At work the other day we had a brief discussion about deception. The consensus was that it isn’t a good thing, but, in the course of conversation, I confessed to an ongoing act of deception when I was much, much younger.
My husband (first one) worked late when my children were small, so I usually fed the children early, then kept his dinner warm in the oven. Since it was difficult to cook and care for two hungry toddlers by myself, I took shortcuts, one of which was the use of instant mashed potatoes.
One evening when my husband came home earlier than usual, he saw me using instant mashed potatoes and said, for the first time, that he didn’t like them. He said he didn’t want anything but real mashed potatoes in the future, ones that would have to be peeled, cubed, cooked for 45 minutes and then mashed. As he was the nominal head of the household, I fully intended to comply with his wishes and cook the potatoes the way he liked them. At least that was the plan.
A few days later, while I still had dry instant potatoes in the house, the children fussed about being hungry. To hurry their dinner along, I decided to cook them something quickly and fix something else later for my husband. I pulled out the instant potatoes again.
Unfortunately, I used too much water, and the potatoes were a little soupy. I tried to thicken them by adding more dry potato buds. That made them look like they should, but it also made them lumpy. None of the potato buds I'd added in the second go-round had absorbed enough liquid.
That’s when my husband walked in, early again. Before I could stop him, he stuck a fork in the bowl of potatoes and took a bite. “Mmm,” he said. “Now, that’s more like it.”
Quickly assessing my options, I kept my mouth shut. We were married for about two more years after that, during which almost all of the mashed potatoes I served him were lumpy instant ones. He never complained about them, not even once.
So, I ask you: do you blame me? What would you have done?