The art of grieving


I'm pretty sure cooking and food are closely related to grief. There's a reason why people in turmoil sit on the couch and eat crap for dinner like Wheat Thins, spaghetti-o's and pizza. It could be that they don't have the energy to make anything else for dinner.

One night, when I found that I had enough energy, I invited a friend and her husband over for dinner. I made baked salmon, one of my favorite things to make. Rather, I was trying to make it... C. and her husband M. were being difficult.

"Do you have any seasoning salt?" she asked, more than once. "I don't like black pepper, can you put something else on it?" She then rifled through my spice cabinet (which put her in my way when I was trying to get to the stove), taking out spices that she wanted for her salmon. I told her that I made the marinade all at once, and I roasted the potatoes as a whole batch, so it would be pretty hard to make hers different.

Then her husband kept telling me to marinade it longer. "Yes, the recipe says to marinade for an hour," I explained. "But I'm only going to do it for 20 minutes because you guys are on day reporting and have to be home by 10 p.m. I'm not sending you both back to jail just so you can have thoroughly marinated salmon."

Just before dinner was ready, I noticed that they were both stoned out of their minds on Xanax. M. was also drunk, having brought and finished a six pack, only to help himself to the rest of my own beer.

Finally, I got them to sit down at the table to eat. They were complimentary of the food. C. drenched her salmon in ranch dressing. M. asked me how much my house cost and how much I make in a year. They left at 9:45 -- just enough time to run by a liquor store and get home before their curfew.

It was frustrating. It was disrespectful. It was disappointing, as C. had made so many strides to have us all take her sobriety seriously, then there she was nodding off on my couch. It was annoying.

After that, I didn't cook for a few weeks. Slowly, I've been able to get back into it. If only my cousin would do the dishes when I cook for him.

One of the only things I have left in my freezer right now is chicken. So earlier this week, it was braised balsamic chicken. Tonight, spicy garlic lime chicken. Tomorrow, I'm thinking about not even making an entree, because I just obtained a recipe for Cheddar Bay biscuits. I think I'll make about three dozen and just eat those for the rest of the weekend.

Oh, and I think P. leaves in about a week, but I'm not sure. As if he'd bother to contact me with any updates. He hasn't spoken to me in... hmmm... two weeks? Except for a stupid text about his mail. All his communication has been bullshit. Dry, business-like bullshit.

Whatever. I had it coming. I knew I was engaged to someone with the emotional range of a teaspoon, so I don't know what I expected. Poetry? Baring of the soul? No, I got emails with our utility account numbers... the contact information for our mortgage lender... a list of the furniture he was going to take.

How in the crap did I end up with someone like that? Twice? If the above paragraph (and the fact that he and his two cousins are moving to NYC and none of them have jobs, STILL) proves that P. is an idiot, then the first sentence of this one proves that I am.

As for this weekend:
Friday -- Drink.
Saturday -- One-year-old's birthday party. My present will pale in comparison to the competitive grandparents in attendance. Cuban-themed dinner party with my brother and sister-in-law. Night in Indy.
Sunday -- Another kid's birthday party. My present will pale in comparison, simply because the family lives in Carmel. My cousin returns from Nashville and drinking ensues.
Late Sunday -- Drunkenly attempt empanadas from scratch.


the show must go on

I'm feeling a little better since my last post, thanks to the Effexor and some fresh air.

P.S. I'm pretty broke from fixing up the house. Donations are welcome.