Dinner and I have a complicated relationship. I’m cool with breakfast. When breakfast comes, I’ve recently slept, gone to the bathroom, washed my face, my teeth are minty fresh and I have not had cause to interact with any humans, yet. I sauté spinach in butter, add eggs and sausage, push the button on the Keurig and I’m the happiest fuckin’ Jew on the planet. I’ll even do that for OTHER PEOPLE in my house, or make them pancakes from scratch or my dad’s special french toast and the best bacon in the world from Trueth’s butcher shop for breakfast. I can kick breakfast’s ASS.
Dinner, however…DINNER…is quite another story. Dinner usually insists on arriving in the evening time and daily, goddamn it – after I’ve dealt with usually FAR too many humans (myself included) in person and online. I’m acutely aware of ways in which I have not been productive throughout the day with regards to my writing, errands, workout, you name it. 5 pm rolls up and I’m all, “THAT’S ALL I’VE DONE TODAY??? I haven’t done yoga OR taken a shower yet? God, I suck.”
Logic and psychology dictates that such a thing shouldn’t lower my sense of self-worth, but there is no room for making sense while I’m having my daily irrational triggering moment. So, let’s play a little game I like to call, “What They Say, What I Hear” which happens practically every single day at dinner-time.
What My Husband Says: “What’s the plan for dinner?”
What I Hear: “Are you kidding me? You’re frikkin’ 46 years old and you haven’t figured out dinner, yet? What the hell do you do all day? I mean, I know you mow the lawn and do the food shopping and shuttle the kids around but HOW HARD IS IT TO COOK DINNER??? Why are you such a culinary LOSER??? I mean, my mother had EIGHT KIDS and a job and had dinner for TEN PEOPLE on the table every frikkin night? Is it THAT HARD to predict? When are you going to learn that people eat dinner EVERY NIGHT around the same time???”
What He Means: “What’s the plan for dinner? Would you like me home at a certain time? Should I meet you guys somewhere so you don’t have to cook? Just trying to plan the end of my day!”
What My 16-Year-Old Son Says: “What’s for dinner?”
What I Hear: “Mooo-oooooom. I’m sixteen and I’m tall and I need to eat ALL. THE. TIME. You’ve been a mom for 19 years! Do you not know your kids need to eat but I don’t like pasta, don’t forget! What is your ISSUE in the kitchen??? We live AROUND THE CORNER from a butcher, can you not grill steak every night??? Salad from a bag is just fine – it is not that hard – I make my own breakfast and lunch and do my own laundry – dinner is your ONLY CULINARY OBLIGATION – why can’t you get it together???”
What He Means: “What’s for dinner?”
What My Almost-19-Year-Old Daughter Says: “Can we go to Han Sung for dinner tonight?”
What I Hear:
It should be clear to you who my favorite family member is.
p.s. Happily, while dinnertime is too late for coffee, it is certainly not too early for vodka.
Video via YouTube – “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson Feat. Bruno Mars