Grad school is a lot like regular college, except you have to pay a mortgage, you don’t get invited to play Ultimate Frisbee at midnight, and your crazy roommate is actually your husband. Some things stay the same, though: you don’t get time to do all the things you want or need to do, and you start to fall into a zombie-like state of routine basic-level life maintenance and schoolwork. You get swallowed into a paper and forget to do laundry, so you run your pants with a dryer sheet for 15 minutes before you run out the door. You have to make a calendar appointment to remember and shave your legs. And my food has gone the way of stereotypical campus cuisine with a slight upgrade (thanks to salaries): instead of downing buckets of Top Ramen, it’s paninis. Paninis every night, slapped together between job work and school work and toasted on the Griddler to at least give it a semblance of warm dinner-ness.
So when I was coming home late on Tuesday night, I expected another Panini waiting for me. What I didn’t expect was Matt calling me up, asking “It’s Fat Tuesday tonight, right?”
“Well, I was thinking…. We have that box of Zataran’s in the pantry, so I thought I’d make jambalaya.”
Well that didn’t sound very stressful-weeknighty. I was pretty excited, though. I was feeling bad about missing out on putting together something delicious, like red beans and rice, because of getting home late Monday night as well. Not being festive makes me sad.
When I finally got home, I was so touched—Matt had sautéed chicken in Penzey’s Cajun spice, seared my favorite hot links, even gotten out frozen shrimp for that finishing touch. The fact that he’d gone to so much trouble and thought, and made an effort to make sure I got my little taste of holiday even amidst having no time to think.
With some flatbread we’d gotten at Seattle’s Metropolitan Market, it was a shortcut spectacular. This time, it was my turn for a big happy smile and full plate picture. Now if only he could write some prose for me, I might be able to get some sleep that doesn’t involve passing out on top of a book.