Many years ago, before the Internet even, I cavorted with a good friend in an 'out-of-bounds' sorta way. We're both otherwise diligent and caring folks, albeit still human animals, so we cleaned up our mess rather quickly and moved on with life.
We kept in touch by way of e-mail when that became The Thing To Do. Eons (okay, like, 12 years) later, my friend and I were catching each other up on our myriad life events (mostly related to my Job Search du Jour, I think) when he casually typed that he "relished" memories of the time we'd spent together back in the day.
I was a single-for-too-long, work-at-home (more than a little insane from the 24/7 Toddler Talk) mama by then, and man, did I jump on my friend's comment. Throwing the metaphorical door open wide, I was ready to do some rekindling.
Problem was that my friend – one of the most dedicated marital hold-outs in the history of smart and attractive males – was prepping for his impending nuptials. Surprise!
Par for my course.
A few heated e-mails later (my tantrums are legend) I finally understood what he meant.
From my dear Merriam-Webster:
a : enjoyment of or delight in something that satisfies one's tastes, inclinations, or desires <eat with great relish>
b : a strong liking : inclination <has little relish for sports>
It's a real good thing that I finally figured out that relishing the memories certainly did not mean that my friend felt inclined to relive or rekindle the past. It's a good thing because I truly like his wife, for one thing. She is The One for my friend. It's a good thing, too, because he and I can continue to be friends. Real friends, the kind that can say not only that there's spinach between your teeth, but that while
we're at it, did you shower today? And no love is lost.
But that's what we tend toward, isn't it?
If we love it, if it makes us feel good, well, hell YEAH, we want it. Now. For real. In our face. Right?
Relishing is the digging of something. Not the doing.
Score one huge point for the wordsmith – but had it not been for my friend’s boundary-laying, it's a lesson that might still be hanging, uncaught.
Forward a few more years to now. My friend – let's call him The Editor Too – has a thriving marriage, a burgeoning music career (c'mon, let's just say it, Al), and a real zest with words. And he is bartering skills with me. I blab about his band's music and he reins me in literarily. My words, I mean.
Just in time, too, because The Editor that we've all come to know and love is taking a science sabbatical from sighing with resignation over guiding my attempts at prose. I see a white picket fence in his future, just like the one in his dreams.
So – meet The Editor Too.
One of the nicest things about being able to relish friends and other things for just who or what they are – and not for what you hope or scheme – is that you can continue to watch their glimmering light bouncing, at least until the point when you watch the prison bars dissolve.
And I may get a hogwire fence outta this one. (With permission granted by his excellent wife who has a lot of other household chores for The Editor Too to follow through on...)
And now for a little relish of a different kind...
aka White Girl Salsa
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1/4 cup comino
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup fine diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup fine diced onion
1 to 2 tsp kosher salt
1-14oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
Brown garlic in olive oil.
Stir in comino & chili powder to make Mexican roux.
Add 1/2 of the onions & peppers.
Stir in about 1/2 cup of juice from canned tomatoes, 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring constantly.
You should have enough watery liquid to bring to simmer (if not, add more tomato juice from can).
Stir in about 1/4 of the canned tomatoes. Simmer uncovered about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Don't let it simmer all the way down to nothing (add more juice if necessary).
After 5 minutes of simmering, add salt, rest of onions & peppers and tomatoes. Bring to simmer point and turn off.
Serve warm or chilled.