I have a date tomorrow night. This is exciting. I don’t get asked on dates ever often.
This guy I met, already knowing how busy my life can be, has offered to give me a relaxing night by cooking dinner and letting me indulge in a movie. With the parameters that I am not allergic to anything and to avoid cucumbers/pickles and olives, the dinner menu was set:
spaghetti with deer meat and cheezy garlic bread.
In that moment, my heart sank and the tears sprang loose. All the frustration from work and life seemed to focus in on this moment and to choose this time to release towards this one situation, this one offer.
Growing up, spaghetti was the go-to meal when needing something in a hurry or for large groups. If you grew up in church, spaghetti may have been ruined for you as well. Note: I have had some amazing spaghetti in my life; however, much like lasagna or pizza, I have to fight the first reaction of pure disdain when the menu is presented.
And this guy may be thinking this is a great meal- meat, pasta and bread, what more could you want? Well, if you are a guy, not much is missing.
However, one of my love languages is veggies. So what I heard in that offer was: let me provide a cheap and easy meal, one that does not require much effort.
It is unfair for me to hold him to expectations of knowing me in such a familiar way. It is unfair of me to expect him to think on the level of my semi-unconscious thoughts (especially when I am clearly so in touch as to break down at the mention of a home-cooked meal). It is unfair for me to become upset when given the opportunity to name the menu myself- or to edit the menu- and do not speak up. It is unfair for me to make an overarching judgment of a man’s character and personality based on choice of food (although I think this one may not be all that unfair…)
And the truth is, the menu is fine. I actually do love meat- especially deer- and pasta and bread. I crave these lovely carbs and protein. And it will all balance out.
So let me be clear: this has little to do with the menu. This has much more to do with the anxieties of getting to know people becoming known.
I have little doubt I will be liked. And, to be honest, I have little doubt that I will like him. There is a friendship on the precipice that seems to be waiting for the needed gust of wind to knock it one way or another.
I have fear about the change. I cried when I came to the conclusion that I love my crazy life. I love my chaos. I love my own… well, I just love my own life. Sharing life is as exhausting as it is beautiful. And a part of me does not want to share. Call me selfish, but I love the ability to be selfish with my own time and energy and schedule and food.
However, the warmth of the sharing is always missed. The consideration of someone tuned into my life is comforting. The perspective of being aware of someone else’s preferences and life pulls me outside of my own space for a few moments, reminding me that there is more than my own world.
I have fear of the falling- of the end even before the beginning. There is a fear present that screams to run and kicks violently and immaturely against the hope that this may even lead to a solid friend. There has been much loss in my life. And there is a fear that knows this place of loss and that whispers those fears.
But the hope holds strong. The hope that I am not walking alone. The hope that someone wants to step into my life and offer to provide something I need. Not that I cannot do it for myself, but the perspective that I do need something and I do not have to take care of it myself- a temporary rest of the striving of life.
I am worth the veggies, but it does not mean the spaghetti is not good.
It’s not what’s for dinner, it’s what’s being offered.