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Meredith Leigh Knight Columnist

Published Friday, June 15, 2012

You grill, girl

I checked off an item off my husband’s bucket list this past Sunday. I, Meredith Leigh Knight, grilled hamburgers for the first time. It was quite empowering.

As I told my son, “At least now if I’m stranded in the woods with a gas grill and some steaks, we won’t starve.”

I’m not sure why I’ve never done it before. It just seemed to be an item that falls under my husband’s responsibility. I have a lot of these items. Unfortunately, the list is in my head, so my husband isn’t always aware of them. I would write them down, but it’s quite lengthy, and besides, he should instinctively know what they are.

On this particular day, we were entertaining company at the lake, and for the sake of time, my husband dropped me and my friend off at the cabin to get dinner started and allow the kids a little more tubing time.

“What about the grill?” I asked.

“Light it,” he said.

“How?” I said.

Thus, began a long explanation over which way to turn the nozzles during which time I zoned out and wished I had a pencil on the boat to jot it down.

Instead, I looked at my friend, who had never grilled before either, and said, “Got that?”

She assured me that she, in fact, did.

We soon approached the grill, spatula in hand, because how else do you approach a grill?

“Now what did he say to do?” my friend asked.

Fortunately, the instructions were printed on it. We followed them to a tee, even the part that said if you push the self-igniting button, and it doesn’t light, then wait five minutes before pushing again. After a few intervals, we realized the sucker was not going to self-ignite.

That’s when my friend picked up the gas can. It was empty.

“I think there’s another one in the shed,” I said, and since that naturally fell under my husband’s list of obligations, she and I happily went inside and chatted and ate crab dip.

Little while later, with the threat of rain on the horizon, the men and children got off the boat, tired and very hungry.

“Where are the hamburgers?” my husband asked.

“Oh, we are out of gas,” I said.

He looked perturbed and then changed the tank, as my friend and I poured ourselves some sweet tea and worked on solving the world’s problems.

“Put the burgers on while I put the boat up,” he said.

That’s when it hit me. He was serious. I was going to have to grill – for company. My friend and I put the patties on and turned up the gas and got ready to go back into the air conditioning.

“Don’t leave the grill!” Both of our husbands shouted in unison.

We looked at each other in shock. Who knew?

As we manned the grill, it soon became apparent that we’d have to flip the burgers. My primary concern during this exercise was preventing my hair from catching on fire.

“You do the ones in the back,” my friend said.

“But your arms are longer!” I protested, and then added, “My mama always said the burned part is the best.”

“Move them off the flame,” my friend’s husband said, concerned about his meal.

That’s when she and I realized that both men were enjoying a refreshing beverage, grinning with amusement, as we grilled.

“Wait a minute; I thought you were too busy to grill!”

Apparently, they weren’t that busy. Turns out the kids were watching, too. Fortunately, for all parties involved, my friend and I had the last laugh. Our burgers turned out perfect. Perhaps the best I’ve ever eaten. Along with that came a sense of pride. We are women. Hear us roar. Watch us grill.

I think next time I’m going to try chicken.

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