A Few Things You Should Know About Me Before We Get Married

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I hate to cook. I mean, really, really hate to cook. Given the choice between cooking for four people or washing dishes for 100, I will take the dishes, every time.

While my children were growing up, I had the following prominently hanging on the wall in my kitchen:

I read recipes the way most people read science fiction.

I get to end and I think,

‘Well, THAT’s not going to happen…’

Rita Rudner

When my kids were growing up, I had no choice but to properly feed them. I had a repertoire of perhaps 8-12 meals which I rotated as best I could. I could make fajitas, burritos, tacos (all from a store-bought kit, although the vegetables were all fresh), spaghetti, lasagne, chicken soup, home-made pizza (using store-bought crust, of course) and Shepperd’s pie. I made sure that I always had a lot of fresh fruit on hand, and I always had a bunch of raw vegetables cut up and served with a dip (store-bought, of course). Having shared custody certainly helped (especially the fact that their Step-Mom is a wonderful cook who greatly helped ease some of the monotony for them, I am sure…).

The weeks that the kids were with my ex and their Step-Mom, I gave up all pretense of being a proper grown-up. Making a meal with all the requisite food groups might be a requirement when the kids were in the house, but when it was just me, I relaxed the rules. A lot. Loving movie popcorn as I do, I often justified a supper of microwave popcorn as ‘acceptable’ since technically ‘popcorn is a vegetable’. I also became a big fan of the aisle at the grocery store with ‘home-made’ previously-prepared meals. For between 4 to 6 dollars each (depending on the culinary complexity of the meal), I could purchase enough of those little feasts to eat for lunch and supper every day that the kids were not at my house. That I always found myself the sole female among a horde of young – and not so young – bachelors in front of that big display case, embarrassed me not at all. Nor did it give me any dating ideas. Number one, I really wasn’t looking for a mate at the time, and two, clearly, we were not exactly a match made in heaven. I do not recall even one of those hungry bachelors giving me so much as a second glance either. I managed thus for ten years, and had come to a point where my grocery bill was a little on the high side, but the person I was feeding adequately satisfied with the outcome.

And then along came P_. We knew one another: we had worked in the field of education, for the same organisation, for twenty years. He had become a widower the year before and I, well, everyone knew that I was a single Mom who was not really looking for any kind of relationship. We didn’t know one another all that well, really: I found him a little overwhelming: he has a big, booming voice and physique which match an equally substantial persona. At the time, he worked with the kids in our schools who had drug and alcohol issues, or had been drawn into local prostitution rings, or were battling suicide and depression. Not exactly the ‘easy’ cases… The kids all liked him: he easily won their respect. But he has always been the type of person you either like or you do not. His personality can pretty much fill up a room.

To say I was surprised when he approached me at lunch one day (I was eating one of my store-bought delights at my desk) to invite me to a supper with friends, at his house, is an understatement. He was so uncharacteristically shy that I immediately called my sister that night to tell her. “I think it’s a date…” I reported in a faltering voice. “Holy s_ _ t!” was her reply, knowing her hermit-like sister as she does. In 10 years, I had gone on a grand total of two dates and both had ended early with a pleasant, cordial handshake.

I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at his place perhaps an hour before the other guests arrived. His big dog Fernand, oblivious of the fact that I was terrified of dogs, bounded over and adopted me as his charge – to be protected until death us do part – from the second he laid eyes on me. And then there was P_ himself: quite by accident, another woman drove in perhaps a minute before I did. It took me a few minutes to figure out that she was not a dinner guest but instead, an impromptu visitor he had never laid eyes on, who had lived in his home 30 years before and wanted to know if she could explore the house. She was an author, writing a book, she explained, and had some unresolved issues that included visiting this house and exorcising a few of her demons.

“Sure!” answered P_ kindly, as he invited her to wander unassisted throughout the upstairs (where she said her old bedroom used to be) and to ‘stay up there as long as she liked.” She left us, weeping as she went, and from the quiet vantage point behind my wary eyes, P_ went up about 10 points, on the spot. It was like I was meeting an entirely different person from the dominant, ultra-confident personality I knew at work. I had never expected such warm generosity; such gentle compassion.

In short order, he had another surprise for me. “I hope you like home-made clam chowder”, he queried, as he casually strolled over to the kitchen to check on the fragrant meal that was gently bubbling on the stove. “Just stay over behind that partition though, if you would. I’m a bit funny about my food preparation. I hope it’s okay, but I never let anyone in my kitchen.”

For a second or two, my heart literally stopped beating. I had never known a man who enjoyed cooking, let alone a man who took it as his God-given right to be the sole culinary master of his kitchen. It was as if choirs of angels had suddenly begun singing a symphony. He shot up 100 points, right on the spot.

I had no other choice but to marry him: that he would only come to the same conclusion a few months after I did, mattered not at all.

He had me at ‘Get out of my kitchen.”

Source of photo

Patti Moore Wilson © wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com

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Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

29 thoughts on “A Few Things You Should Know About Me Before We Get Married”

    1. You said it PERFECTLY! ‘Cooking is one of my hobbies.’ I can’t imagine ANY woman ANYWHERE finding that weird… Because my husband loves to talk ‘recipes’, I have discovered that lots of men do indeed like/love to cook. Funny, though, that it’s usually something they ‘admit’ to. So many women still do the lion’s share when it comes to house work. You have yourself a DISTINCT advantage…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You are you, P is P and if either one of you had tried to be anyone other than yourselves, the story would have had a different ending and this conversation would not be taking place… 🙂

    “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I share your love of movie popcorn and on an evening alone, would probably have that for supper … well, maybe I’d augment it with some canned tomato soup. But I love to cook. I simply hate cleaning up after. So, I’ll trade you. I’ll cook, you clean up. OK?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful story! I, too, grow weary of cooking. I recently went mostly “raw” just to avoid the whole issue…when we want meat, we buy it already cooked, and then eat it with a salad. Easy, healthy and–yay–less time-consuming. Cheers to you for finding a cooking man 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am tired of cooking! After 44 years of marriage, I would like a break. Since my husband is retired, and I’m not, he said he’d do most of the cooking. I still end up making meals about half the time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I understand… I envy people for whom cooking is a passion. They can make it look like so much fun but it has always felt like thankless drudgery to me. Can’t figure out why I never feel that way about a kitchen full of dirty dishes (not that I look forward to that either, mind you). You could always check out that ‘bachelors’ section of your local grocery store…even if it’s just a few nights a week, it would give you a bit of a break. Or…microwave popcorn 🍿, anybody???

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a great cook and I enjoy it…kind of, but I have a 20 minute rule and will not spend any longer preparing anything. It’s not a love or a “think I’ll apply for Masterchef” need. I also would hate it if anyone told me to get out of their kitchen (as I am a control freak), but I did love that last line.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I’m glad you did…I was laughing myself as I wrote it. Funny how the ‘perfect mate’ for one person would be another’s Worst Possible Choice Ever. 😂😂😂 And your 20-minute rule is one of the criteria I have privately developed when identifying The Great Cook: I have noticed that good cooks can whip something up in a quarter of the time it would take me.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. i hate to cook also. Ive always said it was good that God did not give me any kids because they may starve. Its already such a challenge for me to put somethin on the table for my Pops. And when he refuses to eat what I had struggled to put together? I get all 😧.
    I hear ya!

    Liked by 1 person

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