Hello, my name is Annie Dear, and I am an enabler.

Hello, my name is Annie Dear, and I am an enabler.


By now you all know my darling husband, Sir. I think I’ve given you a pretty accurate description of his pros and cons by now, so I thought I would share with you his latest exploits proving that you’re never too old to be a kid again, despite the fact that his brand of child occasionally tends more toward the temper tantrum, pouty-bottom-lip-type brat, rather than the adorable angelic ankle biter I know he can be. Well, I keep telling myself that anyway. There’s a halo-auraed kid in there somewhere, I just know it.


He was quite a brave little soldier in that he actually volunteered to go the store one day last week to get dinner so that I didn’t have to stop on my way home.


Together we decided steak would be just the thing, especially as I had marinated some earlier this month with a spectacular result, though I do say so myself. This was to accompany a side salad, and corn on the cob – his favorite vegetable as he so often reminds me.


The phone rang as I was knee deep in bills at the office.


“Do I get the three pack corn?”


Drawing a breath, I instructed him to get the husk-on corn, not the naked kind, as it is much easier to prepare. (Throw ear of corn in microgroove, cook 4 minutes, cut bottom off, squeeze husk, ear of corn plops with no silk whatsoever on the plate. Voila. Done.)


“Well, where is that,” he hrumphed.


I feel I’m about to get a whole lot of long suffering hrumphing on this little expedition, but I figure that which does not kill you only makes you stronger. I’m not sure who was going to be killed in this exercise – it could be him when I brain him with the frying pan later on, or it could indeed be me, laid out flat by my ever increasing blood pressure.


“Go to the salad bar. Look towards the bakery department. On your left is a huge binful of husk-on corn.”


“Well, how many do I get?” I’m surprised he could get that sentence out coherently as it was obvious he was about to trip over his bottom lip, so long was it getting with his ill-humor.


Advising him that I did not, in fact, eat corn on the cob, I gently suggested he buy as much corn as he would like to consume. Or words to that effect.


“And what steak do I get?” I can feel him now kicking the corn crib with his unlaced shoe now.


“Ribeye, dear – that’s what we like, remember?”


I am now feeling like Joyce Grenfell in one of those old St. Trinian’s movies made back in the ’60s in Britain. She was a jolly hockey sticks kind of woman who would try swinging recalcitrant teenagers over to her way of thinking by the use of enforced gaiety.


“What marinade do I get?”


I think he is now chewing gum, kicking his shoe against the bin, and staring at the floor.


“Call me when you get home and I will walk you through it (petal, dear heart, love of my life, pain in my rump).”


Five minutes pass. “Ring, ring.”


“(Big sigh) OK, what do I do now,” spoken as if I’d had him on a doozy of a honey-do list lasting four days.


“Get a plate …”


“What size plate?”


“One which will hold both steaks, dear.” Hrumph.


“Now get the salt and pepper and grind some onto the plate.”


“How much?”


“Well, don’t go berserk with the salt, but a good old grind will do.”


“What now?”


Oh, I’ve hit the hard part now.


“Go to the pantry.” (Even longer sigh – more long-suffering than before.) “What next?”


“See on the top shelf the bottle of black gritty stuff – grab that and the olive oil. Now sprinkle some of the black gritty stuff – just a bit – on the plate, and drizzle the olive oil over the plate.”


“Well, now, how much is a drizzle?”


Biting my inner cheeks, I suggested a drizzle was more than a dab, but less than a flood.


“Is there more?”


“Well, yes, sweetheart, there is. You need to put the steaks on top of all of that and press down so it gets all over the underside of the steaks.”


On a roll, I kept going, hoping that a general sweeping statement would get me through the next piece of arduousness. “Now repeat the process.”


“What do you mean?”


Oh my, serenity now! “Grind the salt and pepper, add the black gritty stuff and a drizzle of olive oil (and don’t you dare ask me how much is a drizzle!).”


“What now?”


“Cover it and put it in the fridge.”


“What do I cover it with?”


Oh Lord! With a frilly frickin’ pillowcase and a woolen sweater, you clot!


“Try the plastic wrap, or if you really can’t deal with that, the aluminum foil (and don’t you dare ask me where it is, it’s where it has always been for the 13 years we’ve lived in this house).”


I know his game – he tries to make it so difficult for me that I won’t ask him again.


Think again, pet lamb. Think again.