Every week, The New Yorker magazine gives readers a cartoon in need of a caption.
My friend Melissa won contest #733.
I think it’s so cool that someone I know won.
This led me to thinking about something that I recently did and how we all add captions to the life before our eyes.
I take a picture of the casserole dish filled with remains of the colorful pasta and army-green utensil Annie has left on the kitchen counter—ostensibly for someone else to clean.
Out of frame is an empty container of feta, a half-filled (half-empty?) pint of cherry tomatoes, bottle of olive oil, basil stems, salt, pepper, and the skins from several cloves of garlic.
I pop a tomato in my mouth and note that it is desperately lacking the full-tomato flavor available in warmer months.
Passive-aggressively, I text her the image of what I see along with the caption—“This oughtn’t have been left for me to clean.”
TikTok pasta—made with the above mentioned ingredients—is simple and delicious comfort food.
I heartily recommend it.
Look out of your eyes at this very moment.
Widen your vision.
Take it all in—the whole scene before you.
Notice your hands and the setting around them..
If it were to be a picture, what words would you use to caption this moment and your still-frame mental image?
Almost immediately after sending the text, I regretted it.
I doubt she was intending on dissing me.
Most likely, as she was on her way out to a concerts, she just ran out of time.
And, even if she were dissing me, what good would come out of my text?
I’m an adult, for God’s sake.
I ought to be bigger than automatic victimhood.
As I begin to chastise myself for my blunder, my wise mind steps in to forgive myself for being human. For God’s sake.
I text my daughter an attempt to smooth things over: “Hey. I love you. I hope you are having a great time.”
It’s amazing that we can buy tomatoes year round.
But that’s not what I’m thinking about when I eat one.
I’m thinking about how it’s not really good.
I mean, who gets to live in a world in which tomatoes are available year round?
I do. And, I’ve just captioned the scene Passive Aggressive Father.
I hope in this year to caption more moments with, “This is all pretty amazing.”