They say that humor keeps a marriage alive. If that’s true, then The Photographer and I have a nice, long road ahead of us.
My darling husband and I decided that, for our sanity’s sake, we had to get off the mountain and have a little romantic getaway for our anniversary. So, off to the Queen City we went for the weekend for a little R and R. After we checked in and settled in our hotel room, I pulled back the curtain, peeked out the window and looked around. We were on the fifth floor, overlooking the parking lot. Although I prefer to have a nicer view (how ‘bout the hotel’s other side overlooking the luxurious pool and cabana?), it wasn’t as if we were at the beach where not being on the water would have seriously been a total deal breaker. Plus, I really doubted that I would be spending any significant time gazing at the scenery anyway. Just then, a deep, rolling clap of thunder made me look up and notice the sky, beautifully blue with fluffy electric white clouds only a few minutes before, now dark and ominous in menacing black. It was about to storm. Big time.
Since the weather wasn’t looking so great for venturing out, we decided to order in room service for dinner instead. Spying our vehicle directly below me, I realized that I hadn’t yet brought in my fan from the car (I’m pathetic and can’t sleep without it). I fumbled around my purse for my keys and told Adam, who was lounging on the bed, incessantly flipping television channels (what is it about men and remotes???), that I wanted to get it before it started raining since I had also forgotten to bring in our umbrella. Typical. As soon as the doors closed on the elevator, the rain came. Did it ever. It. Was. Pouring. Thundering and lightning and pouring, pouring, pouring. I stood outside under the building’s protective striped awning, waiting for the downpour to subside long enough for me to make a mad dash to the car. Seeing that the deluge was obviously not going to be short-lived, I resolved to bite the bullet and bolt so I could get on with my evening and the
bottle glass of wine that had my name on it upstairs.
Running and pointing the car’s remote, I reached for the door handle. It was locked. I hit the remote a second time. A third. I heard the internal click – not once, but twice. The rain was pelting me in the face, drenching every inch of me, as I desperately pushed the little button over and over, mumbling, “Come on! Come on!” It made the “right” sound but the car would just not open. Dazed and confused, I ran back under the safety of the awning, joining another guest who was having a cigarette outside of the smoke-free building.
“I don’t know what in the world is going on! My remote doesn’t seem to be working!” I cried to the stranger, stomping and shaking the water off me as best I could.
As he very slowly exhaled a large puff of smoke, he said, “Maybe it got wet from the rain and shorted out. That’s happened to me before.”
So, I shook the remote, too, because, well, that always works when something electrical is broken, right? I aimed the device at our SUV in the distance, pressed down really hard on it like you do when the batteries are going low and saw the car’s lights flash. Thank goodness! I raced to the car in my flip-flops, splashing through several large puddles that had already accumulated in the parking lot and attempted to once again open the door. It was still locked! Are you freaking kidding me? At this point, I was pretty upset. No, the drowned rat with streaks of mascara running down her face was pissed. I ran back under the stupid awning, cursing as the smoker looked away from my gaze because he didn’t want me to see him giggling. Yeah, buddy, I can tell you’re laughing at me…ha-ha. It’s hilarious.
For a second, I thought I should go get Adam since there was something obviously wrong with my car key, but my stubborn streak and, yes, my wounded pride in front of Marlboro Man, dictated one last shot at the thing. Finally! Success! I yanked my fan out from the back seat, stuck out my tongue in the general direction of my umbrella and triumphantly locked the car and beeped the alarm. Upon entering our hotel room, I almost threw my fan down before burying my face in a dry towel. As I patted and sopped at my dripping clothes and hair, I noticed Adam was on the bed on his back, holding his stomach from a fit of uncontrollable, but silent, laughter, his entire body shaking with hilarity. “What’s so damn funny?” I demanded. “You know what just happened to me?” I asked in a dubious tone as I wrapped the towel around my head and poured myself a drink.
Still cackling, he held up his right hand high in the air. His car keys dangling from his grasp. Wiping the tears from his eyes, Adam got up and stood at the window. It took me about five seconds before enlightenment. You know where this is going, right?
Adam, playing God with his remote in warm and dry comfort, would counter my every attempt to unlock the car. Boom! Zap! Pow! Ain’t gonna happen. Laughing the whole time, I’m sure.
After a long, hot bath, several glugs of red wine and then comfortably tucked into a cozy white cotton bathrobe, I decided that yes…that was a pretty clever trick. Even at my expense. (I sure can dish it out but taking it? SO not as much fun!)
Besides, I couldn’t possibly stay mad at him. Honestly, I can never, ever stay mad at him. Why, you ask (other than those dimples? Or his mesmerizing baby blues…I could go on and on…)? Well, because let’s just say that even after 18 years of wedded bliss, he still continues to push all of my right buttons.
Adam’s Famous Grilled Strip Steaks
- 4 (12- to 14-ounce) New York strip steaks
- extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- smoked paprika
- garlic powder
- Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Pat each steak dry with paper towels. Drizzle some olive oil over one side of the steak and rub in. Generously season each with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Flip the steaks over and repeat on the other side. Allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high. For medium-rare, grill the steaks for about 6 minutes on each side, turning once. Remove the steaks to a platter, tightly cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:
Planning: Medium-rare is usually considered to be the perfect degree of doneness for steak. If you like yours a little more done, grill your steaks a little longer. Since all grills cook slightly differently, use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the correct internal temperature for desired degree of doneness.
Product Purity: A New York strip steak is also known as a strip steak, New York steak and shell steak. It’s cut from the most tender section of beef, the short loin. Depending where you are in the country, it’s also marketed as Delmonico steak, Kansas City (strip) steak and sirloin club steak. A quality aged steak is worth seeking out here.
Presentation: I like to go all steakhouse swank and chef it up with presentation for this stunning meal. Nestle your steak in a center pool of silky mashed potatoes. Serve with tender-crisp broccolini. A ramekin (like this super cute one from World Market-love that place!) of bordelaise or a Cabernet-demi-glace sauce (available at gourmet stores) served on the side elevates this steak to nirvana.