Friday, March 27, 2009

All men need a mother

David just got back from a week and a half long trip in the fattest city in the United States: San Antonio, Texas. He ate tacos for breakfast, barbecue for dinner, and beer for a snack. He hung out with his sisters in the muggy heat, and managed to squeeze in a few power walks and rounds of tennis. But clearly, not the structure I help provide for him here in the green, healthy state of Washington, where we eat fish, drink red wine (in moderation), and play tennis 5 times per week.

"Go home, and eat lentils." Those were my instructions to David as he embarked on the ferry toward Bainbridge Island this afternoon. A couple days ago I created a thick, brown lentil stew with carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, and kale. It's a delicious vegetarian's dream. I knew David's nutrient starved body would benefit.

"I'll do whatever you say for the rest of my life," he replied.

That got me to thinking: Do all men need a mother? Or at least someone to watch out for their needs?

David (who hates to be controlled, like me. Darn Aquarians.) seems perfectly content to let me control his health. He should be, I grew up in Oregon with a healthnut mother, eating fruit smoothies, brown rice and salmon (Thanks Mom!). He was raised in Texas where he ate hamburger helper and cereal. In our time together, I've managed to mold his preferences for food. I don't force things on him, I lead by example. Now he loves fish (salmon and halibut), and vegetables (yams and portabella mushrooms), and chicken. His stomach hurts after fast food. He eats smaller portions, and scarfs down salads like they're Big Macs. He feels so great, that he eats whatever I prepare, with a huge smile and plenty of praise.

I think that inside, all men want someone who is watching out for their well-being, no matter how much they holler and protest. But who am I kidding? I also want someone who watches out for me. I love when David gets up 2 hours before me to turn on the heaters, warm up the bathroom, make me breakfast, start the coffee, scrape the ice off my car, prepare my tea at night.

I've often heard that relationships work when it's 50-50. But I think it works even better when BOTH people give 100 percent. All I have to say is, I'm so, so, so SO SO excited he's home.


Lisa said...

Fabulous post. Wanna come take care of ME?? I could use that too!

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

Ying and Yang.

This is great stuff. It makes me feel lucky to have Andy in my life, because I can't even make a peanut butter sandwich.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my gratitude.

McRiguez said...

How lovely =) I love it!

Colleen said...

I love taking care of Kris, but he also takes care of me when I'm feeling too tired to move :) We bonded over cooking right from the beginning. The only rift was when I stopped eating meat, but that hasn't slowed us down! Last night made cornbread, chili and fried zucchini. Not the greatest example of our healthy cooking, but I love being in the kitchen with him :)

Paula said...

Wise and true post. Re food, what I've learned is that all people (except the hopelessly jaded) like food that is good - tastes good. Some have never been exposed to healthy food. There is healthy food that is "weird" and healthy food that is delicious. I do think people in relationships appreciate that which each contributes. My guyfriend and I, we both like cooking healthy food. However, I'll never get him away from making white rice and eating white tortillas - and salting his rice, as well as everything in sight - he's from the Midwest. Sometimes when I make a good soup, he'll say "not only is this delicious, but I can FEEL how healthy it is!" haha.

In sum, I don't think men need a mother - OR a babysitter! At least, not the men I want any more. However, we all want someone who looks out for us and takes care of us, just as we want to look out for and care for one we love.

Grater Good said...

Everyone needs to be taken care of sometimes. What could be better? Also, relationships are never 50-50 and if both people gave 100 percent all of the time we would all be dead by the time we were 30. Sometimes relationships are 60-40 or even 80-20. But the good ones find a way to reverse those numbers when they need to so that it all adds up to a happy situation in the long run.