Last Friday I had a realization that cooking for myself is really a lot different from cooking for Wyatt and I.
For instance, this is what I made myself for lunch that day.
This lunch was made up of leftover macaroni and cheese, I added fresh tomatoes and lots of black pepper. I call it my Tomato Mac. And a strawberry applesauce packet. (Have you had these? They’re yummy, and they have all sorts of flavors. And it’s 100 percent fruit and there’s no added sugar, so that means yay!) And no matter how much I like it, or the fact that Wyatt would probably have eaten this without too much complaining, it isn’t something he would ever ASK me to make, or especially enjoy.
And this was the dinner I made for Wyatt:
It’s tater tot casserole, adapted from the Campbell’s soup recipe I found here. I added cheese and some other extra seasonings to make it extra yummy and extra special for us. And the green beans were basic, but we added some sliced turkey and cooked it at high heat to add a bit of a healthier bacon-like flavoring. And don’t get me wrong, I certainly liked the casserole, too, as evidenced by how much of it we ate this past weekend, but it isn’t something I would have ever made for myself.
And I can’t really explain why. I guess because it’s easier to make Tomato Mac and applesauce? And that’s good enough for when it’s just me, because really, I DO really like Tomato Mac. What’s not to like? It’s two of my favorite foods.
So why do I like to cook so many other things for Wyatt when I would be just as happy eating something simple? It certainly would make cleaning my kitchen less of a chore.
It might be partly because I’m bored at home by myself during the day and I need something to do. It might be because I am in need of a creative outlet right now and cooking serves me well there. It could be this unexplainable drive I have to be the best little wife I can be right now, and that means cooking the crap out of my tiny kitchen.
But more than anything, I think it’s because Wyatt is such a great person to cook for. He gets excited when I make things he likes. We have similar tastes in food (I’m slowly getting him used to things like herbs and spices) because we love a lot of the same things, like BBQ. Yum. And when he licks his plate clean (literally!), it proves even more that he does really enjoy what I’ve made him, and that he’s appreciative of the meal I prepared. There is not a night when I’ve cooked that Wyatt hasn’t leaned over to kiss me on the cheek to say, “Great dinner, honey.”
And you know what? I don’t do that for myself. I know, I obviously can’t kiss myself on the cheek, but I could be a little more proud or grateful when I make something tasty for myself. But I’m not. Maybe some people can, and that’s great! But for me, that’s a need I can’t fill for myself.
Because even more than our differences in meal preferences, men and women have very different needs.
I’ve done some studying of the 5 Love Languages and it’s fascinating to me how simple it is and yet how few people take the time to really learn about themselves and their spouse that way. I took the quiz in high school and though I had everything figured out. But guess what? I don’t. In fact, I think I’ve changed and grown so much that I need to take the test again! (I think this is something we’re going to do as a couple sometime in this first year of marriage.) Because I never thought I needed so much to hear things like, “Thanks for dinner, honey,” but let me tell you, I do!
So here’s to a husband who knows what it takes to make me smile, and takes the time to fill up my cup every day.
Now it’s time to decide what I’m making tonight.