Marriage is a lot like food. You have to nourish it with fresh, wholesome goodness, trim off the stale parts, toss out anything going rancid and unpleasant, add a loving dose of sugar and, of course, sass it up with spice.
I've been married just over seven years to a wonderful husband, David Ransom. I never worry about the infamous "Seven Year Itch." David is loyal and protective like a dog. In fact my real dog, Sazerac, is quite jealous of him.
But, we are going through the Seven Year Switch.
You know how in some marriages spouses end up sleeping in separate bedrooms because someone snores and kicks the other one? Well, my husband recently suggested that it may be time for separate refrigerators. Some marriages are tested in the bedroom; ours is being tested in the kitchen.
You see, I've switched to a healthier diet, and David is a man-eater. I have taken the vow of eating cleaner food and even started cooking wholesome dishes (contrary to my earlier life). David is flirting with the concept of healthy eating and he certainly accommodates my desires to eat better. But he's just not married to it. We are a modern day Mr. and Mrs. Spratt -- one eats fat; the other eats lean.
He accepts the flavorful, vegetarian dishes we now eat in solidarity with my desire to stay healthy after cancer. He seems amused and titillated (sort of and sometimes) at my efforts to cook. When we started dating I stored shoes in my unused city oven and lived on dining out and takeout. He rearranged my kitchen when he moved in with me.
The other night I watch him gamely eat his bowl of roasted chickpeas, spinach and tomatoes quietly. Sometimes he grills himself a chop for old times sake. He draws the line at bell peppers and beets.
But when the cat's away, the mouse does play. My husband is a CH-EATer. He cheat eats. After attending my Institute for Integrative Nutrition school conference this weekend, I returned home earlier than planned. I caught him in the act of making a decadently rich, carb-loaded meal of big, fatty sausages, bread stuffing and dark chocolate brownies (a gold star for using dark chocolate!). On the counter were shreds of orange cheddar cheese and crumbs. More evidence.
A recent grocery store run to stock up for a week while I went on book tour yielded bags of chips, pretzels, pork chops, beer, peanut butter, boxed granola and more cheese. Down the strip mall at my organic foods store I purchased nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt and unsweetened almond milk.
We are moving to separate shelves and bins in the refrigerator. A leftovers hoarder, his area is filled with plastic containers of meals past and half-filled jars of who knows what. My section is bags of vegetables and yogurt. We both love pickles and eggs and especially pickled eggs. But, I draw the line at his stinky kimchi, even though he reminds me that fermented cabbage is part of a healthy, probiotic diet.
But before we try separate equipment and single serving meals, we are working on cooking together, to create a healthy, happy balance of foods I love and those he desires. Marriage is give and take. I will give him less grief about his diet, and he will take more of my advice about improving it. Food is sharing love around the table. And I will take second helpings of love any time he serves it up!