April 15, 2013, Dinnertime at the Cunningham household. Why this stuff tends to happen at dinnertime, I couldn’t begin to guess.
I stopped into Albertson’s Monday night after a gig to pick up cold medicine for my sick husband, who had called me on the way home with his list, and a suggestion to get anything else I wanted to go with dinner, which was going to be grilled leftover prime rib. Right inside the front door they had a display of corn on the cob, and I thought, “I would thoroughly enjoy some corn on the cob.”
It’s been a long damn winter. And mid-April is probably the earliest I’ve ever eaten corn on the cob. I was pretty excited.
So I threw it in the cart, got the rest of the stuff on my list, and headed home. Once in the door, I started the water boiling. “I’m probably only going to eat one of those,” my ever-lovin’ honey said as I cleaned the four ears in the package. No problem, I thought…I’d eat at least two, and maybe the third.
Within 15 minutes, dinner was ready and on the table, and I proceeded, however unintentionally, to entertain Scott with my eating of my corn. Because corn on the cob is messy, and I am a messy eater in general. (I’m the only person my age I know that regularly, and unapologetically, uses a bib–if dinner isn’t on my shirt, it’s a fair bet that my carcass has been taken over by the body snatchers.) The combination of the two is exponentially messier. There was butter dripping on the table, despite my little green corn tray, and I had to stop after each row of kernels to squeegee my face of butter and corn bits. But knowing that it’s always this way, I really don’t even make an effort to keep things neat; it’s a losing battle, and I figure I can hose off after dinner, AFTER enjoying the hell out of my corn. Which is exactly what I was doing.
When I caught him looking at me, I said, “What? I’m happy. I like corn.”
“You really ARE a simple girl, aren’t you?”
“Yes, but it confuses people, making my simplicity rather complex; that’s my genius. This is the earliest I’ve ever had corn on the cob.”
“Early? It’s 8:30.”
And then, grinning, with corn still in hand, I proceeded to dance in my chair (which, along with singing at the table, would’ve been absolutely prohibited at my father’s table, but my roof, my mortgage, my rules) a seated jig that combined a modified cabbage patch with the white man’s overbite and the side-to-side head bob of the Peanut’s girl.
Scott could only stare. “I wish I had a camera right now, I’d put that up on YouTube.”
Still dancing, I captioned it aloud for him, “What IS she doing? She’s dancing for corn.”
“The traditional Polish corn dance,” he said, alluding to one half of my heritage. “I would’ve said ‘Finnish’ corn dance, but everyone knows Finns don’t dance.”
“And if they don’t dance, well they’re no Finns of mine,” said I, missing exactly zero beats.
Wild cackling ensued.