JUST MARRIED- FIRST FIGHT
My husband and I were just married, ten days to be exact. Last night we had our first fight. We have had disagreements before; we have lived together for more than six years, but this was a screamer. Voices were raised; pots and pans were clanged. He yelled. I yelled and then I cried. It was all about food. I had made honey walnut homemade bread, rice pudding, noodles with butter and garlic and smoked sausage with pepper and onions. We had company so we hadn’t eaten until after seven. His grown children had stopped by and everybody was drinking beer and talking in the garage. I had been eager to serve dinner and for everybody to leave. I wanted my grandson to eat’ after all he had spent the day with Sonny learning how to tile. He needed to eat. Besides, I wanted to show off my cooking skills with all the dishes I had made for dinner. By the time, his kids had left I had retired to the office to write. I could hear Sonny swearing and rattling pots and pans. He was angry that he had to do all the dishes. I told him he certainly didn’t need to do that. I could do that myself. I had not done the dishes because I thought he would want to eat. He didn’t. . I will ship some of the colorful language and what we told each other to do (anatomically impossible to do that to yourself!)
He came into the office and apologized. I was feeling terribly unappreciated. Stop cooking he pleaded. You don’t have to cook these huge meals every night. We don’t have to eat all these elaborate meals every night. I have put on twenty pounds since you moved in. I sniffled. I want to be a good wife I said between tearful sobs. You are a good wife. I didn’t marry you for your cooking. You have things to do besides cook. I appreciate all the effort but I can’t get into my jeans any longer. I had to buy 38 waist jeans; I can’t fit into my 36 waist jeans, he pleaded. I had to grudgingly admit to myself that I had also packed on the pounds despite giving lip service to dieting. I did diet the rest of the day. I ate Wasa bread and lot fat cheese, high fiber cereals, lots of fruit and a salad at lunch. But dinner Ah dinner was different! Old voices were echoing in my brain. voices I hadn’t known were there. Real women cooked. They made great food for their husbands. I was going to be Suzy Homemaker. I remembered the years when my mother had banned me from the kitchen. I had been a klutz. Whatever I did had to be re-done. I didn’t measure properly. I was daydreaming when I should have been mixing. I couldn’t be trusted with the electric mixer. I was assigned to ironing instead, something I did do well. At the time I was not heartbroken. Who wanted to cook anyway? I couldn’t have been less interested in the elaborate dishes my mother made. I was living on Rye Krisp and egg salad made with mustard not mayo. I tried to avoid being tempted by my mother’s rich desserts.
All through my wild years when as my mother said there were always boys, I was not interested in anything “domestic”. Once there was one boy who came to the front door while one rang the bell at the back door. That was a favorite story and a perfect explanation why my practical sister should be the one my mother would teach to cook. I was the actress, the one who craved being the center of attention, and the one who had aspirations of being “a great actress”. But now here I was married and happily. A successful career and a happy marriage had not worked for me. Finally it was my chance to be a good wife. Now I didn’t have the career. So I was going to be Suzy Homemaker by God, if it killed me. (Even if each of us had expanding waists). My husband told me he wanted a companion, that he loved me for who I was, that he wanted to spend time with me, not have me exhausted from cooking all day. So there you have it. I have put away the bread book although I will share a couple of my renditions of the recipes. The loaf I made yesterday is in an airtight container. It is delicious if I do say so myself! The rice pudding is in the frig. Sonny and my grandson may eat it but maybe not. I noticed my grandson has not eaten much of my creations either. He has been eating bananas when I have been offering homemade cherry pie. So I guess I have to re-think this wife thing. Is it possible that someone can love me for who I am? I am so used to working hard for approval. For years that is how I gained fans, that is how I excelled in teaching writing. Push !Push! Push! Is it possible that I can just relax and be me? I am going to give it a try.