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for November 17, 2004


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Patience
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Last Sunday morning, Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love woke up to a very chilly apartment on a windy day. A gal living in a charming older building knows what she has to do: don a couple of extra layers and vigorously scour something. Your Beloved washed some dishes, refilled water pans on the radiators, bleached the cold-water faucet in the kitchen and tidied the cat box. A little time had passed and the apartment was no warmer but the cleaner was, just a little. After another half hour with no hint of heat, one begins planning: when the faucet dries, wash the hot water handle. Last time I cleaned the hot water handle I somehow reversed the way the faucet works, so now turning on the hot water is somehow upside-down and backwards, but at least that's funny.
 
I'd take advice from Paul Bocuse on Master Class at Johnson & Wales, but the great chef speaks no English, apparently, because a man dressed like a student does all the talking and demonstrating. Bocuse (ah! an English voiceover) extols the virtues of the equipment and a translator works quietly. The man who appears to be a student is a student, demonstrating a recipe for the master. The voiceover has a heavy, almost forced, French accent that is accidentally hilarious. Good grief, it's even mispronouncing French words. The translator's plainly having a tough day when the new assistant chef also speaks French, and nobody appears to be talking to the students, so the translator stands in the back row, blinking and silent but the bouillabaisse is beautiful indeed.
 
The idea is to let the afternoon pass and avoid getting hot under the collar. After another half hour, Your Delight discovers she can't pry offthe hot water handle, so she sprays bleach on the top, vainly hoping the cleaner will drizzle down the insides. Then she dashes around the apartment spraying spot remover on carpet spots that someday might otherwise, in urban life, turn up as People's Exhibit 26. She learns a neat trick from Julia Child and Jacques Pepin: no need to blanch cabbage for stuffing. Freeze it, thaw and peel. Your Sweetness hopes she remembers Episode 116 next time she's eyeing a pan and a monstrous green vegetable. Pepin is a self-effacing marvel: on the surface, he makes everything look easy, but if one looks closely, one sees the skill, experience and deftness in his simplest gestures. My goodness, he chops nutmeg by hand.
 
The carpet spots: blotted, but the carpet is - shall we say? - well-loved, and shows little propensity for getting much cleaner. The radiators remain cold. Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, ate almost a whole can of beefy cat food. He is much more disposed toward eating when fed by hand than from a bowl down on the kitchen floor, or even put the bowl down next to his favorite people on the living room floor. No, he wants little hunks of something tasty handed to him a few at a time until he's quite through eating. There's always a moment when he seems disgusted by the whole affair and makes a face something like You've tricked me into participating in this vile exercise once again. I'm deeply ashamed. Then he curls up, cranky and contrasting, on the green couch, next to purple pillows, and takes a strikingly handsome nap.
 
Your Adorable One pages the super twice. Even the laptop's cold. Your Creamy Puddin' considers baking in self-defense. It's too cold to exercise without hurting oneself, but one can always launder one's most colorful garments, so the closet fills with April-fresh signs of optimism. The super calls back: a determined gentleman's working on the boiler. After a full day of lemon-scented patience, the radiators hiss and the heat finally comes up.
 
The night before, a dear friend looked at Your Pumpkin Custard's long, black coat and outfit and said to someone else, "She always looks like a forties movie star." Your Panetone laughed. "Last time you saw this coat you said was too big. I've been thinking of it as Uncle Fester-Wear." There's a fine line between classic and comical, antics and antipathy. Your Darling recommends scrubbing it right up for a more amusing, panoramic view.
 

©2004 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.

 







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