Fish ‘n’ chips. Egg ‘n’ chips. Sausage ‘n’ chips.
I could rotate those three meals every night of the week and get no complaints from my English husband. Not only are they are his favorite meals, but he forgets from one meal to the next what he ate the day before. If I added in bangers and mash, bubble and squeak, and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, I’d be a star.
Around here, Red Robin has the best fish and chips, Peter says. We went there for lunch recently and sat at the bar, as always. The bartender, a sweet young woman and one of his favorites, asked, “The usual?”
Peter turned to me. “What beer do I have?”
I said Guinness, but the barmaid shook her head slightly. “Only in bottles.”
“What do you have then?” he asked as he got up to look at the taps.
She was already drawing a sample of another beer. “This is the one you like,” she said, as she handed it to him to taste.
“Yes! A pint of that,” he agreed, licking his lips.
I whispered to her, “Do you do that every time he’s here?” (Peter and companion Bill have lunch there at least twice a month.) She nodded yes, but flapped her hand as if to say, that’s OK.
But then he confounded both of us when he ordered a burger and chips, instead of fish and chips.
While we were eating, a waitress came by and tapped him on the shoulder. “You haven’t been in for a while,” she said with a giggle. “We’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too, darlin’,” he said, as I knew he would. “Why aren’t you behind the bar today?”
They were short a waitress, she explained, so she had to fill in.
Then along came the manager. “Whad you doin’ to me, man?” he asked. “I don’ know who you are when you don’ order fish and chips!”
“Oh, I’ve got ‘the wife’ with me this time,” he said, as if I forced him to have a burger instead of marginally better-for-him fried fish. He knows how it riles me to be called the wife, and he does it to see my eyes shoot sparks. Of all the things he’s forgotten in recent years, he hasn’t forgotten that.
Header photo: Holly Exley Illustration, London, UK.