I found Lex hiding in a closet. “Too late for that, don’t you think, love? Everyone pretty well knows you and I—”.
“Quick! Shut the door. I’m not going”.
“You are going, you big baby. C’mon, sweetheart. You don’t want everyone to think you’re wuss, do you?”
“I’m not a wuss. I’m just not going. I have more important things to do.”
“Like making sure that there are no monsters in the closet? How long will that take you?”
Lex grumbled as she pushed the clothes she’d been hiding under to the side and got to her feet.
“You know I love Jeannie and Rodney, right?”
“But this is Jeannie we’re talking about. The woman can’t make a peanut butter sandwich without sending someone to the hospital.”
“Sent you to the hospital. How does a person get to be nearly forty years old and not know they’re allergic to peanuts?”
“Martha always cooked for me. I never knew what a jar of peanut butter looked like. How was I supposed to know?”
I shook my head as I realized my beautiful wife had gotten me off track. “Lex. You used to break wild horses. You’ve faced down cattle rustlers. You have children. What are you so scared of?”
“Okay. So, Jeannie has cooked for us before and it didn’t go too good.”
I nodded in agreement. “But, remember, Jeannie took those adult Ed cooking classes at the high school last summer.”
“Amanda, didn’t even the teacher send her home with takeout menus?”
“That was supposed to be just until she learned her basics.” I started ticking off the subject matter on my fingers. “1. How to boil water. 2. How to treat scalded flesh. 3. How to use a microwave. 4. What can be safely cooked in a microwave oven. 5. How to put out a microwave fire. 6. How to treat burns. 7. Why the fire department should be number one on your speed dial. 8. Why the poison control number should be number one on your speed dial. ”
“What exactly was the name of this class, Amanda?”
“She said it combined cooking, health, and safety. Seemed perfect for her.”
“Did they ever get around to the cooking part?”
“Yes, but Jeannie did miss the first few lessons.”
Lex’s eyebrows arched in challenge because she expected the worse. I couldn’t meet her gaze because I knew what I was about to say. So I hung my head as I answered, “The school district had to clear it with their insurance company after the microwave thing. Apparently, Jeannie didn’t know that you were supposed to take pop-tarts out of the foil wrappers before reheating them.”
The laughter that ensued made any further conversation with my wife completely impossible.
Now, about those raccoons.
It wasn’t Jeannie’s fault. She cooked fish for dinner. Pan fried rainbow trout. How was she to know that a family of raccoons had taken up residence in the crawl space under the house?