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Home: The Toast

If Ted Cruz were your husband, he’d stock the pantry with 100 cans of soup because he doesn’t expect you to cook. He understands that your career is just as important as his career, and he is just a thoughtful guy. You protested that you liked to cook and 100 cans of soup were extreme, but your mother said, “Let Ted have his soup. A marriage is about give and take and understanding your partner’s needs. Maybe soup makes Ted feel safe.” You’d begin to understand that each of the 100 cans was Ted saying “I love you.”

If Ted Cruz were your husband, he’d wake you each morning by singing a Broadway show tune. Not just the chorus either, but the entire song from the original cast album. Ted likes to call you from wherever he is and sing “There is Nothing like a Dame” to tell you he misses you. You know exactly how Ted is feeling by what song he’s singing: songs from Carousel when he’s feeling amorous, Sweeney Todd if he’s feeling murderous. You knew he was running for president when he’d call and sing the songs from 1776.

If Ted Cruz were your husband, you’d start to see cans of soup turn up in unlikely places, like those ubiquitous garden gnomes. You’d spy a stranger in the crowd holding up a can of Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder, and you’d startle, and then think, “Those are NOT traditional chowder flavors!”  When you’d get in an elevator, there would be a can of soup in the corner. When you’d get into an Uber there would be a can of Chunky Goulash on the seat. 

If Ted Cruz were your husband, you would plot to get rid of that baggy old trench coat he has. Every time you donated it though, it would reappear in the coat closet as if you’d never thrown it out. After a few tries you’d notice that favorite things of yours started to disappear, every time you donated that coat. When you would buy him a new coat, the old one would take its place. Soon you’d start to see the old coat out of the corner of your eye hanging in odd places, but when you’d turn your head to look, the coat wouldn’t be there anymore.

If Ted Cruz were your husband, you’d learn that Chunky Soup was one of Ted’s love languages; like the language of flowers, only more rich and nuanced. Classic Chicken and Noodle means Ted wants to take care of you, Sirloin Burger with Country Vegetables means “I’m in the mood for love,” Wicked Thai Style Chicken means “Let’s get kinky,” Cheesy Stuffed Baked Potato means “I want to simplify the tax code.”

If Ted Cruz were your husband, you would slowly purge color from your wardrobe. You would dress in sleek neutrals, and suddenly get your hair cut in a sleek bob, “for summer,” and wear only a simple gold watch as jewelry. No one would notice the change but your mother but she would approve.

If Ted Cruz were your husband, you would laugh softly whenever the topic of the Zodiac Killer came up, and you’d explain that not only was it chronologically impossible for Ted to have committed those murders, “Ted was just a baby, and besides, even then he was a much better writer,” making a joke out of it.

If Ted Cruz were your husband, you might find a mysterious amulet on his dresser one night, but when he saw you looking at it, he’d whisk it out of sight. Later you realized you’d seen those symbols before on the back of the dollar bill.

If Ted Cruz were your husband, you’d notice that crows seemed to follow him around, making loud squawks to each other and sometimes sitting and listening, their heads nodding. “It’s just a weird coincidence,” you’d think, until you recognized that it was always the same crows. Once you thought you saw Ted and a crow exchange glances and a nod, but you told yourself it was a trick of the light.

If Ted Cruz were your husband he would say “When I clerked for Justice Rehnquist at the Supreme Court…” so often you’d have mugs and t-shirts printed with that phrase for him and his staff to use, as a Father’s Day gift.

If Ted Cruz were your husband, you would know his secret passion was flamenco, and his fondest dream was to go to Spain and take lessons from a master. In his spare time he dances flamenco for exercise, and his most treasured possession is his hand-embroidered flamenco jacket.

If Ted Cruz were your husband, you would call his hotel and order room service avocado toast as a joke, because he hates avocados. Then he’d notice the soup and cheese bouquet you sent and he’d smile at your thoughtfulness.

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Kathleen Cooper is a writer from Virginia. Her work has appeared in The Toast, The Airship, The Washington Post, and Medium. When she isn't rooting for the California Golden Bears, she designs textile art, reads cookbooks in bed, and wrangles two cats, a golden retriever, and her husband.

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