Among the many who populated my early twenties, I still remember one – Matt Porter – with whom I was casually, but intensely, involved. I say intensely because boy was pretty like spiced honey and could werq. (Yes, that’s spelled right. Check your urban dictionary.) He called me one afternoon because he was in town and attending a “Pimps and Hos” party. He wanted to know if I had a feather boa his date could borrow. I did not. He was surprised. “Of anyone who would own a feather boa, I figured it would be you.” I reminded him that fabulous does not equal disposable income. We hung up the phone. I never spoke to him again, thus making it the last day of our acquaintance. Even if I had possessed a feather boa at the time, I certainly would not have lent it to some anonymous skag only to have it returned, if returned at all, matted with bodily fluids.

Similarly, you IM-ed me the other day. You were in the mood for French food and apparently wanted to brainstorm with me. We tossed around a few things – coq au vin, biftek et pomme frites. The session was apparently fruitful as you landed on chicken masala. I didn’t believe for one minute that you were dining tout seul. You rarely cook such elaborate things for yourself. What I didn’t expect is that you would actually stoop so low as to pick my brain for dishes to make for your new live-in girlfriend. (That’s what? Three months from your “Best. Date. EVAR.” to shacking up? Either you’ve refined the efficiency of your con or really does get more singles into relationships than any other website.)

As I wanted to tell Matt Porter back in the heady years of the 90’s, I will tell you now. Do not mistake me for your friend. A feather boa is one thing. I covet fashion, but clothes – unless vintage or legacy pieces – aren’t that close to my heart. Food, on the other hand…now that’s fuckin’ personal. So it is that I lay this curse upon your kitchen from this date forward into eternity:

May all your chickens be burnt on the outside and undercooked on the inside.
May all your sauces curdle.
May all your cocktails be unbalanced.
May all knives dull at your touch.
May your new girlfriend grow fat, gaseous, and gouty.
May both of your souls continually starve because food no longer nourishes you.
May all the winters you continue to spend in Chicago be brutally cold.
May all your future kitchens be uncomfortably small and lack storage.
May all your waiters be surly.
May all your take-out arrive late and cold.
May you always live in a neighborhood with crappy grocery stores.
May there always be surprise shrimp in your Chinese food.

And, most importantly, may none of the recipes you find on your own ever work and may you never again correctly remember the few recipes you have rattling around in your head.