"He's a good, a wonderful man, just as you said," I gushed, but something in my face must have belied my words.
"So what's the problem?" she asked.
"He won't let me do the dishes or cook the steak. And he never says he loves me," I said. She looked at me, appalled. She said, "You want to do the dishes? You want to cook the steak? I thought you had enough of that with your first husband."
"Well, yes," I admitted, "but after all, food is such an important part of life. When all is said and done, the kitchen is the woman's domain, the place where, surely, she should have at least a say in how things are done. Now she doesn't have any domain at all."
"You have your work, your books. You have published—how many books since you were married? What have we women's libbers been fighting for, then?" she asked me, banging her fist on the checkered cloth. "Why don't you just let him do the dishes if he wants to? Let him cook his steak the way he likes it. A little distance, perhaps, is required?"
Indeed, I thought just this weekend as I watched my husband, now of many years, this white-haired American Jew, sitting beside me in the car, as he drove me home through blinding rain after taking me to read from a new book in some place upstate, a reading he himself had organized for me and then sat through, as I attempted to peddle my wares.
"What could I write about for O magazine?" I asked him, to the sound of the windshield wipers beating back and forth, the whine of the tires on the road.
"What about writing about a marriage between a Jew and a Christian?" he asked, turning his head and half smiling at me, adding, "You know something about that, I think?"
"Perhaps," I said, and added, "I could even find a happy ending to the piece," reaching out for his most beloved of hands.
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