I think I’m so damned Clever

We’ve got this house guest. He’s sweet. I think. I mean, I hope he’s sweet and these misunderstandings we keep having are all due to the language and culture barrier. But anyway. I started to get hives today, so I think I need to talk about it. Just between us, right?

Our guy doesn’t like veggies. At all. We’re trying hard to eat more veggies, and we buy a lot of them. We use them to supplement the stuff we call food, such as meat and potatoes. We actually have been trying to eat them as if they are food, which for a while made us feel kind of clever. Bad move. Never feel clever. You are not clever, neither am I. Feeling clever is just a prelude to feeling stupid. Remember that.

That and a 12 step program will take you pretty far. And my 12 stepping friends, don’t think I can’t tell this is a perfect time to accept the things I cannot change or change the things I can. I know, but I’m still working my program. I’m starting again tomorrow.

We continued to eat our vegetables, and serve them to our guest. He’s a long-term guest, so we kinda figure he might as well get used to it. What I, as the primary cook in the house neglected to consider seriously enough was how annoying other people can be in tiny (petty torments) but repetitive ways. So when he picked the garden-fresh green beans out of the pad thai, no big deal.

When he ate none of the marinated garden tomatoes with cucumber slices and summer squash medallions, it hurt just a little. I asked him if he liked any vegetables. He said, “some”. When he picked the olives and lettuce out of his bean burrito, it was starting to annoy me. I asked him, “What vegetables do you eat?” because it seemed that I was going to throw a lot of vegetables away figuring this out. He liked broccoli! What luck for me. The shipment from Farm in the City came yesterday and it had beautiful broccoli in it.

I served him a garlicky rice dish with lime, and some broccoli. When I served him the rice he pushed it away and said it tasted “extrange”. Then he tried to use the new vocab words I had taught him just minutes before. Unfortunately enough for both of us, I taught him both “nasty” and “gross”. Neither of which were appropriate for the situation. I had to tell him (with a great big American Mom smile, and a spatula pointed at him for emphasis) that you never tell the host mom that her food is nasty. Never. He should feel free to tell his friends at school the next day, but the only acceptable thing to tell your host mom is that it’s delicious, but you are allergic to garlic. He was sorry.

He ate the teensy flower tops off the broccoli and left the pencil-sized stems on the plate with the rice. He pushed the plate away and made himself some fried eggs.
Grrrr. This was starting to make me mad. Never let petty torments make you mad. It merely feeds the torments and drains you of crucial IQ points. Paradoxically you will have surges of feeling clever. You are not clever. I am not clever. We are average. And vulnerable.
Dinner tonight was a pesto pasta with harvest vegetables. Fresh basil pesto, garden green beans, garden carrots, mushrooms, and chicken breast sauteed in onion and garlic. Oh yeah, and aslo, broccoli picked yesterday. But I couldn’t stand the thought of him biting the teeny tops off the broccoli. I couldn’t stand it. The idea of what dinner was going to be like was giving me hives. Serious hives.

He was going to pick out everything but the chicken and the pasta. And say nothing. And pick out the all chicken pieces from the serving dish for himself. This was making me mental. But as I was cutting up veggies (every slice making me stupider while I dwelt on this issue), I was inspired.

I know! I’ll just chop this broccoli up with the chopper into pieces too small for him to pick out! Then he’ll have to eat them! I laughed a Snidely Whiplash laugh as I chopped up the broccoli.

I took pictures of the aftermath. I am not clever.

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