Don’t Call It Love Until You Know Beans or No Beans?
Awww, well as Valentine’s Day is here I think back to close calls of almost entrapment that I’ve managed to avoid around this time of year. Spring is almost in the air and you can tell by the way the animals are acting. The heifers and fillies are nicer with spring almost being here, but watch out! They can still turn ornery faster than a hibernating grizzly who’s woken up in the middle of the night by the neighbor’s boom-boom music. If you’re one of those poor souls deciding to jump on the band wagon of love for the sake of seeing those pretty little doe eyes light up over a commercialized holiday, then I have some tips for you to make sure that “true love” lasts through the summer.
First off, don’t rush to label anything around this time of year. The fastest way to entrapment is when you utter the words, “I Love You!” or at least, “I like you a lot!” They are sure fire ways to have you handcuffed and sitting through Meg Ryan movies, or worse 50 shades of- there aren’t that many shades of gray! I know what you’re thinking….what if they say it first?
Well, then the code of the west applies and you have to acknowledge and be polite. I’d suggest a swift change in conversation, (if you let the other person linger on it then you’ll just make it unbearable on yourself). But, you have to make it a conversation she wants to engage in. I would go with something like a compliment on her appearance, then to kitchen remodeling, to cooking, then to quick and easy meals, down to sandwich recipes, and finally what’s her favorite sandwich to make you (if you need s favorite sandwich see one of the previous posts about a great roast beef recipe). See- you led her right down a path that helped both of you, and if you pulled it off right you did not have to commit to “love” too soon and you were well fed.
Ok, what if you’re reading the first part and it’s too late for you. You slipped up. The conversation didn’t go right, and you found yourself saying, “Honey, you make me the happiest man in the world, and every second of every minute since you have come into my life has been the most joyful, richest moments of my life. In fact, I didn’t realize how incomplete my life was until you came into it….you, my darling complete me!” Don’t worry- it happens to all of us at some point. But, once the proverbial cat is out of the bag how do you put it back in? Simply put, you can’t! You have to ride the horse you brung. But, you can use a simple test to see how compatible the relationship is. For example, how do you like your chili…..beans or no beans?
The beans or no beans fight over chili has been around since the lovely “Chili Queens” of San Antonio started selling it on the street corners of La Villita. The invenerable “bowl of red” was created when Canary Islanders who relocated to San Antonio brought with them their sumptuous spices mixed it with some home grown Mexican peppers, and added a heap of tasty beef. Viola, the “bowl of red” was born, and then the fight over beans and no beans was started.
Think of beans or no beans as the ultimate relationship test. Sure you can Google some 25 questions to true love, or you can simply get right to the heart of the matter, (No pun intended) by finding out what side of the fence your significant other is on. I’ve used this simple test myself. A few years ago I found myself dating a beautiful Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and things were going faster than water through a sock. She passed several of the other tests…she could dance (with a little tweaking for Texas two-stepping), wasn’t afraid to get dirty, it was almost true love when she smiled while sewing up a little colt one evening. Fact is, things were going faster than a snowball headed for Hades. So, when I pumped the brakes she outsmarted me with an invitation to a home cooked meal. (Take note of my mistake.) She wanted me to try her chili. Prettier words had never been spoken but, still reeling from a bad experience of “healthy enchiladas” from a previous relationship, (It’s not a pattern), I was hesitant to try another home cooked meal. Then, the Northern blew in and the aces and eights were dealt.
I found myself on a cold evening sitting down to that smile, and what was assured to me to be the best bowl of chili I ever had. After a frozen day of burning cactus to feed the herd, I was ready for a big bowl of chili. I didn’t mind the dogs, (although it’s usually a rule for me of no pets in the house), the house was clean, Don Williams was on the radio, and other than the pets I couldn’t find any other reason to call things off before they went too far! That is, until the chili showed up. I know what Garth Brooks means when he sings “Unanswered Prayers!” Because I almost whistled that tune when that bowl of anything but chili was placed before me.
However, my Mama raised me with better manners than she probably gets credit for because like the rule of dancing with a woman that asks you to dance, you have to eat two helpings of whatever a woman cooks you. I’m thankful that the dinner table this beautiful little vet and I were sitting at was placed against a wall, and we were sitting next to each other instead of facing each other. It’s the only way I figured she thought my grimace was a smile when she said, “it looks good, right?” I don’t know what I answered but, it was along the lines of “sure does” or “you-betcha”- whatever would avoid any further line of questioning. For the life of me…to this day I’m still not sure of what I ate that night. She called it chili, but there were lima beans in it. I asked her about the beans, and she said all good chili has beans in it. I knew right then that it wasn’t true love. Sure, the International Chili Society’s World Cook-Off is now including a category of chili with beans, but it still doesn’t make it my kind of chili. I might have fallen for pinto beans, but lima is where I draw the line. And, if you are going to find yourself trapped in with a beautiful woman during a cold spell then you might as well make sure you agree on beans or no beans…if not it could be a long winter!
We parted ways amicably shortly after that, and we’ve had a few good laughs over that chili recipe. But, that simple test worked. It wasn’t meant to be and we’re each the better off for it. She’s settled with a great herd of kids, and she’s not tied to me.
So, when you find yourself with this upcoming cold spell soaking in and wanting to find out if your Valentine’s date is the one, then y’all should whip up a batch of red with some great tasting Certified Hereford Beef, and answer that age old question– Beans Or No Beans?
Either way it turns out, you can thank me later!