Well, tomorrow is the Oscars, and my wife will be making spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread. I am very happy. But this brings back a bad Oscar meal memory. So, now let me tell you the infamous (I figure if I call it that it will be) spaghetti and meatball story involving my mother-in-law.
Before I start, let me tell you that if there is an A-hole in this story, it is me. You might understand why I acted the way I did, but you won’t excuse it. And you shouldn’t. The only thing I will say in my defense is that I take my food very seriously. Okay, that’s the only defense I got.
So this was maybe 15 years ago. My mother-in-law was visiting us from back east, and she was very excited that she would be here to watch the Oscars with me. She loves movies, I love movies. This excited her. But even better, she was thrilled to be making me my favorite meal of all time – spaghetti and meatballs. I’ve talked often of what a great cook my mother-in-law is. And I’ve had her spaghetti and meatballs. Possibly the best thing I’ve ever eaten. So good.
So it’s the day of the Oscars and she is up early, cooking. Making her sauce from scratch, browning the meatballs, oh man, the smells. I was in Heaven. All day long I am smelling the smells, and salivating with anticipation for my favorite meal. With garlic bread. And she drenches the bread in butter which is how I love it. Damn, I can’t wait!
My one request? To eat before the Oscar telecast. I like to be done with my meal so I can focus on the festivities. And she has timed it perfectly. So the evening is about to officially begin. Unbelievable meal, followed by fun, snack-filled Oscar watching. Everyone’s happy. I sit down at the dining room table because my mother-in-law wants to serve me. I love to be served, so I have a big smile on my face. And then I see her carrying a large plate toward me, slathered in marinara sauce, and I can barely contain myself. I already have the fork in my hand. She places it down right in front of me and all I can say to her is: “What the f@*% is this?!”
I should not have said that. Believe me I wish I hadn’t. But why did I say it, you’re wondering. Because it wasn’t spaghetti and meatballs. No. It was fettucine and meatballs.
I’m tempted to end the story there. Because really, what can I say? Some of you are obviously saying in reaction to the fettucine and meatballs, “So what?” To which I rebut, “fettucine is NOT spaghetti.” I am right in this. It’s a different tasting meal. Is it still good? Of course! But when you’ve been mentally tasting spaghetti and meatballs all day long, no, all WEEK long (she told me a week in advance what she would be making for me on Oscar night), then you want friggin’ spaghetti and meatballs!!!!
That being said…I never should have reacted the way I did. How could I say that to my sweet mother-in-law? (By the way, check out Shit Nobody Says) My wife’s look alone told me what a HUGE mistake I just made. I immediately felt like shit and apologized profusely. And to make matters even worse, my mother-in-law kept apologizing to me! She understood my being upset, which only made me feel like even more of an A-hole. Which I was.
So, that’s the story. My mother-in-law and I joke about it nowadays. My wife, who still can’t believe I acted like such a baby, might make me fettucine and meatballs tomorrow night just to keep teaching me a lesson. But the lesson is learned. Honest. Though in my heart of hearts, and I believe all true food lovers out there will agree with me, it should have been spaghetti and meatballs that fateful night. I’m just saying. Enjoy the Oscars!