The cost of living on one salary is taking its toll. That, and the fact that of the last three weekends, we’ve been away three times.
This weekend we had the pleasure of joining Nix for her boyfriend’s fortieth celebration. It was in the south Netherlands in a little town called Valkenswaard – a name which I think sounds like it could translate to Eagle’s Fart. I haven’t told the locals that.
We spent the evening listening to a local band (and a number of guests, including the birthday boy himself) belt out cover versions of popular Dutch songs. It was Nooit-Vir-Nooit-meets-Colony-karaoke… although to be fair, most of the people could actually hold a good tune. We were staying in the hotel where the party was held, which meant that we didn’t have to worry about sorting out transport in the wee-hours of the morning, and it also meant that I could have a much-coveted bath.
I love bathing. I love wallowing in bubbled water like a happy hippo. Mills cannot see the delight because, as he points out, by the end of it you’re sitting a bath of dirty water. That doesn’t faze me. We don’t have a bath at home... We have a dishwasher, two washing machines, two fridges and two microwaves, but no bath. So when I get to stay in a hotel with a bath, it’s divine.
Anyway, back to Operation Desert Storm. So after flitting around Europe over the last three weeks, we’ve reassessed the finances and realized that there was not much to assess. A decision has been made that we are not to spend ANY money for the next week. And when I say ‘we’, I of course mean ‘I’ am not to spend any money for the next week. It’s going to be tough.
On the way home yesterday, I mentioned that ‘we’ (read: I) needed to buy more mayonnaise. Mills pointed out that mayonnaise does not fall under the list of essentials recommended in Operation Desert Storm. Well, not his list anyway.
Now let me explain to you about my mayonnaise fetish. Yes, I think it qualifies as a fetish. I eat mayonnaise with just about everything. I mix it with chutney and sweet-chili; any mayonnaise-based sauce is good in my books; I eat it with cheese, with rice, with any meat, with vegetables; I eat it as a spread on toast; I’ve even been known to eat a cement-like mixture of peas and mayo on toast… A few years ago, the Joyces gave me 3kg of mayonnaise for Christmas. It was a joke, they thought it would either put me off the stuff for life, or at least slow me down. By April that year, I had finished the entire tub. I. Like. Mayonnaise.
I am also living in the land of all things mayonnaissey. Dutch supermarkets have rows and rows of mayonnaise products – with different names and supposedly different uses. Garlic mayo, herb mayo, mustard mayo, frites saus, cooking mayo… ranging from 50c to a few euros each.
Then, with only four hours of sleep under my belt from the party on Saturday, Mills dared to suggest that mayonnaise is not a necessity. Metal grated against metal as the Iron Curtain of tension clanged down between us. I opened my mouth to speak but couldn’t find the words. A week without mayonnaise? That’s just silly talk.
I found the words and I told him so.
Mills didn’t agree. “All I’m saying is that it’s probably not something that should be our top priority,” he argued.
“Well, we’re either buying it now today, or I’m buying it tomorrow when you’re not with me. Either way, I’m getting mayonnaise,” I pouted and folded my arms defensively.
“For godsake, it’s not like I’m trying to starve you – it was just an opinion,” said the exasperated man, throwing his hands up in the air. “So then let’s get the flipping mayonnaise now before we go home.”
But it was too late. The damage was done. I was changing… I was going female on his ass.
“No,” I said, walking away, “I don’t want it now.”
“Koekie, let’s just get the mayonnaise now.”
“No, I don’t want it.”
“Faaaaak! You are unbelievable. You do want it and you’re going to sulk until you get it.”
“So let’s get the mayonnaise now,” Mills said through clenched teeth.
“No,” I replied as my bottom lip jutted further, “I don’t want to get it now.”
And so we stalked home, keeping an icy distance between us. About an hour later, I suggested that we go to the shops to get some mayonnaise. We don’t have much else to eat, but I have half a loaf of bread and 750ml of frites saus. I might just make it through this week.