August 4, 2008

A few weeks ago today, E.S., having finished his psychiatric residency in Hell at Beth Israel hospital, began his new job as an attending psychiatrist at a city hospital. To support him, I decided to wake up early on his first day and cook him breakfast; when I asked him the day before what he wanted, he suggested that oatmeal and scrambled eggs would be delicious. I asked him when he would be going to work, and he said he thought he’d leave the house at around 8:30.

The next morning, at 7:30, I was in the kitchen boiling water for the oatmeal (I scorn instant oatmeal and use only steel-cut oats, which take me about 45 minutes or so to prepare on the stove) when E.S. came downstairs, attired for work. I was concerned, since he doesn’t usually dress in the morning until shortly before leaving the house. Then we had the following conversation:

FAUSTUS: Wait, when are you leaving?
E.S.: In about half an hour.
FAUSTUS: But—but—I won’t be able to finish your oatmeal before then!
E.S.: I guess not. Obviously I need to find a boyfriend who loves me more.
FAUSTUS: But—but—
E.S.: No, just kidding. I’m leaving at 8:30.
FAUSTUS: Oh, my God. You were lying to me.
E.S.: I was motivating you.
FAUSTUS: With lies.
E.S.: It’s a currency you’re familiar with.

The only thing that kept me from dumping the oatmeal on his head was the fact that I really like oatmeal.

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20 Responses to A few weeks ago today, E

  1. Charleston Dave says:

    Very sweet of you, Faustus! Speaking as a kitchen wonk, I suggest you consider making your steel-cut oats in a rice cooker. The model I use permits programming the night before so that the oats or rice or whatever will be ready whenever you wish. Boiling water is a challenge for me in the morning, you see, and I do love my McCann’s Irish Oats!

    Reply
  2. Kris says:

    I’m glad you are back. Even if the break was for a few days.

    Fuck, I miss living together with my love. I live here in India whilst my love is your fucken neighbor!

    Congrats to E. S.! One of my friends just started his residency in some hospital in Brooklynn.

    Reply
  3. Jeffrey says:

    This doesn’t seem quite sassy enough for you. Are you holding back on us?

    Reply
  4. Charleston Dave: I’ve since discovered boiling water the night before and letting the oats soak overnight. Then it’s a matter of minutes to finish in the morning.

    Kris: But what would life be without the opportunity to pine over unavailable love?

    Jeffrey: Yes.

    Reply
  5. TED says:

    I cook my steel-cut oats in advance and then reheat them. They do not suffer from this treatment.

    It would, indeed, be a shame to dump them over your lying partner’s head. That’s why God invented Cheerios. Those, too, you can soak in milk and refrigerate. They will be inedible, of course, but for dumping over the head, they make much more of a statement as cold, soggy mush.

    Reply
  6. Esther says:

    I want to know exactly what kind of motivating you needed if you were already up at 7:30 making his breakfast. And at that point how could motivating YOU make the oats cook faster?

    Reply
  7. TED: Would this work for Frosted Mini Wheats? I’d prefer to use a cereal I dislike.

    Esther: I know! It’s yet another example of how unreasonable he is.

    Reply
  8. Kenny says:

    My favorite example of E.S.’s unreasonableness occurs here:

    link to joelderfner.com

    Reply
  9. initials says:

    If Love is reasonable, then I am the Emperor of China. If gay lovers are reasonable at 7:30 AM on the East Coast, in a City known for its’ spectacular night-life,then all hail We, the New Space Pope. As for the lying, well… As Tori says, if you love alot, ahem… Request a Space-Bull from Us if you disagree. The Space Pope delivers for the Faithful (Blessed Be Cuthulu).

    Reply
  10. initials says:

    If Love is reasonable, then I am the Emperor of China. If gay lovers are reasonable at 7:30 AM on the East Coast, in a City known for its’ spectacular night-life,then all hail We, the New Space Pope. As for the lying, well… As Tori says, if you love alot, ahem… Request a Space-Bull from Us if you disagree. The Space Pope delivers for the Faithful (Blessed Be Cuthulu).

    Reply
  11. Aidan says:

    I actually assemble the night before — everything but the pinch of salt, as that should be added about 20 minutes into cooking — and turn on the heat when I wake up. It works just fine, and I think it cooks a few minutes faster.

    I like it with just a hint of brown sugar and a little pat of butter or a swirl of cream. Yum.

    Congrats to E.S.. Oh — and e-mail me your mailing address. I have something I need to send to you.

    Reply
  12. J.P. says:

    I’m beginning to learn that any man who would allow me to cook breakfast for him is typically evil. While any man who would wake me up that early to cook him breakfast is Satan in the flesh.

    I learned that breakfast is meant to be cook for supper, and according to my Mother is better enjoyed at that time of day.

    😉

    Reply
  13. birdfarm says:

    congrats to E.S.! but what a dog for making you cook something that takes an hour. when i make my wifey get up early with me on a momentous or miserable day, i just make her make toad-in-the-hole, which takes as long as it does for me to shower. there’s something so sweet and loving about toad-in-the-hole. is it the meticulous care required to cut the hole? or the loving sweetness with which the egg is deposited therein? i have no idea. but it makes me happy.

    Reply
  14. Kenny: I’m particularly fond of that one myself.

    Initials: How may I serve Your Imperial Majesty?

    Aidan: I usually go hog wild with condiments. On order that morning were brown sugar, Splenda, cashews, and raspberries.

    J.P.: But we already knew that E.S. was Satan in the flesh.

    birdfarm: Well, to be fair, I was the one whose idea it was to cook him breakfast.

    Reply
  15. Houston says:

    Oh,please. You really don’t have enough to worry about, do you?

    Reply
  16. David says:

    “The only thing that kept me from dumping the oatmeal on his head was the fact that I really like oatmeal.”

    Well, that and the fact that you become paralyzed when someone parses your behavior that accurately.

    Reply
  17. Houston: No.

    David: Hmph.

    Reply
  18. Aidan says:

    In the winter I have been known to gild my oatmeal with pineapple tidbits and brown sugar. I once tried chocolate chips, but it made it look like a big bowl of poo.

    Oooh! I like it with toasted pecans and cinnamon sugar, too!

    Reply
  19. initials says:

    Oh, Mr. Derfner… Ask not what you can do for the SpacePope (for service to the Old Gods is terrible, indeed)… Ask what the SpacePope can do for you.

    Reply
  20. remorseful in oregon says:

    I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. It’s clear that E.S. hurt your feelings by suggesting you weren’t doing something that you already were. In addition, he teased you using language he thought you would relate to, perhaps even appreciate, but you didn’t. But I don’t think he was trying to be evil and sadistic (even though those are his initials); I think he thought perhaps he was even being funny. Of course, it turned out that he wasn’t. It’s interesting that even people we think know us very well misjudge how we might respond to something they say.
    My husband and I have been married for 27 years, and I’m sometimes hurt and surprised he would say something that he should know would hurt my feelings. Then he is surprised I am hurt. I wouldn’t be surprised if E.S. was taken aback by your reaction being stronger than he would have imagined. But ultimately I think he was just unintentionally insensitive and thoughtless, nothing more. Sometimes we think others are stronger than they really are, and say something that hurts them when we never meant to. I bet this is even worse when we are getting to know someone and think we have found much in common, but forget we don’t know each other well enough to truly know how to speak in many instances. I know I am fragile that way but don’t expect that others may be the same way.
    Anyway, E.S. probably deserves a bowl of oatmeal (or Frosted Mini-Wheats) over his head for thinking he was being funny when he wasn’t, and not being insightful enough to KNOW it wasn’t going to be perceived as funny, but I’m sure the future of your relationship holds much more good than bad.
    Just my thoughts of recent days since I’ve been in a similar position E.S. was in here…

    Reply

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