Today Jack called me around 1 p.m., like he usually does on Mondays, to tell me he was on his way home. By now I know that this phone call is code for “I’m hungry, please feed me,” so we discussed lunch and he told me he would like some sandwiches.
He was in luck, because I had just bought him some thinly-sliced deli ham (the smoked kind, not honey ham, because according to Jack, ham should be salty, not sweet) and some kick-butt bread – the big, soft kind you make a delicious subway sandwich out of. He tells me not to buy them because they’re expensive, but they’re so tasty that sometimes I do it anyway so he’ll have a nice fancy sandwich. And today was a fancy sandwich day.
I had just a little bit of mayonnaise left in the jar, and Jack likes lots of mayonnaise on his sandwiches (something, I think, that will have to stop soon because I’m probably killing him by drowning his arteries in that tasty disgusting stuff, putting as much as he wants on them). I had just enough for the amount he likes. Fantastic.
Then comes the cheese. Another splurge. Jack likes nothing other than Kraft sharp cheddar. We don’t store-brand this one. We go with the good stuff. I put that on the sandwich.
Next we have the meat. Oh, the meat. This is the reason I’m always stuck making the sandwiches around here. I have a talent for perfectly folding the ham so that it’s thickly placed on the sandwich without losing its thin taste. The Subway Restaurant workers could learn a thing or two about putting meat on sandwiches from me. I’m good at it. And on top of that, I put a lot of it on. More clogged arteries, more happy fiancée.
After I finished making the sandwiches, I put them on the table right next to the door, so Jack would have them as soon as he walked in. I knew he was in a hurry (this is his long day without very much of a lunch break), so I didn’t want him to have to have the burden of walking all the way to the kitchen to get his food. Not my fiancée – he gets his lunch the moment he steps through the doorway.
And there they sat, in all their glory. The long, soft wheat hoagies. The layers and layers of cold, thinly-sliced ham, folded perfectly on top of one another. The sharp cheddar cheese. The cold, creamy mayonnaise. I took another glance at them as I walked away, smiling at my culinary achievement.
As I was putting on my makeup about 10 minutes later, I stopped mid-mascara brush. For some reason, I thought I had better check on the sandwiches. I’m not sure what made me do it, but I’m pretty sure it’s what they mean when they say that the holy spirit makes you do stuff.
I walked out to the foyer, and a chill ran up my spine as I stared in disbelief at an empty plate.
I looked around. Nothing. Jack’s not here to have eaten them. Neither are mom or any neighbors. I was alone. And yet the sandwiches were gone.
Then I saw them. Two pieces of upturned bread, mayonnaise, cheese, and a single piece of ham staring back at me. I definitely put more ham on that sandwich. And I’m pretty sure I didn’t leave it open on the floor like that. And wasn’t there another sandwich around here somewhere?
“MAGGIE!!!!!” I sceam.
I took off in a sprint toward the dog’s room. Maggie stops mid-dog-door-bound-trot and looks back at me sheepishly. There is white mayonnaise all over the black fur around her mouth.
I snatch the dog up so fast she lets out a surprised “HUNAAHH” of air. I carry her over to what’s left of the second sandwich and put her down by it firmly. She cowers.
“BLAH BLAH BLAH BAD MAGGIE! BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD DOG! BLAH BLAH BLAH BAD! BAD BLAH BLAH BLAH BAD!!!!!” she hears, as I smack her behind a few times.
I carry her to the dog door and shove her through it. I get the plastic piece that closes the dog door and slide it in. She’s not coming back in for a while.
I spot the other dumb, old, deaf dog outside and contemplate whether she is in on it. If she is, she’s pretty good at it, because she is now laying nonchalantly in the grass beside the house. I decide she’s way too stupid to have been a part of this conspiracy, so a moment later when I bring Maggie enough water to keep an elephant alive in the desert for days, I bring Tia inside with me (and feed her the remaining piece of ham off the ruined sandwich – if she was a part of the plan, she’s an evil genious).
Needless to say, Maggie spent the day outside today. And I’m not putting any more sandwiches on that table.