This week I was forced to make, with my own two gnarled hands, the Husband's Christmas Gift.
You may have heard the subway was switched off? I guess I didn't really want to ride with strangers by hitchhiking into the city (suddenly encouraged) or walk across the freezing Brooklyn Bridge (although the Media attention and free cocoa did tempt me). Ah, Manhattan, where the men are ok about boutiques and flowery gentleman-scents and even a wedge heel. You were so far away!
And with UPS drawing its blinds and locking its door in my neighborhood, clothinghewillsurelyreturn.com was not a true option anymore. So with humility, no small amount of desperation, and little more on hand than lint, saliva, and a few eyelashes, I contacted the Mormon Homemaker who lives inside of me, rent free, for assistance. As is her bent, she was happy to help.
My gift for Dan turned out beautifully, thanks to Mormon Homemaker. But something nags at me.
Dan was prickly with curiosity. He thought he had his gift figured out after I spent three days locked in the studio with my project and the kids spread out all over the floor. With his burning ear flat against the door, Dan tried to decode Em and Boo's muffled but obviously blown-away exclamations (which have never been dispensed with such profusion about my paintings) over their mother and her craftliness.
For an afternoon, Dan was convinced that I had gotten hold of his ($250.00 U.S.) El Bulli cook book and a hot plate and cooked him up a Christmas foam.
No. It's not that.
But now I'm wishing I had given Inner Mormon Girl her walking papers and turned to that Crazed Spanish Chef and his foams instead.
I wish I had made him one of two foams which may or may not be included in the 24 x 18x 4 inch, 6 pound cookbook:
1. A multigallon-sized foam with prescription strength sedative effect. Dan could take this long-lasting foam on the plane for our trip to Utah. The sizeable foam, stashed in a lined duffel, could occupy the man as he spoons at it during the long flight. With a cute ring of foam 'round his razor stubbled mouth, Dan could find peace and maybe unconsciousness, his mind distracted from that disatrous combination of tight travel factors that tends to lead to an unamusing claustrophobia very specific to Dan. A few years ago, when the world was a little different, in a plane at the tail end of a line of waiting aircraft on a tarmac, a sweaty Dan leapt around the coach-class cabin forcing the flight attendants to open the doors to let him run around outside. They did, and then let him back in when he ran his demons off.
During these times, that business gets a husband shot.
2. A foam sleeve with nutritious properties. Dan could nibble on this neoprene-like, gravy-flavored forearm foam to stave off the trembly low-blood-sugar-meanies that take over him every day at about 11:00, miles from a cafe or hotdog man. For whatever reason, Power Bars and the like get lost, or the kids snack them down and other portable foods get forgotten all around the city. A foam sleeve, then. Gravy flavored.
Oh, for a foamy Holiday. I wish I had indeed lovingly made a froth. But no. As cosmopolitan and contemporary as this city is, and as I absorb new thinking everyday, when it comes down to it, I craft.
So Merry Christmas to all of you, and especially to my husband.
And even to the Mormon Homemaker inside of me who earned her rent this month.
And a foamy New Year!