By Elaine Viets
I found out about the major difference between men and women on the fourth day of our honeymoon. Don and I were staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York, before it was Trumped.
The night before, I’d polished off a bottle of champagne mixed with four bottles of Guinness stout. Don called this concoction a Black Velvet.
It went down smooth and wicked. It woke me up, mean and nasty. At two in the morning, I didn’t feel like I’d been drinking Black Velvet. I felt like I’d been eating old carpets. My stomach heaved and churned like the storm-tossed North Atlantic. A gale of acid indigestion was going on down there.
I crawled into the bathroom and lay down on the cool tile floor. The hotel housekeeper would find me in the morning, dead. I could wear my wedding dress in my coffin. Right now, I just wanted to throw up and die.
Don poked his head in the bathroom and said, "Are you all right?" He was repulsively cheerful.
"Uhhhh," I groaned, like a creature from a freshly opened tomb.
"Reuben’s deli is open all night," he said. "Can I get you something to soothe your stomach?"
It wasn’t fair. The man drank more than I did, and he looked like he’d spent the night swilling soda water. I summoned the strength for a deathbed request.
"Just a little white meat of turkey," I said. "On a slice of white bread."
I put my head on the rim of the cool white commode and fell asleep.
Next thing I knew, Don was back with a disgusting, smelly, paper-wrapped mound. He had an innocent, proud look, like a retriever that had just brought a dead rabbit into the living room.
In this case it was a dead turkey. A full pound, covered with pickles, onions and sour cream, all of it swimming on a raft of Russian rye. My stomach lurched.
"You beast!" I screamed. "How could you do this?"
"You said you wanted turkey," he said, looking puzzled.
I slammed the door to the bathroom. The sandwich smell was so strong it invaded the whole room. While I lay dying, Don not only ate his pastrami, he also ate the monstrous turkey, onion and sour cream sandwich.
The next morning, I nibbled soda crackers for breakfast and wondered if it was too late to have the marriage annulled. I’d been married five days and I’d made a terrible mistake. Any man who would bring a sandwich like that to a dying woman was too insensitive to be married.
That was my awful intro to the man-made sandwich. From what I could figure out, a man-made sandwich has nothing to do with the sandwiches that women make. We prefer dainty creations made with healthy whole-grain bread, lettuce, watercress and other vegetables, free-range chicken and white meat of turkey, and when we’re feeling reckless, fat-free mayo.
A man-made sandwich looks like the guy cleaned out the fridge and put it on bread. It may have leftover pot roast, barbecue, chicken, pork chops, cole slaw, or potato salad. Pickles, relishes, onions, red pepper, black pepper and strange objects floating in vinegar in the jars on the side shelves are acceptable. Real mayo is a must. Hot sauce, hot mustard and spicy ketchup will do. Butter is always better. Deep-fat frying, in the finest Elvis tradition, is the making of a man’s sandwich.
Lettuce belongs in a salad bowl. Whole grains are for rabbits. Rye and dark bread are good, but should be used sparingly. They could be borderline healthy. Spongy pillow bread is ideal.
Back when I did television, I ate a pig-ear sandwich on camera. That’s a deep-fried pig’s ear, covered in barbecue sauce and potato salad and served on a white bun.
"I can’t eat that thing," I told my agent.
"Shut up," she said. "People have eaten worse to advance their careers."