayne, all it did was make me and my kids miserable. I finished up the dishes and traipsed upstairs to take off the Tomato Queen outfit and take a cool shower, thinking that I had tried more than one way to steam up the kitchen and John-Wayne both, but I was the one who ended up being steamed.