I have been teasing my husband about mint. See, a while back my mother brought a fresh sprig up from her garden. My husband carefully tended it in a pickle jar with water – while I scoffed every now and then, just to go after his nuts – until one day Minty was big and strong enough for him to split off a piece and start it, or however you do that sort of thing. Ever since then he’s periodically been taking mint plants to the ladies at his work. They are impressed and shower him with compliments – I should point out that a woman doing this would receive far less praise – which apparently went to his head and so he TOOK IT OUTSIDE. The mint plant, that is. He planted it outside in the yard and, what with the clipping of small mint children he’d been doing, it looked pretty assy for a few days. But, with watering and love he seems to be growing a rather fetching mint plant, if I do say so myself (well, I haven’t said so – I don’t want to give him the satisfaction).
Tonight while I was planning the menu for a get-together at my place tomorrow – I’m making Greek meatballs – it occurred to me that I’d rather automatically left mint off my shopping list because we have it here. About ten minutes ago I said casually to my husband, “Hey, I need some fresh mint for my meatballs tomorrow!” Big. mistake.
His eyes pop and he stares at me with a dazed, intense expression: “I HAVE MINT. In my garden, I have mint growing. You can have it. Would you like me to get you some fresh mint? Wait. But you have to say, ‘I’m glad you are growing that garden with mint in it.'”
Please note this “garden” is a 4′ by 6′ dirt plot with – yes – one mint plant, a stunted nicotiana (that I sprouted, by the way) and two withering bulbs, all with about three square feet of dirt in between.
“OK…” I say, sensing a slightly maniacal edge and deciding to divert the conversation: “Hey, are you going to buy some wine?”
“Who’s holding the mint? Is it me or is it you? Maybe you should have to buy the wine.”[Silence].
He continues: “Since I have all the mint maybe you want to buy the wine. Yeah, put on some sandals, go down to the store and buy some wine. And if you want some mint, you have to ask.”[Silence].
“And by the way, I forbid you from buying mint. Because we have it in the yard. If you beg for it.”