Since my 17-year-old daughter, Anna, landed her first boyfriend, at least the first that I’m aware of, she has followed a tried and true game plan to keep her fella.
We’ve all heard the old adage: A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Judging from what I’ve seen since cupid’s arrival some weeks ago, my daughter has taken that strategy to heart.
While I won’t say Anna didn’t know where the kitchen was located in the pre-boyfriend era, I will report it was not a spot I would have gone to first to find her if she had gotten a telephone call. And while she hasn’t been transformed into Betty Crocker, it’s not uncommon to find her in the kitchen fixing something to eat for her hard-working boyfriend.
Sometimes the “fixing” entails warming a large pepperoni pizza, that gal and guy are capable of devouring themselves. Other times it might be warming up chicken nuggets and fixing a big bowl of rice that they will share while watching a movie together.
More often than not, though, if Anna is making something edible for her boyfriend, it is a treat that will not only fill his stomach, but will appeal to his sweet tooth. This generally takes the form of making some type of cookies.
Whether she realizes it or not, Anna has been fortunate to have a mother who more than knows her way around the kitchen. Nancy, my bride and Anna’s mom, has also made a point of trying to share her cooking/baking wisdom with Anna. And while such knowledge was not always appreciated in the pre-boyfriend era, Anna has at least learned where Nancy stores her cookbooks. And when Anna finds herself in a bind, as bitter as pride swallowing is for a teen-ager, she will ask for insights. After all, while food may be the way to a guy’s heart, cookies that taste like a road apple, or have the firmness of granite, or worse, leave one’s boyfriend bowing before a procelain throne a few hours later, are a sure way to guarantee one’s social calendar is wide open.
When Nancy bakes cookies for someone outside the home, she typically designates a bag that is off limits to scavengers like me. However, my dear bride is usually good about setting some aside for our family.
And while I won’t say Anna doesn’t share her baked goods with Nancy and me, the designation between what is available for general consumption and what is intended for her beloved isn’t always made. Such was the case one recent night.
Page 2 of 2 - After working the late shift at the Courier-Post, I returned home shortly before midnight ready for a snack since my bologna sandwich and grapes had been consumed several hours earlier.
As I crept into the pitch-black house, I figured I would satisfy my hunger by hitting my stash of crackers. However, as I flipped on the stove-top light, it illuminated something tempting on the counter – a dozen or so of the no-bake cookies that feature oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate. They are quite tasty.
Since Anna had made a batch of them earlier in the week for her beau, I had no doubt they were her handiwork. I also had no doubt about for whom they were intended, even though there was no skull-and-crossbones notation to warn off a father on the prowl.
“Surely she wouldn’t miss just one,” I rationalized as I eyed the cookie-filled plastic bags.
“But will you be able to stop at one?” another voice inside me asked.
Knowing the answer was “no” and that I would likely have to face Anna’s wrath the next morning, I reluctantly settled for crackers.
But some day Anna will learn that my willpower may not always be so strong when it comes to leaving homemade goodies alone. She’ll learn the hard way that that’s the way the cookie crumbles.