I said I would bring a salad to the dinner. My mom was making the main dishes, my sister was bringing the dessert and I said would bring the salad.
A seven-layer salad.
(I’m no Pioneer Woman stalker. Her picture of this amazing salad symphony came up first when I Googled the recipe.)
(Also, she calls it the “Layered Salad” because she must have a fear of committing to the layers. I have no such fear. I am a loyal salad maker.)
We were to be at our destination in an hour and a half and I had enough in my refrigerator to make 4 of the 7 layers. Being the last-minute person that I am, I felt I had enough time to go to the store to buy bacon, baby spinach and mayonnaise.
“I’ll be back! I need to go get 3 things!”
I left the store with 20 things.
Except I forgot the mayonnaise.
“Well, dingdangit, Kelley.”
I twirled my little basket around fast in the parking lot, headed back into the store, grabbed the mayonnaise, swiped it at the self-checkout, dumped into my basket and went back to my car.
Within minutes of hitting the door, the bacon was cooked (I folded and bought the microwave-ready kind- I only had a few minutes!), the green onions were chopped and…you get the picture. I was making that kitchen smoke.
“Where’s the mayonnaise? Boys, did you do something with the mayonnaise?”
“With the what?”
Dang it to DingDangItVille, I couldn’t find the mayonnaise. I JUST BOUGHT IT. I went BACK into the store to buy the dang stuff! Where did it go???
I never found it. I still don’t know where I put it. It wasn’t in the car. It wasn’t in the pantry or refrigerator. It wasn’t anywhere!
“Are you almost ready?” My husband asked as he strolled into the kitchen.
“Well, almost, but I have to use this mayonnaise,” I said with disgust as a nodded toward the lite Kraft dressing, “when I wanted to use real mayonnaise.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it, Kelley. No one will notice,” he said to me…
What a nice thing to say. He was right! No one would notice!
“…because no one will be eating it.”
He said that last part under his breath as he poked his head into the refrigerator.
“What did you say? No, don’t tell me. I know what you said. You said no one will be eating it, but why not? It’s a Pioneer Woman recipe!”
“Out of all the good things you could make on the internet today, you chose a salad that has cold peas on the top of it? And mayonnaise on the top of that?”
“It’s good! We made this all the time when I was growing up!”
“Exactly. Don’t you think it’s time to try something new?”
“No. I like it. I’ve actually never made it. IT’S A PIONEER WOMAN RECIPE.”
He was getting me all huffy and puffy and wanting to blow the house down. Did he forget that I was fresh off of not being able to find the mayonnaise???
“WOMAN! I can’t believe you’d upset me like this when I can’t even find the mayonnaise.”
If I could have MAN-NAISED him right in his right nostril, I would have. I’ll show him MAN-NAISE. The nerve. I COULDN’T FIND THE MAN-NAISE. Not being able to find the Hellman’s when you need it most will shake a girl right up! That’s no time to be giving speech lessons, my brother!
(I was so shook up that I dumped flour instead of sugar into the sour cream and MAN-NAISE mixture. I scooped it out before Mr. Seven-Layer-Salad-Hater saw it.)
I finished that masterpiece like it was about to be displayed at the MOMA, parked that mother into my lap after I got into the car and daydreamed about everyone’s happy face when they took their first bite. My daydream, however, was jolted by my husband asking what was in each unfortunate layer.
He got the look.
Then he got the sigh.
“Okay, well, there is iceberg lettuce, baby spinach, bacon, tomatoes, cheese, green onions, peas and the dressing.”
“And I actually left out an ingredient. I left out the boiled eggs. No boiled eggs.”
“So, that would’ve been 9. And why would you leave out the boiled eggs? That is part of the recipe.”
“No, it would have been 7. I’m thinking that the lettuce and spinach make one layer, then the bacon, then the tomatoes, then the cheese, then the onions and then the peas. They must not be counting the dressing as a layer because it’s dressing. And boiled eggs are gross.”
“So, you only have 6 layers now. How can you tell everyone you made a Seven-Layer Salad if you only have 6 layers?”
“BECAUSE THERE IS A LAYER OF LOVE IN THERE, OKAY?!?I MADE IT WITH LOVE! THERE IS A LAYER OF STINKIN’ LOVE IN MY SALAD!!!”
“No, you only have 6 layers.”
I tell you what…that man and I are about to go to Fist City. (This was a place that I heard about people going to when I was little when someone was mad at someone else.)
I eyed that salad for a long time once we arrived. It was really quite gorgeous, I must say. Quite the knockout. The Kate Upton of salads.
Annnnnd, hardly anyone ate it.
So, I took extra big helpings of it without my husband seeing. There was going to be a dent placed in that dingdang salad even if I was the only one doing any denting, you hear me? THERE WAS GONNA BE DENTS PLACED IN THAT DANG SALAD.
The salad came back home with me. Half of it, but that was only because I gave my parents a huge heap of it to put in their refrigerator. It hurt, man. Hurt real bad. I nurtured that salad. I put REAL BACON IN THAT SALAD. I didn’t mess with Bacos. I laughed in Bacos face and made real bacon and this is the thanks I received? I PUT A LAYER OF LOVE IN THAT SALAD.
I’m confident if I had found my beloved MAN-NAISE, things would have been different. My future would have been brighter. My salad ego would not have been diminished. My days of being the coveted salad bringer would not have looked so bleak.
If I weren’t for that layer of love that I added to that salad, I would have considered playing catch with my husband using that salad- only I would throw it and he would catch it. It would be a one-throw game of catch. He is lucky that layer of love was added. LUCKY INDEED, SISTER.
Back to my heartache…any words of comfort for the shamed Seven-Layer Salad Maker over here or must I wipe my tears with iceberg lettuce leaves all alone?