I am definitely a dessert person.
I would rather eat the dessert than the entrée.
I love fruit, cakes, pies, cakes and pies that contain fruit, pies and cakes that are custard filled, pudding filled, cannolli fillings, chocolate fillings, ice cream, ice cream pies, tarts, cookies, pastries of all kinds, donuts (especially Boston Crème), melon, sherbets, melon with sherbet, pie ala mode, etc. You get the idea.
I don’t feel the meal is complete unless there is dessert.
When I was growing up, we always had dessert with every dinner. It was usually a fruit or piece of cake. Many times it was a canned fruit that had been chilled in the refrigerator.
When I started going out with Barbara, her family didn’t have this sacred tradition. When I mentioned it, her mother and grandmother offered me canned fruit the next time I was over.
While I appreciated their effort, they didn’t chill it. Warm canned fruit is awful and should come with a warning label. I quickly showed them the error of their ways.
Once we were married, dessert was almost always included in our dinners. Something we continue till this day.
When we go out, I always want to see the dessert menu at the end of the meal, and usually Barbara has always wanted to as well.
In the last couple of years, Barbara has declined to have dessert. When I ask her what she wants, she says she doesn’t want any.
Being the exemplary husband, I make sure to ask her twice.
“No, no,” she answers, “order what you want”.
“Are you sure,” I always inquire, “You don’t want anything?”
“I’m sure, get what you want,” she answers.
So I do, usually some dessert that involves fruit in some way.
Inevitably, she gives me “the look” when the dessert arrives.
“You had to order that!” she says somewhat archly.
“What?” I answer, “You said you didn’t want any and I should order what I wanted”.
“But did you have to order that?” she answers. You know I wanted (fill in some chocolate dessert without fruit), so why did you order that?”
“You said to order what I wanted,” I reply
Once again there is “the look”.
At that point she usually picks up the extra fork or spoon that the server has brought and starts eating my dessert.
“I would have gotten you your own,” I say.
“No, no, I don’t really want any, I’ll just taste yours”
With that half my dessert disappears.
This has become a regular routine between us. Our family and friends have become accustomed to it, but still laugh about it. My daughter-in-law in particular gets a charge out of Barbara’s pretense of not eating desserts.
Now lately, I have noticed other couples having their own routines when it comes to desserts.
Usually the wife will have some variation of Barbara’s response, but they will usually hedge their bets by offering to share something they can both agree on. This works out well and no “looks” are exchanged.
A variation of the dessert ploy recently occurred when we went out to dinner with a couple who shall remain unnamed.
The husband has been watching his weight his whole life but also loves dessert.
At the end of the meal, the dessert menu was brought over and Barbara and I went through our regular routine. We passed the menu to the other couple where the husband eagerly studied it.
The server came over and asked “what would you like to have?”
The husband eagerly looked up at the server and just before he ordered he glanced at his wife.
She gave him “the look” and subtly shook her head “no”.
His eagerness turned to sadness and he forlornly said to the server, “Sorry, the Warden says no”.
I didn’t feel so bad about “our routine” after that.