I had no idea how much I associate enjoyment of food with other people. I’m sure this is a question for therapy, but I feel okay with it, just…baffled.
One month ago, I would have told you that I loved to cook. Like M and Cooking sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G love. I would have told you about shelves of tattered cookbooks, memories about cooking with my mother, attempts at new dishes both successful and not, spilled stews, perfect summer suppers, campfire dinners and candlelit restaurants. There’s no doubt I love to eat. I love to taste. I love the idea of trying every last thing, even if it’s just a bite.
I’ve come to terms with being heavier than I was at 20 because in the intervening years I have learned what it is to enjoy flavor. Admittedly, it was only recently that I also learned to enjoy moderation, but that’s another post. Even failed recipe attempts (or, more likely, failed attempts that didn’t involve a recipe) are a delight because of the experience of cooking and tasting.
At any rate, I’d have sworn that my love of food and cooking had nothing to do with the company. That I’d enjoy it just as much alone as I do with you. And I’d love to sit down with you over a flaky coffee cake and a steaming mug of…wait. Distracted. It turns out, that I am completely disinterested in food if the person I’m eating with is ambivalent about the dish. Or, on the verge of throwing up. Hi, honey!
I should have gotten a tip off when, given a night alone, I prefer to eat some of an oven pizza than to cook, but I’d never put two and two together. This month has been instructional. Food loses all flavor and incentive when D isn’t interested in eating. She’s lost weight. I’ve lost weight. She’s choking down crackers at breakfast, I’m eating a lackluster piece of toast. She blanches over a bowl of soup, my salad becomes flavorless. She doesn’t feel like eating, I’m not the slightest bit hungry.
Maybe it seems like I’m missing it. I’m not. I suspect not anymore than she is in the depth of queasiness. Before she got pregnant, I made promises of healthy, tasty dishes that would bring the baby up loving brussels sprouts and eating candied tofu. Right, I know. I know! But also, food that would make her enjoy being pregnant. Intellectually, I know I could try to tempt her with foods she felt like eating. I have a huge arsenal of flavor to throw at her. I could make a sweet and sour chicken. Or sauerkraut. Or feed her raw lemons topped with pickles. Hmm…that might actually work. But instead, I fail at temptation, preferring to let us both eat when she’s hungry to the extent that she feels like eating.
I won’t miss that 10 pounds anyway.