I made my world-famous fajitas for my friends Betsy and Randy for dinner tonight. Betsy and Randy are some of my dearest friends. I’ve known Betsy forever; we went to high school and college together. Betsy married Randy, who also went to college with us. Randy loves guns and is about to graduate from nursing school. Do you see how these relationships work? Age-old friendships, guns and nursing? Win, win, win. Everyone is happy.
Betsy, Randy, Zack and I all like to eat spicy food, so I didn’t worry at all when I blended up my special magical fajita mix and let the meat soak up flavor and spice all afternoon. I knew it was going to leave us all with a nice afterburn and possibly a slightly runny nose, but I didn’t care. Deliciousness with an afterburn is just all that much more delicious.
At dinner, though, Betsy seemed to be really affected by the spice. We ate dinner outside on some patio furniture by the grill. There was a nice chill in the air — Betsy and I were both wearing sweaters — but I noticed as the dinner progressed that she had sweat beading up on her forehead. She was really feeling the spice.
She’s a tough lady, though. She didn’t complain. She just kept on eating those fajitas.
As I finished eating my last taco, I watched Betsy as she loaded up another taco. She’d wondered outloud as to whether the heat was coming from the meat she was eating or the taco’s fixin’s. I didn’t think anything about that question until I noticed that she was heaping on the toppings that I’d chopped up before we’d gone outside to the patio. To consolidate the number of containers, I’d put the onions, bell peppers, cilantro and jalapenos all into the same Tupperware container. I heaped each one of the chopped toppings into its own corner of the plastic bowl, and they had done a good job of staying put. And Betsy was heaping the peppers directly from the jalapeno corner.
As soon as I figured it out, I asked, “Oh my gosh, are you piling raw jalapeno peppers onto your tacos?!” Betsy looked at me with a gaze that burned a hole through my face. I’m not sure if it was anger or just the jalapenos that caused the burning, but something did, that much is for sure. She said, “THE WHAT?” Apparently, she’d been unaware that I’d chopped jalapeno peppers for the dinner. She thought she had been heaping gentle and crispy bell peppers onto her fajitas all this time.
At that point, I made a sacrifice that any good friend would do after she realized that she’d just flamed out her friend’s sinus cavities. I poured half of my margarita into her glass.
Sharing margaritas is a sign of true love. I learned tonight that another sign of caring would be to properly label your fajita toppings. And I also learned that perhaps it’s better to wash more dishes than it is to have your best friend melt the inside of her head.