Mike’s been working a lot lately. It used to be just Auction Hunters and American Idol, but there’s so many other shows and production companies now – Luggage Wars, Neighbors from Hell, Hollywood Treasure, Giant Pirates. I can’t keep up. It’s a good thing. Definitely. We’re just back to somewhat opposite schedules again. Somehow, this week, we both have off on Wednesday and Thursday.
Wednesday we see an afternoon movie (I love going early rather than later – walking out of the theatre and it’s still daylight – the whole day is still ahead of you). The 5-year Engagement is a little long, but enjoyable (wait for the DVD). Afterwards, Mike actually agrees to walk around for a bit. We’re at the Third Street Promenade, so I want to look for a dress for Rich and Tara’s wedding. I try on a few dresses at Express and we both agree on a strapless tan and white flower print dress. On sale – score! Now all I need are some nude heels, but I’ll save that for another day. I don’t want to drag Mike around too much.
Tonight we’re making dinner together. Something I don’t think we’ve ever really done before. Sometimes Mike will help if I ask him, but he tries to stay out of the way most of the time. Because if he starts doing something I’ll stop him and do it my way. He kind of throws his hands up and walks out. It’s kind of a lose-lose for him. But tonight, we’re going to do it together. For real. Chicken parmesan isn’t too difficult, and we already had chicken and sauce and pasta. All we needed to buy was some mozzarella and breadcrumbs. We can’t do everything at once because the stovetop is so small and we don’t have enough pans anyway, so Mike starts first by making pasta. I’m standing next to him. He fills the pan with water. Don’t forget to put the salt in. And olive oil. “Usually when I do this by myself you’re not around, so I’ll do better if you’re not standing there.” Right. Sorry. I can’t even let him boil water by himself. Unbelievable. When he puts the pasta in he stirs it with a wooden spoon. Mike, we have a pasta ladle, why don’t you use it? “I don’t know, does it matter?” …I suppose not. I find myself standing over him again. I don’t even realize I’m doing it. We both taste the pasta and it’s done. He goes to pick up the pot with one pot holder. Mike, what are you doing? You can’t pick it up with your bare hand. He gives an exasperated sigh and looks at me. I’m sorry. Oh my God, I’m crazy. I kiss him on the cheek. I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I get mad at Mike for never making dinner and now when he’s trying to I won’t let him. Whenever I see him doing something wrong or not the way I do it, I get this feeling of like, panic, like I need to stop him. It’s like my blood pressure starts going up or something. It doesn’t stop. I keep getting mad at him, but now that I’m realizing I’m doing it I’m then getting mad at myself.
We do the chicken together, him dipping it in the milk and breadcrumbs and me searing them in the pan. I always get chicken breasts, but I accidentally got thighs so I’m pissed at myself. Long story short, when our dinner is finally in front of us, we cut in, and the chicken’s not done. I didn’t think about the fact that they would have to cook longer than thin chicken breasts. I get so mad. Mike says it’s fine. Pop them in the microwave and nuke them until they’re done. This was a disaster. I feel bad for being an asshole and I feel bad that it’s my fault the chicken wasn’t cooked. I’m stressed out now.
To say it was a learning experience is an understatement. It’s a good thing, actually. I guess I don’t trust Mike to do things, so I feel the need to do it. I don’t think it’s just him; I think I’m like that in general with everyone, but I can’t be like that. And Mike probably thinks I’ll yell at him or something if he does something wrong so he’s afraid he’s going to mess up. At least I’m aware of it now. (Don’t feel too bad for him just yet. Mike has his own bad qualities that I just haven’t talked about yet.)
Thursday, Mike gets a smog check for the car. I never knew what that was and I still don’t. All I do know is that we had to get it before we go back to the DMV for our new registration and California license plates. We first went to the DMV to change our registration and they gave us a temporary one until we got the smog check – and it cost over $300. Insane. So now, a month later, we can pick up our new plates.
We don’t have to wait nearly as long this time (last time we were here for almost two hours). I came prepared with sandwiches, cards, and farkel (fun dice game!), but it’s not necessary as we wait for only about 20 minutes, if that. It’s a quick exchange – I hand the lady my receipt and she gives me an envelope containing our new plates. I didn’t think I was going to be this excited, but I’m staring at them in my hand with a big smile on my face. It’s like we’re officially California residents now! Mike doesn’t really share my enthusiasm and gets embarrassed when I tell him to take a picture of me holding them. This is so cool!
Mike puts them on the car as soon as we get back. Belle looks new (sort of, not really). I don’t want to part with my New Jersey plates just yet. I’ve had them for so long – five years I’ve had this car. I wash them, then throw out the one that is way more banged up (the one on the back bumper, obviously). The other one I keep, as I do with most things because I’m such a pack rat. Mike suggests we hang it over the front door. Yes. I’ll have to get a frame first. When I was home, I got all the pictures I used to have hanging in our Hoboken apartment. Mom got them for me – there’s an Ocean City beach picture, Lucy the Margate Elephant, and a Barnegat Lighthouse. I couldn’t pack the frames so they’re still leaning against the wall. It’s on my ‘list of things to buy but can’t afford yet’. Eventually, our apartment will be New Jersey-fied.
I love the west coast, but I’ll always be a Jersey Girl.