I’d noticed that when Paul and I went out to eat, he often ordered shrimp. I think it was one of his favorite things, so I decided to surprise him with shrimp for dinner one night. I went out and bought some from the seafood market in town and took them home. They had been cleaned, so I didn’t have to worry about that .
I just didn’t know how to cook them. I knew sometimes he got them fried and sometimes they were boiled. Since I didn’t know which way to fix them, I decided to do it both ways.
First I boiled them for awhile and then I put them in a pan and fried them. I was so excited to have something I knew he’d like for dinner.
I fixed the side dishes which were probably fries and slaw. His mother had taught me how to fix slaw, so Paul liked the way I made mine. What he didn’t know was that she used celery seed in hers. He claimed he hated celery. She said if he wasn’t eating it, she’d put a little bit of celery in it, but to get the taste, for me to use celery seed. Paul would never know he was eating it, and the slaw would still have the flavor. That’s how she fixed hers when Paul was going to be there.
When Paul got home for dinner from work, I thought everything was perfect!
He sat down at the table and I put the shrimp in front of him. “I cooked shrimp,” I told him proudly.
“I see you did.” He just kept staring at them like he’d never seen shrimp before. “How did you cook them?” he asked. “Did you boil them or fry them?”
“I did both!” I said. “I didn’t know how to cook them, so I boiled them awhile and then I fried them.”
He looked surprised. He picked one up and bounced it on the table. “They bounce,” he said.
I didn’t know what the problem was. They were done.
He said he couldn’t eat those and I started crying. He said let’s go out to eat. We’d go get shrimp. That made me cry harder. He would like some shrimp, but he didn’t like mine!
“We won’t get shrimp,” he said. “I really am not in the mood for shrimp tonight. Where would you like to go?”
I didn’t want to go anywhere. I wanted to serve the dish I’d worked on and made for him. “They’re not burned,” I wailed.
“No, they’re not,” he agreed.
I think we ended up having slaw and fries for dinner that night. I can’t remember. I do remember I never tried to cook shrimp for picky Paul again.