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Friday, December 9, 2011

The Little Woman

Here is the truth: I did not believe that two people could be made for each other before I met my husband. I'm not entirely sure I believed in love at all before he sat down beside me at that wedding and we found ourselves talking about tractors, and farming, and how he should move to Kansas and be my tractor driver within ten minutes of saying hello (not kidding, that actually happened). I'd dated men before, some seriously, some not-so-seriously--but I'd always thought you just chose who you wanted to be with. Perhaps I'd choose someone funny, or clever, or driven. Maybe I'd go with someone laid back, or dominant, or athletic, or musical. The point is that I thought I'd CHOOSE. That whole "Falling In Love" thing--yeah, I didn't believe in that AT ALL. Like, at ALL, AT ALL. Nope. Not. Even. A. Little. In fact, I've always had trouble picturing myself married at all.

My only truly, properly serious boyfriend before I met The Hub is now a dear, darling friend. I feel exceedingly lucky that things turned out this way, as the list of things I didn't know about being in a relationship and the mistakes I made while in it could fill a novel. I was so obstinant (I know, even worse than I am now), so selfish, self-righteous, suspicious, and judgmental. And I'm pretty sure I expected him to be a mindreader. My faults and relationship-ignorance alone were enough to doom the relationship from the start. But, I'm glad we've been able to stay friends. I feel pretty indebted to him for that experience because, without it, I don't think I would've been ready for The Hub when I met him. I learned a lot about myself--who I am, and who I ought to strive to be.

So, I am now extremely dedicated to being a good wife. Not a doormat, as some people seem to think this is what constitutes a good wife, and not a smiling, nodding yes-lady--but a good wife nonetheless. And one of the ways I am trying the hardest is in the kitchen. See, I have never considered myself a cook. I like too few things (a consequence of being a supertaster, yes, but I'd probably be persnickety even without the overly sensitive taste buds), and have never branched out in the kitchen before. I like simple, uncomplicated things (things with very few separate tastes). And, I bake! That's what I enjoy! Cookies, cakes, bread, pastries, pie--these are the things I'm good at. What a clever joke the universe played on me. The man I fell in love with (oh yes, that does happen, I know this now) DOESN'T LIKE SWEETS. Oh bugger.

But he likes everything else (nearly). And so, in an effort to make my hubby happy, I am making a very lot of different things. Things that I would never, ever, not in a million-billion years ever eat. I have made stuffed peppers, eggs benedict, chicken rogan josh, pork fried rice, beef merlot--things with complicated sauces, and spices, and twenty-five different ingredients in ONE DISH! My God, it's been a warzone of flying garlic and seething pepper. The house has smelled like a house where people eat actual food (not just popcorn, cheese and crackers, and slices of bread), and it's been wonderful. And also sometimes horrible (I'm looking at YOU Tikka Masala). But mostly wonderful. And, the thing that makes me happiest is that I think my efforts at kitchen experimentation DO make him happy. Mostly I make good things. Sometimes I make mediocre things. I haven't yet made anything inedible, but I expect I will one day. But, as Beckett said, "Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Fail better. Now, there is an idea I can get behind.

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