I shouldn’t grill things. Probably ever. I mean, we’re pretty gender-advanced in this house most of the time. Dan does dishes and can make a mean chicken parmesan. I install light fixtures and am a master of (almost) all things fried. Neither of us is good at keeping up with laundry or dusting.
But there are just a few things around here where we just shouldn’t try to break out of our roles because if we do, someone’s getting hurt.
Sunday, after a trip through the Starbucks drive-thru to ungrumpify me, we ran some errands. In the pouring rain. By the time we finally got back home, both kids were about two shades shy of pumpkin and everyone in this family was done and Dan and I were starving.
But crying children trump screaming stomachs so into the bath with Emma. Then it was Joshua’s turn while I nursed her to sleep. I joined Joshua and Dan for a chapter from Peter Pan and then told Dan I’d light the grill so he could throw on the steaks when he was done putting Joshua to bed.
As I walked out the door, he said “You know we use the…”
“And you know you have to…”
“Turn on the propane. Yep. Got it.”
And I skipped on out the door stopping to make sure Emma had stayed asleep.
(Now that I type that out, that was actually a smooth bed time. Unless my brain is doing that self-preservation thing and blocking The Awful from my long-term memory.)
We use a clicker lighter to light the grill instead of the little igniter button. I’m not sure why, but I know enough to know we do. So I found it and out to the patio I went.
I opened the propane.
I turned on the burners.
I stuck the lighter into the little hole in the front of the grill.
And then the lighter didn’t light because my hands were wet and I couldn’t get a grip on it. So I pulled the lighter out of the hole and dried my hand off as best I could and looked at the lighter a time or two and then put it back in the hole and checked to see if it was in the right place.
And the lighter still didn’t light.
So I dried my hand off again. And I peered into the grill to make sure the lighter was in the right place.
And then I got the lighter to light.
But do you know what had been on the whole time?
So when that lighter finally lit that grill, a giant mushroom cloud of propane-fueled fire nearly burnt my face hairs off.
I jumped back and grabbed at my necklace, which I was sure had burnt a hole clean through to my ribcage. And then I smelled the god-awful smell of burnt hair and ran inside the house to make sure I still had eyebrows.
I did. Thank the baby Jesus. Because without eyebrows I’d look as awkward and deranged as bald Britney.
After my hands stopped shaking, I poured myself a big glass of Pinot Grigio and vowed to leave all future grilling duties to Dan.
I know my place, y’all. And it’s not by the grill.