Food feud

In keeping my anniversary resolution to focus on the positive reasons why I got married, I have a confession to make. Don’t tell my husband, but one of the reasons (perhaps even the main reason) I married him is because the man can cook – major exclamation point! When we started our relationship almost 19 years ago, I was at beginner level in my cooking skills. I specialized in dishes that could be cooked and eaten in 20 minutes or less. 

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from my Chef. I’m nowhere near his level of expertise. I still need some semblance of a recipe (steps to reproduce, as it were), on paper or in my head, whereas he can cook up delicious masterpieces on the fly. And that’s o.k.

That’s why I married him.

About a month after we met he asked me to marry him. Naturally, I was hesitant, to say the least. But he won me over, the first time he cooked for me. After that, I knew he was the one. They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If so, I must be part man. (I joke, but that would also explain my style of shopping: in-and-out, no dilly-dallying, just get what I need and get out of the store).

I’ve only known two other men who can cook as well (/better). My uncle Fernando and my eldest brother Irwin. Little does my brother know, he is in an ongoing cook-off with hubby. 

Here’s what’s up. Every once in a while, my brother, bless his soul, brings me a dish of whatever mouth-watering concoction he’s produced. It’s like he has a sixth sense for knowing just when I’m in need of some delicious comfort food. My husband, for reasons unbeknownst to me, sees this as a challenge, and he goes above and beyond to make the next meal he prepares (more often than not a variation of my brother’s dish) extra scrumptious. 

How do I know, you ask? Could it all be in my head, pray tell? I know this for a fact, because for the duration of the meal, and sometimes the day after (if there are any leftovers) he repeatedly asks whether I’m enjoying the meal and how it compares to my brother’s. Not once, not twice, but sometimes as much as five times. 

First time he asks

What I think: Can’t talk. Too busy eating. Lalalalala. Nomnomnom

What I say: “Mmmm, *chomp, chomp* hmmm mmm!”

Second time he asks

What I think: Dude, you’re harshing my food buzz. ­čśĽ

What I say: “Yeah, its really delicious!!”

Third  time he asks

What I think: I know you heard me just now. 

What I say: “Yeah!”

Fourth time he asks (as I’m fixing myself another plate!)

What I think: *Sigh*

What I say, every word dipped in monotonous sarcasm: “It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten. I don’t think I can swallow another bite.” 

Fifth time he asks

What I think: O.k. I’m done with this game.

What I say: “….. I’m sorry, did you say something?”

As I said, I don’t know the reason he feels the need to outcook my brother. Is he that competitive? Is he just jealous I like someone else’s cooking as much (/more)? And why ask for my opinion so many times! Is he just deaf? Or does he get off on the validation?

End-of-year ham. Sinfully delicious!

If I’m in a particularly good mood, I’ll consent to a little bootlicking, especially for his specialty dishes, like his end-of-year turkey and ham. I make it a point to compliment him so profusely, the only thing missing from that scenario would be me doing splits while waving pom poms around. Most days the cheerleader in me is just too pooped to care. She just wants to binge eat, roll over and go to sleep.

Competitive, jealous, deaf, or validation junkie. Je ne sais pas. It could be any or all of the above, really. I’m not gonna overanalyse the cause, I just want the effect, i.e. a tummy filled with lots of yummy stuff. As long as I have that, my marriage is rock solid.

Anniversary presents

So yesterday was my 5-year anniversary. As you may have gathered from my previous post, my husband is not big on gifts, and I’m not really bound by occassion. This year, however, I decided to get a gift for the men who do appreciate me, my boys.

The idea came to me one morning. I had just woken up and was laying in bed watching my youngest. He had cried himself awake sometime in the dead of night, and per usual refused to stay asleep unless next to me, and so he ended up in bed with me.

So I’m laying there, examining his face by the early morning light, overcome by love and all the sappy motherly emotions you hope could last all day. Then he wakes up and gives me the cutest smiles and sweetest hugs, I feel so blessed and I realize, this tiny human being, this is my gift. Every year, him and his brother are my anniversary gifts, and I love and cherish them so much I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Then, in his loving play, he whacks me in the eye and I think, maybe I should have saved the receipt, hrmpff.

I bought them a wooden picnic table for kids with built-in basins for water or sand. My eldest is hypersensitive, so it was recommended he play in/ with sand to help him desensitize a bit. I didn’t know when I bought it that the gift for a 5-year anniversary was wood, but that was a fun coincidence. And we had fun using it, the four of us sitting at the table messing around in the sand. So in the end, our bonus gift was quality family time. No fighting, just fun and laughter.

Until it was naptime. 

Five years of fun times and headaches, happiness  and heartache. And I honestly don’t know how the next five will be, only that I’m in it for the long haul. You know the expression, you made your bed, now you have to lie in it. Well, the first year of marriage was like sleeping in a nice, cozy, new bed. But as the years go by, there’s some wear and tear, and then the lumps appear. My bed’s a little more lumpy than I thought it would be (figuratively, but also literally because of the tiny bodies that keep appearing in it). 

But what do you do with a lumpy bed? You change the mattress, you don’t throw out the whole frame. And even though at times I get so frustrated with my husband that the only thing that helps me through the long hours of the day is fantasizing about being a divorc├ę (or widow), I think of the commitment we made and what that means to me. 

I search deep and usually come up with a reason to stay in the game. Sometimes it’s a speck of love hidden away in the deep crevices of my heart. Other times, it’s a panick attack like fear of having to raise two small boys on my own. In any case, I usually find a good enough reason to stay married, is what I’m saying.

But after five years, it’s time for a new mattress, a new mindset – time to keep reminding myself and my husband of the reasons we married each other. And since no mattress stays new forever, I just hope the lumps take a little longer to develop this time. The figurative lumps. No more literal ones for me. 

Thing 2 managed to dump a cup full of sand in his diaper