What’s for dinner? Confusion!

Baked beans

Now, I’ve previously mentioned the fact that sometimes N and I have a little bit of trouble understanding one another due to our accents – his Southern, my (lack of any accent whatsoever) Northern. What I’ve not ever mentioned is the fact that sometimes, we use entirely different terms or phrases to talk about the exact same thing. Oddly, this comes into play primarily when we are talking about food.

One evening, when we’d only been married a month or so, I couldn’t think of much to make for dinner, and was feeling rather lazy. Peering into the refrigerator, I saw we had a package of hot dogs. Lo and behold, in the cabinets we had a can of baked beans. Dinner dilemma solved!

“Hey sweetie, do you mind hot dogs and beans for dinner?”

“Sounds good!”

Once everything was done, I asked N if he wanted a plate or a bowl. From the living room, he answered that he wanted a plate. I said, “Okayyyy…” while grabbing a bowl for myself.

It must have been the uncertainty in my voice that caused him to get up before I spooned his portion out onto a plate and come see what in the world I was talking about. When he did, he looked at me like I was crazy.

“That’s not hot dogs!”

According to my husband, if it doesn’t have a bun, it is not a hot dog. Take a hot dog, chop it up and put it in baked beans? Wienies and beans. A hot dog on a plate sans bun? Wienie. A hot dog in a bun? That is the only time it is actually a hot dog, in the world of N.

Similar confusion occurred over the term “barbecue.” Don’t tell N, but I am still not sure what he means when he says barbecue. We went to a barbecue buffet with his parents once, and after we’d finished our plates, N turns to me and asks, “Did you try the barbecue?”

We were at a barbecue restaurant. I figured everything was barbecue. So I said, “Yes?”

Again, my husband recognized my, “I am confused, you are a crazy man, what should I answer” tone of voice.

“Are you sure you had it?”

“Umm. Which one was it again? I thought they were all barbecue?”

At this point, his parents are trying not to laugh, and N shakes his head incredulously and makes me get up and go back to the buffet with him to point out what the barbecue is.

In my head, barbecue is any kind of meat in barbecue sauce or done on the grill. Apparently, I have a lot to learn.

Dinner time in our house is becoming slightly less confusing, but there are still the occasional mishaps and adventures – either when eating with N’s family (think Thanksgiving), going out to eat, or occasionally just whipping something up in the kitchen. Food, apparently, is one of those areas where we may never come entirely to terms.

Because it’s still a hot dog, even if it’s chopped up and thrown in a pot of baked beans, darnit.

About Elizabeth

I'm a native New Englander, married to a native Southerner - culture shock, settling into married life, a new job, a new house, and adjusting to life 800 miles away from my family are the basics of my everyday life. I'm lucky enough to have my best friend as my husband, the funniest dog in existence, and enough room in our home to fit all of my books and zombie movies, without which I'd be lost.
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