There comes a time in every relationship when you are forced to step back, take a look at the rapport you have developed, and see whether you have a great bond or whether you have built a relationship that is destined to be filled with disappointment and inevitable agony. Everyone must face the harsh truths this kind of examination is bound to uncover.
Tonight, after six years of wooing, dating, and eventually marrying, I reached that point with my wife.
Our evening began like most others. After a dinner of jasmine rice and flounder, we sat down to enjoy one of our favorite television programs. Everything was in its place, me on the left side of the couch, her taking up the rest with the dog somehow finding a place to sit in between us.
Then, things took a turn for the worse.
“I got you something,” she said, abruptly drowning out the sound of Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan’s antics. This is a rare happening. In our house, Tina and Tracy are rarely talked over.
Naturally, I was curious. It was not a special occasion, so I did not know what she could have gotten for me. There were several things I hoped for, but when she pulled out a tiny plastic package, I knew my dreams of a new car or computer were all for not.
“Try this,” she said, handing the tiny package to me.
In my hand sat a hard candy. As an aficionado of hard candies, I was interested to say the least. This candy had some sort of Asian print on it. It looked like nothing I had ever seen, the deep red standing out against my admittedly pasty skin.
Opening the package, I quickly popped the candy in my mouth. The flavor was bland. Very bland. Bland isn’t even the right word. It was tasteless and incredibly plain. Confused, I continued to the next step of my hard candy consumption.
I bit it.
Inside was something that I can only describe as salty. Incredibly salty. It was like licking a pretzel that someone had comically over salted.
“Isn’t it good?” she said. “I love this candy.”
No. It was not good. It was terrible. It was, by far, one of the worst things I had ever put in my mouth. I tried to get it out, but the candy stuck to my teeth. My mouth was in a salty Hell and there was nothing I could do about it.
“Do you like it?” she asked again.
All I could do was shake my head.
Throughout our entire relationship, I had never realized it until today. My wife has terrible taste. I don’t know if her taste buds are broken or if her brain was wired incorrectly in the womb, but I suddenly found myself thinking back through every meal we had ever had.
How could I have married someone who has no concept of the difference between delicious and trash-flavored candy? Could I have been wrong this whole time? Sure, she seems pretty cool most of the time, but how can I continue to spend time with someone who thinks candy should taste like ocean water?
I guess this is one of those rough patches people always talk about. We’ll make it through this awful time and I’m sure be able to save our relationship. With all of the other positives she brings, in time I should be able to overlook one candy related mistake.
It will be years, though, before I can trust her to pick candy for me again. She clearly does not understand how sweet treats are supposed to work.