I was born a native in the kitchen and luckily had four hungry older brothers and a thin sister who ate like a field hand (certain foods) who could appreciate my cooking along with a mother who wasn’t organized enough to get it together most of the time. So began my long journey of doing all the cooking, all the time.
In 1990, when Steve and I got together, he had no desire to cook anything – not even toast a bagel – and so I did everything – the shopping, the prepping, the cooking, and even the cleaning. But a decade later, we had evolved into him cleaning but me still doing all the cooking. But at this point, I wanted some help because I was tired of doing it all – read: doing it all sucks – but then it was difficult to change the dynamic that had become so ingrained for both of us – I do most everything and he accept it.
This isn’t a slight on Steve or anyone else who crossed my path then – people who do everything for people are possibly control freaks at best – trying to control the process, outcome, as well as the feelings of the other person involved. And it does tend to polarize couples – one is essentially the doer all the time, and the other becomes a passive recipient and all the resentment that can get steeped into that arrangement is perfectly fostered.
Meanwhile, in the post-everything version of Rachel, I’m in the process of trying not to dominate – the social agenda, the cooking, the planning, the interaction. So when S proposed dinner tonight, I let him decide what that entails.
I’m trying to move from kitchen witch dominatrix to kitchen angel participant – the pendulum knows the sharp left and now is manuevering the sharp right – and I think on this Halloween night, the witch and angel might ultimately find the middle ground – where no one is in charge, and yet everyone is a participant.