12.30.2005

The Zen of Pudding

There are many questions that husbands fear to be asked by their wives. Some of these questions may be “does this look all right on me?” or “do you mind going over to visit with my great aunt’s sister-in-law’s roommate for 6 hours?” among other things. These questions don’t terrify me, nor do they throw me off. But the one question that will get me into trouble over and over again are the four words “What are you thinking?”

Ladies, why do you do this? Men don’t think. And even when we do, it’s about something mundane and un-exciting like spark plugs, external hard drives or even pulled pork. Unless you have an inane interest into one of these genres, then by all means continue to ask, otherwise assume that we are okay, we love you and all is right in the world. Sadly, my wife knows better. What’s worse is that my mind can and has done some very random thinking on topics that usually people do not dwell upon. I use “dwell” loosely, because this holds no effort for me. For example, my lovely wife and I were on a road trip back down the highway to Kansas – the breadbasket of America. I don’t know why it’s called that since eastern Kansas seems to be thriving with Chinese restaurants. Apparently, “sweet and sour pork basket” of America lacks Midwestern charm. Anyway, it was on a lone stretch of highway that my wife asked the question of all questions “What are you thinking?” This was indeed unfortunate because, for reasons unknown to even me, I was thinking about pudding. Yes, pudding. Was I hungry? No. Did I just see it on a billboard? No again. In fact, I was just thinking about the nature of pudding and why pudding was pudding. In short - why pudding is. This seemed to confuse my wife because the furrow in her brow returned and you’d think after so many furrows, she’d stop provoking this type of behavior out of me. She has confessed that she asks this question for entertainment purposes, but the answer invariably disappoints, confuses and subtlety upsets her. I imagine the subtext of her thoughts go as such: “Why is he thinking about pudding? Is he hungry? Do I not make enough pudding? I have a husband that thinks about pudding while driving.”

In my defense, useless as it is, I was just mainly analyzing that pudding seems to be a quasi-dessert – neither solid nor liquid and unlike its brother known as “filling” – it is not part of another dessert genre. You can combine pudding with “crust” and get another dessert called “pie,” but pudding can stand-alone while “cream filling” by itself is left wanting symbiotic relationship. This explanation should have satisfied my wife, but it didn’t. After stating this, I was ready to prepare and oral essay on my thought with references to Dickens, folklore and Bill Cosby, but all she did was turn up the radio. Will she ask what I’m thinking again? You bet! Will she regret it? Most likely, but the one thing she can take comfort in is that I am honest.

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