Burn: “verbal ownage”

by Kathryn Baldwin

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I can’t help but think of the man I’ve been in love with for five years. You may be thinking, “Yeah right! This girl wasn’t in love at 16,” and you might be right, but that’s not the point. The point is that I’ve known Isaias long enough to be sure his favorite dessert is flan. After charring a layer of sugar and leaving a burnt amber puddle around my first attempt at a rum-flan recipe, I can’t help but think about all of the burning I’ve accidently attempted.

According to UrbanDictionary.com, the verb “to burn” is defined as “slang for verbal ownage.” The concept seems simple but I have it all wrong.

For example: My whole family is squashed hip-to-hip in the back of the Suburban, cruising down 680 with Isaias riding shot-gun and I miss the exit. So what do I do? I scream “Why didn’t you tell me to get off?!?!?!!?” at Isaias. Was it Isaias’ fault. Yes! Ok, No. I was driving, but the “burn,” or verbal ownage, that I attempted was so passively absorbed that I’ll never forget how inappropriately I reacted. I basically burned myself. Another example: the Thanksgiving dining table is lined with guests perched cross-legged, blotting their mouths between long-winded stories, aerating more wine and showing zero signs of movement. I take a few dirty plates into the kitchen where I find Isaias checking the score of the game. “You better not have left your F*%king  plate at the table!” I sternly blurt into his face…to which Isaias calmly answers, “I already rinsed my plate and put it in the dish washer thank you very much.” Not only did I treat him like a child, but in an attempt to belittle him I simply burned myself.

Having a boyfriend that absorbs word vomit like a friggin’ Bounty-quicker-picker-upper is the most pure form of karma. Throwing burns at him is like dropping a bomb and not running away; it’s like using a flamethrower on your own stinkin’ shoes.

Yesterday: I want to make Isaias’ favorite dessert to express my mid-February love in the form of baked milk, but what do I do? I burn the caramel.

On his way home from night school, Isaias stops by to taste my gift. Between smiling spoonfuls, he comments on the flan’s perfect texture and flawless presentation. He thanks me for all of my hard work, for trying so hard to make him happy on a busy day disguised as a holiday. The darn thing was drenched in rumified, liquid firewood. I heated the sugar much too impatiently yesterday, but did I burn Isaias today? No. I only burned my own ego. That’s how you know your boyfriend loves you. And that’s how you learn to turn down the heat.

Valentine’s Day Recipe: Rumified Flan for Isaias

Use a generic flan recipe and add about four tablespoons of rum to your heating milk (I think rum makes it more exciting, plus I already had some on hand). Oh! And when you’re heating the 3/4 cup of sugar in a saucepan, pause the Bachelor instead of laughing at Courtney and burning your caramel at the same time.

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3 Comments to “Burn: “verbal ownage””

  1. A few faves:

    “absorbs word vomit like a Bounty-quicker-picker-upper”
    “pause the Bachelor instead of laughing at Courtney and burning your caramel at the same time”

    you’re amazing! how do you come up with this stuff??

    And yes, Isaias deserves major credit for all his talents and calming your mini-freak outs 🙂 Love you both!

  2. Kate….you should submit this to a magazine or something. Your writing is amazing! I am impressed my friend.

  3. Thank you Bethany! You’re so sweet 🙂

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