Adore The Peeve [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

One of my favorite Kerri-pet-peeves is spinach stems. Nothing will invite a rant faster or with more gusto than spinach with too-much-stem. “AHHHH! Stems!” she clenches her jaw, takes up one of the offending spinach leaves, and shakes it in my direction. “Who thinks this is a good idea!?” She narrows her eyes and looks my way, as if I designed the stemmy-leaf for maximum displeasure. I, of course, say nothing, keep my head down and eat my spinach.

A few years ago I lost a fight with a tick. In fact, I didn’t even know I was in a battle until my fever skyrocketed, my joints ached and I was babbling more nonsense than usual. We were on an island and after a few days of delirium, we took the ferry to find a doctor. The doctor ordered blood work and my panel revealed two problems. Lyme disease. Low iron. For the Lyme I received antibiotics. For the iron deficiency, I received advice: eat more spinach.

We may or may not have had spinach in our house before I took the doctor’s advice. I don’t think so or I would have known about the stem-peeve. I confess that it delights me. We have spinach with our breakfast. It hides under the potatoes which hide under the egg. “Oh NO!!!” Kerri cries aloud, “It’s spinach day!” And suddenly, my wife is 5 years old, pouting. That’s where my delight enters. I get to see what she was like as a kid. Knitted brow. Clenched fists. “You didn’t tell me it was spinach day!”

Her childhood nickname, I am told, was “Brat.”

I offer to eat the spinach by myself. After all, it is my deficiency. “No!” she crosses her arms and stares at her plate. A challenge. Solidarity. I offer to cut off the stems of her spinach. “No.” Bottom lip thrusts forward. Stem suffering brings absolution or builds character or…

Of this, I am certain: her spinach-stem-pet-peeve will be a future smack-dab. No doubt. I’m drawing the panel in my imagination even as I write. It’s too adorable not to share.

[20 tells me that real men don’t use words like “adorable” and he worries for my machismo. Of course, he finishes his admonishment by telling me that he recently used the word “cute” and finds that we two are brothers in the same club].

read Kerri’s blog post about STEMS

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