“What you doing?” I said walking into the squeaky clean kitchen. It wasn’t for nothing that I had knocked myself out for over 2 hours the previous day bringing the house to what I call a livable state again. There is a strain of philosophy in the house that a good home has a certain level of chaos and mess. I sometimes find the homeliness factor gets taken a bit too far for my liking though. That is when, you find me transforming from a mild gurgling stream into a force of nature: I become a steaming river coursing through the hallways cleansing, dousing, stuffing shoes and jackets away from sight, and puffing like St Helens in May of 1980 (about to blow my top in short).
I don’t know what adult-lings and cub-lings in other houses do; but those in my house, exchange discreet stares and with an awkward laugh or two, practice social distancing with an arduous tenacity. Squirrels don’t charge into their holes when the cats are about, with the speed that these cub-lings display. The next morning though, everyone is happy see a contented lioness prowl with a satisfied purring reveling in her clean abode.
“Just making some fresh coffee. ” said the Lion King looking at his lioness with mixed emotions. Should he compliment the cleaning effort and hinge his chances on the good night’s sleep having done its share of the restoring of nerves, or skirt the topic altogether and go in afresh with the fresh-coffee-for-loving-wife angle?
“No…no need to make coffee, I made some filter coffee last night. Should still be fresh! I can use the water for breakfast. ” I said in my briskest taking control of the kitchen voice, and liberally sprinkled some salt into the pot of water set on the stove.
Simba relaxed. Nala seemed fine even after the marathon cleaning session last night. “Well…I’ll make the coffee. Move aside.”
“No…no…it is fresh coffee.”
I suppose if I’d been in the Masai Mara, I’d know how lions handle this sort of domestic spat in the pride-hold. In our household, the Lion King, bravely took a deep breath and said as nonchalantly as possible, as though it were a minor detail, not a big deal at all, you know?
“Oh! I threw out that coffee. ”
I drew myself up. Ready to spring – rally all you will you coffee lovers, but this is ridiculous. What is wrong with coffee that is just a few hours old?!
“Oh my goodness! Must you be this picky and in these times of watchful groceries too!” I said shrewdly playing the Covid card. I was flustered, justifiably in my opinion, unnecessarily so, in the husband’s op.
“Coffee, my dear, needs to be fresh and just-so in order for it to have an effect on the system. Besides, it is my only indulgence.” said he playing the Buddha-card.
“Be Brave Appa! Don’t give up – you like fresh coffee – stand up for yourself. Go Appa Go Appa!” said the cubs watching the unfolding drama with interest.
“Dei! You guys are landing me in trouble now. ” said the husband nimbly moving away from the danger zone with the suavity of gazelles when the lionesses aren’t in a good mood. The man has always had his wits about him.
“I’ll make a fresh batch of coffee. Just so indeed.” I said and donned my best sacrificial-women-who-does-everything-in-this-house expression.
The coffee filter gargled and scrabbled its way through the hot water, and the coffee dripped satisfyingly into the container below. I watched it and smiled the smile of expectation. Regardless of the recency of the spat, I must agree that fresh coffee smells good! Could just the aroma have the desired effect to transform the disgruntled into the gruntled?
Moments later, I handed a frothing cup of filter coffee freshly made just-so to him, and went off to make another cup for myself. He was cackling at some joke on his myriad WhatsApp groups when I came back – not surprisingly, it was a wife-joke.
I laughed too, but said, “Really! The number of wife jokes on social media! Why can’t women spend time coming up with husband jokes the same way, huh?! Because we are far too busy making fresh filter coffee for our husbands, that’s why!”
He looked at me, and pulled a Prince Charming smile from his armor, held his coffee cup up for a toast with a grin “That is good coffee! Thank you! ”
I phhooo-shooeyed graciously and made a big show of my sip of c. The first sip felt awkward, but not bad, but the second sip nailed it. This coffee was salty!
“Hey! Anything wrong with this coffee?”
“Nope! It was lovely.” said the husband.
“But it is salty! Did I put salt in the water, and then use that water to make the coffee? Gosh!” I said feeling like a prized ass. After all that show-and-tell about sacrificial goddesses, and stuff, I mean.
“I like my coffee fresh and just-so indeed! How did you drink this muck?!” I said.
“Well, I thought it had a sea-salt flavor!”
“Yes Appa. You tell her! Be brave!” said the cubs again, and I burst out laughing.
“Can I help you with any husband jokes now?” the husband said, looking at my face, and the pair of us laughed so hard that the salt distilled itself out.