Lasagna and catching my new husband masturbating in the shower

Lasagna

On Thursday, April 20, SJ and I got married. That day I worked until 2 p.m., threw on my wedding dress in the building’s bathroom, and took a Lyft to City Hall. SJ and I were dying to take pictures of ourselves with SJ holding his shotgun (a real-live shotgun wedding!), but we were pretty sure we wouldn’t be able to get it past security.

As a venue, San Francisco City Hall is nonpareil. The ceremony was lovely. Dinner was lovely. (I had a glass of champagne because CONTRARY TO WHAT THE AMA SAYS IT WILL NOT KILL YOUR BABY.) Then we went to Aptos for the weekend and stayed in an AirBnB, where we spent most of our time watching a squirrel empty a bird feeder by hanging upside down by one foot.

This is because when you’re 27 weeks pregnant, sex is like public transportation: It sounds good in theory, and it’s supposed to do everyone good, but when you get there it’s just crazy people talking to themselves and jerky stops and starts, and in the end you think, I should have walked.

At one point during the weekend, something occurred to me.

Jenny: Do you know how to spell my name?
SJ: J-E-N-N-Y!
Jenny: My last name.
SJ: (Spells it mostly correctly but puts an e on the end)
Jenny: OH MY GOD. (Something else occurs to me.) Do you know my full name? (I have two middle names, including my mother’s Italian maiden name.)
SJ: Isn’t there something like “Bucharest” in the middle?
Jenny: SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

It’s understandable, because we’ve had a lot of changes lately. It still hasn’t been a year since I broke up with my last boyfriend. I suddenly live in somebody else’s house (and SJ suddenly has a roommate). I have a large eggplant in my uterus. Also, my body keeps changing. One thing that grieves me is that, as my boobs get bigger, the small one doesn’t look any less like a tortilla chip someone taped to my chest. It’s not getting any rounder. It just looks like a bigger tortilla chip.

Anyway, SJ has been incredibly accommodating (HE FUCKING SHOULD BE I’M HAVING HIS BABY). So far he has:

  1. Remodeled his kitchen.
  2. Spent a Sunday at IKEA picking out bathroom cabinets.
  3. Stopped sleeping with all the 40-something single moms in the Bay Area (this happened right after we met, but until then I didn’t know about this species subgroup. There are a LOT of them, these hot single moms in their 40s who desperately want to get laid but are too tired for a relationship. I still don’t know why SJ chose me, because they are giving out the milk for FREE, people).
  4. Completely switched out his bedroom furniture — and all his belongings — for mine.

This is true. A month ago, the bedroom was full of SJ’s stuff. I dragged it all out to the living room and threw most of it away. Then we moved everything — his clothes, his bed, his armoire — to the office/nursery/guest room and moved all my stuff — my clothes, my bed, my dresser — in. Now the only thing in the bedroom that belongs to SJ is his wall-size poster of Blade Runner. One morning we were lying in bed, the poster hulking behind us like a prop in a romantic comedy that indicates something about  SJ’s personality and something about my patience. SJ slowly looked around the room.

SJ: It used to be that everywhere I looked was my stuff. Now there’s nothing here that belongs to me. Except the dum-dum box.

The dum-dum box is an IKEA basket in the shape of a cube. SJ is allowed to have anything he wants in the bedroom, but it can’t be on the floor. It has to go in the box. People as far back as my college roommates remember with great fondness my habit of collecting all their things and putting them in one spot. SJ named his box his dum-dum box, and at first it was hilariously funny. Now it’s just part of our language.

SJ: I can’t find my cold sore medication. That little tube?
Jenny: I didn’t touch it.
SJ: I’ll check the dum-dum box.

Amid all the chaos, we also have conversations like this:

SJ: Did you bring a duster?
Jenny: What do you mean?
SJ: Did you bring a duster when you moved?
Jenny: What’s a duster?
SJ: A feather duster.
Jenny: Did you find a duster and you wondered whose it was?
SJ: No. I just want to dust.
Jenny: What do you want to dust?
SJ: Dust.

Also, I try to get us to switch off chores, because SJ and I have different ideas about what “clean” means (to be fair, I’ve been dating men for 24 years, and this is not a new phenomenon or one that’s specific to SJ). The simplest trade is: One person cooks, the other person cleans. THAT’S FAIR, RIGHT.

It didn’t work out one recent night, because after I cooked, SJ fell asleep on the couch. So I cleaned the kitchen and went to bed. In the morning, when we were making breakfast and he still hadn’t noticed the kitchen because when you’re a man THINGS JUST CLEAN THEMSELVES, I asked, “Notice anything different about the kitchen?

SJ looked around and said, “That I’m a terrible person?”

I am lucky that, besides prenatal depression, a lot of anxiety, and acute loneliness since all my friends live in the East Bay, I’m having a pretty easy pregnancy. No varicose veins, no acid reflux (so far), manageable discomfort. I do have to pee every five minutes and my lungs are compressed. But I have only one true symptom, and it is so amazing I believe it will make my sex life better: PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS. That’s right: My new husband, who already has to hear about my constipation and the new smells emanating from places that did not emanate before, is now treated to a nightly public flossing that ends in his new wife waving her bloody floss around the living room and screeching, “LOOK AT THIS. MY GUMS ARE BLEEDING.”

So I got a new dentist and went in for a cleaning. The dental hygienist was a sweet 20-something who asked a lot of questions about my pregnancy and shared that she had had a baby the year before. She asked about my baby’s name and then started to tell me a story about what her husband had wanted to name their baby. Then she paused.

DH: Do you listen to any of this modern hip-hop and rap?
Jenny: Yes. (Oh, no. This is how it happens. You’re sitting in a chair at the dentist’s office, thinking you’re having a conversation, when you realize the other person thinks they’re having a conversation WITH AN OLDER PERSON.)
DH: Do you know who Drake is?
Jenny: DO I KNOW WHO DRAKE IS. MAYBE I DON’T EXACTLY KNOW WHO BLAKE LIVELY IS AND APPARENTLY REGULAR PEOPLE ARE FAMOUS ON YOUTUBE BUT I KNOW WHO FUCKING DRAKE IS. ALSO I JUST SPENT $260 TO DYE MY GRAY HAIR SO THIS WOULDN’T HAPPEN.
DH: My husband wanted to name our son Drake, but I said no.
Jenny: I DON’T CARE YOU’RE STUPID.

But last Friday morning, SJ and I managed to have sex. It had been days, because he’d been away on a camping trip because his life is better than mine right now. I was in a great mood. SJ got up to take a shower, and after a few minutes of lying in a heap of pregnancy postcoital bliss, I had to pee. So I walked through the house, walked right into the bathroom, and said, “Do you mind if I WHOA SORRY.”

SJ: YOU TOLD ME I SHOULD.
Jenny: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT.
SJ: LAST WEEK. YOU GAVE ME THE IDEA. YOU MENTIONED MASTURBATING IN THE SHOWER.
Jenny: WE JUST HAD SEX. I DIDN’T THINK YOU’D BE MASTURBATING ALREADY. DID I RUIN YOUR ORGASM.
SJ: YES.
Jenny: I’M SORRY.
SJ: IT’S OK.

Later:
Jenny: In 40 years I’ve never walked in on someone masturbating.
SJ (thinking): In 49 years I’ve never been walked in on.

I think it will bring us closer.

For this lasagna from my favorite cooking blog ever (this is one of the most delicious things I’ve made recently), you need:

Bolognese sauce

  • 1 med. onion, coarsely chopped (1-in. pieces fine)
  • 1 lg. or 2 slim carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 to 3 TB olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs. ground chuck, brisket, or round or combination
  • 1 1/4 cups tomato paste (from 2 6-ounce cans)
  • 2 cups red wine, preferably hearty but really, anything you like to drink
  • Water as needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs thyme, tied in a bundle

Pasta (I SO DID NOT DO THIS. I DON’T HAVE A PASTA MAKER.)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1 to 2 TB water, if needed

Béchamel sauce

  • 1/2 cup (8 TB) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To assemble

  • 1 2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese

You need to:
Go to the Smitten Kitchen website and read the directions because this lasagna turned out so well I don’t want to do the ethical thing and adjust a few details so I can post the recipe as my own. Just use her recipe. REMINDER: Lasagna takes a long time. NOTE: I cooked the sauce 1.5–2 hours, not 3–4, and it was delicious.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Cina Kraft says:

    Leave it to you, Jenny, to recommend a website (Smitten Kitchen)…and have one of your followers (a little old lady from a small town in the Midwest) accidentally Google “Smitten Kitten”. A Minneapolis store that has – wait for it – butt plugs on its homepage: http://www.smittenkittenonline.com You might find some accessories for SJ to use in the shower. “My bad” as they all say now. But it could actually be a link to your post, since masturbation is one of the Smitten Kitten’s specialty areas. Ok, moving on. As usual, you knock me out with these online musings. Loved the dentist chair conversation, but you might as well just leave that grey hair out there for everyone to enjoy. It only gets better from here on, and I can’t wait to meet SJ one of these days. xoxoxoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems perfect that there’s another Smitten Kitchen, and that’s what it is! I will be sure to tell SJ about the butt plugs. And yes, I really hope you get to meet soon! His family is from very close to where you live … !

    Like

  3. Laura says:

    The wedding sounds just perfect! Congratulations!

    Like

  4. Fred says:

    You have a wonderful husband. You sound pretty wonderful too.

    Like

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