My husband James could be a real jerk at times. That day in the supermarket was one of those times. We were in the frozen food section, with all four of his children. Knowing that we were out of ice cream at home, I put a carton of Butter Pecan (my favorite flavor) in the cart. He immediately objected.
“I’m tired of Butter Pecan, let’s get Strawberry,” he said, grabbing a carton of Strawberry and putting the Butter Pecan back in the freezer case.
“Wait a minute,” I countered, “You know I don’t like Strawberry — let’s just get both.”
“No, I’m trying to lose weight and I don’t want to have two cartons in the house.” I was really skinny back then, so there was no incentive for me to try to lose weight. I tried logic.
“Well if you’re trying to avoid temptation, it would make more sense to get the Butter Pecan,” I began.
He adamantly refused and blocked the door to the case with Butter Pecan, “I don’t want Butter Pecan!”
I decided to try a compromise, “Okay, how about a flavor we both like, maybe Fudge Ripple or Dutch Chocolate?”
“No,” he insisted, pouting like a child. At that point I noticed the four pairs of big round eyes watching us. I realized it was upsetting the kids to see us arguing. So even though it was patently unfair, I gave in and let him push the cart with only the Strawberry ice cream.
I fumed all the way home, and didn’t even help carry in the groceries. I went to the bedroom and turned on the TV. James joined me after a short while and called out to the kids to bring him a bowl of ice cream.
Great, I thought, now he’s going to flaunt his selfish choice in front of me. I was really pissed.
Chris, the oldest boy, came in with a big bowl of ice cream and handed it to James, who smirked at me before taking a big bite. Then he sputtered, “What the …!”
The bowl contained Butter Pecan ice cream. He immediately accused Chris of pulling a switch.
“No dad,” Chris said, “I got that from the new carton — it’s the only one in the fridge.”
We all adjourned to the kitchen to investigate. Sure enough there was only one carton in the fridge (and I even checked the trash for old cartons). The carton was clearly labeled “Strawberry”, but when we opened the lid we could see that it contained Butter Pecan ice cream.
There was no evidence of tampering. The ice cream was untouched in the portion that still had the plastic covering, and was clearly Butter Pecan.
James glared at me suspiciously. “I don’t know how you did it,” he griped, “but I know you did something.”
All I could do was laugh, and relieve him of the bowl of ice cream. The kids were sure I had performed some sort of magic trick, and for weeks perstered me to say how I pulled the switch. I had no answer, since I had not done anything except wish that it was the other flavor. I thought it was just a case of cosmic justice.