Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Mental Breakthrough

My hub and I grew up in the same town, went to the same schools, had the same skin color, and wore the same religion under our sleeves.

Enough to form a more perfect union? Ya think?

Except when we don't speak the same love language--his being, "Are you sure you don't want to do something that makes more money?" and mine being, "Are you positive you want to wear that Red Raider t-shirt AGAIN?"

It's a good thing we both speak sign language so we can let our fingers do the talking once in a while.

Luckily our attitudes and platitudes about little things like religion, politics, money, education, and family have been in harmony throughout our marriage. But the big things have tripped us up from time to time.

Like food.

We both pretty much like the same foods, it's just that our families don't agree on the amount of time we should spend eating them.

A few days ago, for instance, I met some of my family members for lunch at Sizzler. I was 20 minutes late. It works to my advantage to be 20 minutes late when meeting my in-laws for lunch because they will still be nursing their salads, but arriving 20 minutes late when meeting my family means I'm just in time for dessert.

Our families don't agree on the pomp and circumstance surrounding food either. In my family the rules are simple and straight forward: when you want to eat, you eat, and when you don't want to eat, you don't. No one notices or comments one way or the other.

In my hub's family, you eat at appropriated times, and when you get permission, and when there is enough for everyone. If you don't conform to these protocols, or if you eat too much of one thing and not enough of another, it is observed and noted and you can expect a write-up about it in the family newsletter.

Same breed, yet I be raised in the jungle and he be raised in the zoo.

See how tricky perfect unions can be?

When my family gets together, no one asks, "where do you want to eat?" because the answer will inevitably be, "I already ate," or "I'm not hungry." When my hub's family gets together, asking where we should eat is a given and results in a two hour discussion about each restaurant suggestion with its accompanying coupon options. In rare instances they have even been known to drive to various locations to check out various buffets before deciding on Burger King.

Some people have longer food foreplay than others.

Not being rude, just sayin'.

In my family when we are done eating, we are done, which sends a signal to our brains that it's time to move on to the next activity. In my hub's family, the next activity is waiting. For everyone else. To finish eating. The person who finishes eating last holds the most power in the family.

In my family the person who finishes eating first holds the most power. That person is free to get up from the table and leave if they so desire. They don't even have to excuse themselves or say goodbye, which is exactly what my Gigi did at Sizzler. She bolted. As quickly as any 90-year-old wearing skinny jeans can bolt with a walker.

And I thought 40 was liberating!

Watching my Gigi get up from the table and leave simply because she was finished eating and ready to go home made me long for the day when I am 90 and rude is the new cute.

It's not as cute when I do it at Chuck-a-Rama, or Golden Corral, or Magelby's.

Oh, who am I kidding. I never get up and bolt. Instead I watch my MIL take a dainty bite from one of her three pieces of cake, put her fork down, and begin telling a story from her childhood.

"When I was a little girl, Mother made me pick strawberries to pay for my Jantzen sweaters," she might say," or "I bet you never heard about the time I stole my neighbors red wagon."

Without fail, after I begin beating my head against the table, she will add, "No really, it's true! It's the only thing I ever stole in my life!"

"Besides my sanity, you mean?" Reply my eyeballs.

Point is, I had a mental breakthrough while watching my Gigi bolt across Sizzler. Maybe eating patterns are genetic. Maybe I'm not rude, after all. Maybe my family is rude. And maybe my hub's not annoying either. Maybe his family is annoying.

Can't wait to tell my hub!



The Framptons said...

I am laughing my freakin butt off

gigi said...

I hope he takes it well....

Brittany said...

Ha Ha Ha! Isn't it funny what food can do to a marriage? I was seriously considering divorcing my husband if he ate egg whites for breakfast one more time, but decided I really didn't want to have to get a job. So I have resigned myself to the sulfur smell that always lingers in my kitchen and accepted my husbands obsessive need for routine. Sigh

2busy said...

This is hilarious ad I keep thinking to myself, "What if her in-laws read it?"

Just SO said...

I always tell people I can't wait until I'm old then I'll say whatever the heck I feel like saying whenever I feel like saying it.

And inevitably they respond "Don't you do that already?"

The Crash Test Dummy said...

2busy, it's nothing I haven't teased them about to their face multiple times. My MIL is a great sport. We joke about these things often.

Bobbi, I know you're laughing your B off because you've been there, done that with us. hee hee

Gigi, it was kind of funny to see your name in here. You know what I mean? ;)

So, hee hee I hear ya! I think every decade we must get a little more liberated.

Brittney, AMEN, sistah!

Martha said...

You need to submit this to some magazine. Reader's Digest or something. This is a great topic. Or if you could put a religious spin on it, then to the Ensign.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Yes it is too funny for words.

Garden of Egan said...

Food foreplay? Oh my heck!

I hadn't thought about food love languages. I would think since you were raised in barns that food would just be food. Oh, it was zoos. OK I get it now.

Your Gigi is absolutely darling.

Scooby and Jon said...

My hubs and my family have different languages too. My family tends to revolve around food. We mourn, celebrate, and entertain with food. (if it wasn't for our good genes, we'd all be obese).

Which is why I was confused when my hub said he sometimes forgets to eat, and he doesn't really care about food. He'd be happy with a chicken quesadilla or taco bell for the rest of his life.

DeNae said...

Oh my gosh. I read your writing all the time (as you know) and as such I thought I was beyond being able to just laugh and laugh and laugh with you. It's like, since we were sharing a brain, I already knew what was coming so there was no punchline, which was a sad thought.

Also, it turns out, it was an ERRONEOUS thought. This had me in stitches. Seriously, I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon with one of those little sewing stabby thingies that I use more than my sewing machine, picking out all the stitches.

I'm with Tauna; food foreplay is genius. And with Martha, although please let me be there when you try to convince the Ensign to publish this. And I think 'religion under our sleeves' is one of the most brilliant things you've ever written.

Dang, I adore you.