Tina Rowley

writer + (performer) + [space left open for surprises]

in praise of vegemite

What is one of the ways that I know my marriage has taken?

This is one:

Crazy, freaky, salty Vegemite.

Dave introduced me to Vegemite, after we had fallen in love and were briefly separated by a globe. We would send packages to each other full of books, letters, CDs, treats. In one of his packages was the salty spread of his heart.

This is my husband, Dave. He's from -- well, hey. Take a stab at it.

I didn't exactly hate it, right off. Dave counselled me to begin my Vegemite odyssey by buttering a piece of toast, and then putting the thinnest, teeniest layer of Vegemite on it as possible. I did that, over the phone with him, in one of many conversations so long that when my long distance was finally cut off and the horrible sum I owed the phone company was revealed to me by an unsuspecting customer service agent, I swore at her uncontrollably for maybe five minutes. (Shameful, shameful five minutes.)

(But also, fuck AT&T. They could have warned me about how high the bill was getting! MCI DID. Fuckballs.)

I bit it. The toast. Um. Well. All right. Hmm. My immediate feeling was, plain buttered toast, it is so good, so why, why? Why did we do this? Why did we put weird thick soy sauce on it?

Vegemite. Yes.....but why?

(This reminds me of my old friend Jessica, who in college used to do these wonderful little tiny drawings, always with a little mundane object in it...well, I will try to recreate one for you, in cheap MS paint form. This will not be as good, but all right.)

Jessica's handwriting/drawing skills were infinitely better than this.

So, now, nearly two years have passed since I was first introduced to The 'Mite. Dave and I have been married. Twice. Once in a courtroom, to get our immigration ball rolling, and once in THE BEST CEREMONY EVER, in my mom's garden about a month ago. And something started happening recently, wherein when Dave has been making toast for us, I've started asking him to put a little Vegemite on mine, for the hell of it.

And now it's escalated to this; I ate four gigantic slices of toast this morning and I scraped the jar of Vegemite clean to get them all dressed up for myself. Then, in the evening, I went off to rehearse for a play. All during rehearsal, a small part of my mind was like, we're out of Vegemite. I'm going to go to the store later. We need some Vegemite. Breakfast is coming. And right after rehearsal, I screamed it on over to the store and bought two jars, so we would not suddenly run out.

Dave and I are truly, truly married now.

Things to know:

I have never eaten Marmite, but Dave has, and he feels that it sucks.

Others disagree.

When Dave was 17, he was in a band called "The Happy Little Vegemites". They took their inspiration from this.

This is out there, and it is weird.

Okay. Carry on.