Well, she thinks she hates them. I know better. Sometimes, I slip a little anchovy into a dish without her - how shall I put this? - ­informed consent. "Is there anchovy in this?" she'll say, appreciatively. "Just a little," I'll answer. "I thought so," she'll respond, and not touch another bite of the dish. I love that she wants to save it for later so that she can truly savor it rather than lose the anchovy flavor in the competing tastes of dinner.

Still, I do not order a dish with anchovies in, on, around, or near it. If I do, I get that thing that wives do: "Anchovies. Oh, you'll enjoy that." Then I'll go, "What?" And she'll go, "Nothing." And I'll go, "I, like, never order anchovies." And she'll go, "Did I say anything? I think it's great that you ordered them." And I'll go, "I'll get something else." And she'll go, "No. It's fine. Really." And I'll go, "No, no, no, no, no. It's no big deal."
And she'll go, "No. Really. It's fiiine." And I'll bury my head in the menu and wonder if all couples do this.

Which is why this day I didn't order a dish with a couple of anchovies crossed like an X atop the dish, easily pulled off so that the food underneath can be enjoyed even by those who mistakenly believe they hate anchovies. No, I ordered a whole plate of them. Salted and peppered, no less (whatever that meant).

When I ordered, I noted that salt-and-pepper anchovies were listed as an appetizer. The waiter said the dish was pretty big and I would probably be fine without ordering a main course. Although I was skeptical, I took his advice. I was glad I did. The anchovies arrived heaped on a giant oval platter. There were a bazillion of them. I had never seen so many anchovies in my life.