‘I can’t BELIEVE! that you called your MOTHER!! to ask her about a recipe that I was making’.

I was grazed, lightly injured, but not taken down by that first cannonball shot.

My reply was ‘of course I called my MOTHER. My MOTHER is the one that gave you the stupid recipe in the first place’.

She declared that fact didn’t matter and that I shouldn’t have called my mother.  When I asked if it would have mattered if it had been some deranged woman who lived just down the road that had given her the recipe and I called HER to answer the wafer question that she had?

She said that would have been fine.

While to a pair ovaries thinks that concept might make perfect sense, it makes no practical sense at all to a couple of testicles. Why would you make such an ordeal over this? I called the person that GAVE HER THE RECIPE.

It was a case of emotions driving the bus instead of simple facts.

Therein, where the battle line was drawn in the apartment flooring, lies the difference in men and women. By genetics, most men normally function on facts and are fixers. We don’t aim to be fixers. Being a fixer is just ingrained in us as much as most women are normally the nurturers of the family. Neither gender asked for those attributes or genetics; we are simply handed those little bits and have to learn to get along and deal with it.

Back to the battleground. After some withdrawal of both sides she rallied another round with

‘you can finish the $#@* pudding yourself’.

And with that, she retreated down the hall to the corner of the 1 bedroom where her sewing machine was and started sewing something or other.

In order to keep the war from escalating with more angry words, I decided to go off the grid. I was too mad to study anymore. I went to the 1 bedroom and found my sneakers and basketball and told her I was going to play basketball.

Before I left for the apartment basketball court, she volleyed her final and most damaging assault at me:

‘Wait, before you leave, do you wanna call your MOTHER and ask her if I’m sewing this right?’

Now, I’m a patient man. But credit cards and patient men have their limits. And she had just reached that limit. And there was about to be a penalty for going over the limit.

‘I’m not even going to respond to this right now’ I countered with.

‘Because if I do, it’ll only get worse and we both will say something we both will regret later. I’m absolutely that mad right now. But we will discuss it later when we can both talk like adults’.

She turned around and looked at me and could tell that she’d just went too far as I tucked my basketball under my arm, glared at her for a moment and slammed the door.

There wasn’t much basketball playing that went on that day. Unless you call playing basketball when you rear back and palm handed slamming the ball at the backboard over and over.  Then I jogged (back when I had good feet) the complex a couple of times, thinking and sweating.

As I sweated, I pondered what have I gotten myself into?  I didn’t KNOW she could be that mean. What else did I not know about this woman??? She’s just lost her mind. Maybe that’s it. Maybe she’s slap dab lost her ever loving mind. Maybe the stress of moving from Lexington to a town where we knew nobody and bought a cat for 8 dollars so that we would have a friend, was too much for her.  Because nobody in their right mind would be so inclined to cause this much consternation over a %&^* banana pudding.

After working off some steam on the ball court, I decided to go back and sit under our deck overlooking the Stones river. Kayakers often slid down the calm river waters in brightly colored kayaks that was really relaxing for me to watch. And they looked so cool as they did it.

Making my way back to the lower apartment deck, I passed by our bedroom window. Glancing over at the window, there was a huge sign taped in our bedroom window that read ‘I’m sorry’.

Standing there and wondering what the mailman that had came by just a few minutes earlier had thought about that particular window announcement, I poofed it off and proceeded on down the hill.

The grass was fully green and comfortable as I sat on the hill below our deck and stared at the river. ‘What was I going to do with this crazy woman?’ was what I was pondering right there.

Soon, the sliding door above me opened and she came out onto the deck and ever so sweetly said ‘the river is beautiful today isn’t it?’ Where had that pudding demon gone?? Now, I was even more confused and concerned. #jekyllandhyde

Me:…… *crickets chirping silence*.

Her: ‘Maybe that group of kayakers that you like will come down the river, I know you like that’.

Me: ‘I hope they all flip over and drown’.

Both:…… *crickets chirping*.

Then somewhere, somehow, one of us managed a slow snicker at that reply. In a moment we both started laughing.

She asked if wanted to come inside for some banana pudding?

I declared that YES, I wanted some of that #@#* banana pudding!

In the end, humor waved it’s flags of truce as we ate the banana pudding and laughed together.

Since then; jobs, home mortgages, infertility then 2 amazing kids that never slept, aging parents and flooding aquariums, there have been many, many #@$* banana puddings made in the Mark and Sharon Bedwell home.

I promise you that each batch of yellow pudding mix, wafers and bananas takes me back to the late 80’s with it’s Milli Vanilli debacle and big hair.

I recall both the fear and excitement we had then for what our futures would be. Today, we are living out what we had only began to speculate would be then.

And every banana pudding prepared reminds me of the beauty of a marriage that survived that Great Banana Pudding Battle of 1987.

To answer your question, I DID finish the &^*# banana pudding; crumbling the rest of the wafers that she had began to crumble.

And, if I say so myself, it was indeed an absolutely divine nanner pudding.

That’s the best that I can tell about it.

~Mark