When “Food is Love” meets “Safer At Home”
The marriage of 2020
Is this your family?
“What can I bring….to any family celebration, holiday or Sunday dinner?”
Reply: “Empty containers.”
Whether it’s a graduation party, Thanksgiving or a simple birthday party, the cooks in my family have their internal gauges set so that there’s enough food for everyone to take home a meal or two for the upcoming week. It’s a common occurrence to have a couple of Tupperware containers or a few Zip-lock bags riding lap-style on the ride home. Food is LOVE, so it’s important to feel a full stomach as many times as possible.
When the COVID safer-at-home orders were spreading across the country and my contact with any humans was decreased to just Bill and the cashiers at Publix, I had two flashing insights.
One, I’m thankful I can read and therefore cook. As a child, my parents repeated over and over, “If you can read, you can cook.” Especially my mom. The safer at home order meant I would be preparing and eating almost 100% of my meals from home. I also had this fabulous family cookbook, The Family Dough, that has all of our favorite recipes in one place.
September 1st, the updated version 3.0 with a few more family favorites will be released on Amazon. Order HERE
Second, as we ate our way through Florida’s 25 days of safer-at-home (see all the yummy food pictures), I realized how deeply grateful I was that, most days, I was excited that Bill was the only human I had in-person contact with. The ONLY ONE, Zoom faces do not count.
I’m not sure what makes someone an expert at something, a degree, years of experience, a certain level of success? In the case of a marriage, I’m going to believe that simply being in a long term one makes me an expert. And just recently, Bill did tell me that 29 years IS a really long time.
In honor of combining food and long lasting relationships, I have 3 tips that I LOVE by that are connected to both my heart and my tummy.
#1 Surround yourself with pizza, not negativity. We’re all doing the best we can.
Let me share a little secret. Bill is by nature a complainer. He’s not always optimistic and there are times his “ick” gets on my WOW. I lean towards silver linings and humor, even when life is just sad and horrible and heartbreaking.
Yet Bill’s favorite food is pizza, so I started on a strategy to surround him with my positivity and pizza, as needed. Keeping my vibrational energy at a level of gratitude and fascination allows me to turn his complaints into conversation, sprinkle in some humor and accept, that on certain days, this form of communication is the best he can do.
#2 Men are like Waffles and Women are like Spaghetti.
Here’s what this looks like at our house. Bill and I have a disagreement. It doesn’t happen that often anymore, but when it does, it looks like this. I walk away, usually to my office to hide out. Then, I spend the next 24 hours analyzing and re-enacting the disagreement in my head. Then, I talk to my girlfriends for insight and finally question everything about the situation and possibly my marriage. Every aspect of my life feels the impact of this disturbance. After 24 hours, I resurface ready to have a direct conversation with Bill about our disagreement.
Bill: “What disagreement?”
Somehow in the preceding 24 hours he has completely compartmentalized the major argument in such a way that he’s forgotten about it.
It’s a lonely square on a distant waffle.
Men’s brains look like a waffle; women’s are spaghetti with extra sauce. Both are wonderful foods.
#3 Marry the one who gives you the same feeling you have when you see your food coming at a restaurant.
How often do you go to a restaurant and order a version of your favorite food? I love salmon. I love burgers. I’m a BIG fan of onion rings. They are what I choose and when the waiter is bringing my plate to the table, my eyes get glazed over with anticipation and my stomach is saying YES!
As we evolve through adulthood, we learn what we like and hopefully we also know what our values in life are. If I was to offer one piece of relationship advice, it would be to find the people who share the same values and put the same level of energy into the same priorities as you do.
You may know that my family LOVES sports. Watching, playing, cheering and of course debating the coaches’ decision. Bill and I both shared this love and therefore valued giving this experience to our children. We were always willing to make it a priority and therefore pass on other choices. Our summers were spent traveling to league games and tournaments, and vacations consisted of hotels that had a swimming pool near the playing venues.
Providing college educations to our children also had that same priority. We didn’t have a cabin or boat and I haven’t ever been to Europe (yet!), but together we made those choices and they weren’t viewed as sacrifices.
When you know what you like and who YOU are, that feeling of anticipation, the flurry in your stomach is not just hunger, it’s LOVE. Yes, food is LOVE.
So much food talk! I’m definitely hungry and Bill’s grilling steaks.
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