I worked late the other night, which means my husband Eric and our youngest son Matt either ordered pizza or subs, or ate spaghetti or something Eric cooked on the grill. I know this because Eric is a creature of habit and this is how he handles supper.
After I got home, Eric had a great Matt quote for me.
Apparently the 17-year-old walked in the house, saw his dad cooking and announced, “I have to make sure to keep Mom alive until I leave home for good, because otherwise all I’ll ever get to eat is spaghetti and stuff off the grill.”
That statement is odd on so many levels. The most obvious, of course, is his pledge to keep Mom alive. It makes me wonder what his plans for me were before the day he realized Dad hates to cook. I also wonder what exactly he’s willing to do to keep me alive. Rescue me off a cliff? Support me financially? Make me exercise and eat healthier?
Hard to say in our family.
The Eric versus cooking thing is rather funny to me, because he worked his way through high school as a short order cook. He is completely capable of cooking all sorts of things. But last summer after he crashed the 4-wheeler, he was off work for awhile. When he was feeling a bit better, but not yet able to go back to work, he got in the habit of starting supper so it would be ready when I got home. (He also folded laundry and did other household chores. I now know how handy is it to have a wife and I want one.)
Well, the cooking thing went on for all of three weeks, then he felt good enough to go play out in his garage. So we were back to me coming home at 5:30 or 6 p.m., making supper and all of us eating around 7 p.m.
After his very brief stint as our family cook, Eric decided he hated cooking and didn’t want to be responsible for supper anymore. He realized it is a pain in the butt to figure out what to make each night, to have to drop what you’re doing and get cooking so supper will be ready at a decent time, to be in the middle of preparing food only to realize someone ate one of your ingredients when you weren’t looking, etc.
So, after less than a month of being kind of in charge of food, he abdicated his head cook and bottle washer throne and headed back to the garage.
I do like to cook, I just don’t always like to have to cook.
I’ve been doing the whole “reluctantly in charge of cooking” thing for more than 20 years. He did it for 21 days. Sometimes I want to scream with frustration when I rush home from work, skid in the door and find both of them staring at me and giving the stove and refrigerator confused looks as if they can’t believe I’m not perpetually chained to major appliances and churning out food. I know they’ve both been home for over an hour, yet all they have done is stand there and be hungry.
I would sometimes really like to give up my cooking responsibilities, but with Matt’s new declaration, I’m not sure what his reaction would be.
If he’s decided he has to make sure I’m alive to cook for him, what will he do if he finds out I have no plans to cook for him?