I stood over him, cup in hand.

“I don’t know how to do this,” I said anxiously.

“Just go for it,” he replied, surprisingly still patient with my obsession with Getting It Right, especially when there was clearly no right way to do this particular task.

It all started the night before, when we thought the bottle of chiles would be the perfect gift for a culinarily-inclined family member. We were a little worried about the integrity of the container for the long plane ride home, but we worry a lot. (Okay, I worry a lot.) But this is our HONEYMOON! Maybe we should try not worrying, just for kicks, just this one time?

It ended the next morning, with a tipped bottle of chiles, spilling and stinking and stickying our hotel room.

My brand new husband jumped at the opportunity to solve a problem, wiping up what he could and letting the cleaning staff know what they could expect to find in Room 4 later that morning. The situation essentially handled, we went outside for breakfast.

We sat on the terrace, swapping dream stories (so I was a secret agent again…) and eating fresh fruit. But as my husband wiped the sleep from his eyes, we realized the chile fiasco was not yet behind us.

My husband, the fixer. My husband, the cleaner. My husband, the guy who still had chile on his hands from when he fixed and cleaned everything. My husband, the guy who now had chile IN HIS EYE.

Once we established that running water over his eye was NOT WORKING, I remembered the episode of Modern Family we had just watched the night before, in which Gloria brings Cam to an authentic Columbian restaurant, he orders something spicy, and hilarity ensues: intensive sweating, running around screaming, dumping a pitcher of water in his mouth. What Cam needed in this situation is not a pitcher of water, but a glass of milk (and probably a big slice humble pie). And, according to the google results for “chile in eye,” that rule applies to eyes as well as mouths.

Like I said, I worry a lot. My husband tells me that about 50 percent of the time that I feel bad about something, I shouldn’t. Our honeymoon was no exception: each morning during breakfast I felt bad that they brought us a small saucer of milk for our tea that we never used. But this fateful morning its purpose on our breakfast table was finally realized. I grabbed the milk from the table outside, walking cautiously, careful not to spill any over the brim.

“Just go for it,” he said. So I went. As a thin stream of milk cascaded down my beloved’s face, relief finally setting in, I smiled. In our successes and our failures, we had vowed just a week prior. Silly me, thinking those categories would be distinct from each other.

1 Comment

  1. Ken Bosma

    Chiles are dangerous things. I love them, but have learned to handle them with respect. My habanero story concerns “private parts” following chopping for a recipe and then relieving myself; and Jenni wasn’t home. I considered driving myself to the hospital, but then found some cold sore anesthetic in the closet.

    Reply

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