Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The X Factor

It's that time again: I'm going through my seasonal bout of Food Fussiness. Nothing sounds good, I don't feel like planning what to have for dinner, and we are all enacting The Five PM Drama at the Dept. way too often lately.
Here it is, in its entirety:

Curtain opens on modest living room. Husband sits in distressed leather recliner. Wife sits in one corner of couch, legs drawn up, arms encircling them. Eldest son sits slumped in opposite corner with laptop computer open, staring blankly at screen.
Rick: Well, what does everyone want to eat?
Jared: I don't care.
Nance: I don't know.
Rick: Where's Sam?
Nance: Upstairs on the phone or computer. Jared, get him.
Jared: (takes out cell phone, speaks into it to voice dial.) Call. Sam. (pause, then--) Hey, get down here. Family meeting for dinner.
Nance: (stares incredulously) You just called your brother on the cell phone? Upstairs?
Jared: Yeah. So?
(Sam comes downstairs and stands in archway between living and diningroom.)
Rick: Sam, what do you feel like for dinner?
Sam: I don't know. What are the options?
Nance: It's late. If I have to cook, something has to have time to be thawed, then I have to cook it, and by the time you people decide, we won't eat until 8:00.
Sam: I'm going to go work out at 7.
Rick: We'll order out then. What does everyone want?
Jared: I don't care.
Sam: I don't care.
Nance: Well, I absolutely cannot handle pizza, and I won't do Wendy's or any fast food burgers.
Rick: O. Kay. What about gyros?
Nance: (makes face as if someone poured worm guts all over lap and into hair.)
Jared: Well, that effectively cancels out all the edible menu options within a 5 mile radius.
Sam: Do I have to stay here? Can't you just tell me what we end up with?
Nance: Well, just get whatever you guys want and I'll just find something here.
Rick: That's ridiculous. What about Chinese?
Jared: That's fine.
Sam: I'm getting a call. (Steps away to talk on cell.)
Nance: Well...
Rick: Then I have no idea. Nance, you're the X Factor here. It's gotta be up to you.
Nance: I know. I'm sorry. I'm awful.
Sam: That was Scott. I'm gonna go work out now. I'll just eat whatever when I get back.
Sam leaves. Jared and Rick look at Nance expectantly and annoyed. Nance makes herself even smaller on the end of the couch. Everyone waits. Eventually, they order_______.

Sad, isn't it? It's horrific. I just have no real interest in food and even less interest in making decisions regarding it. Everything about it is a chore. I'd just rather be taken out of the equation entirely. (Like Sam, who is the Poster Child for Passive Aggressiveness. Or something like that.)

I cannot wait until this particular bout passes. My husband is being a saint throughout it, but his patience certainly has its limit. Thank goodness he has a real fondness for peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches because I can see that being on the menu at least once this week. We've already had Chinese.


  1. Anonymous9:02 AM

    I'm happy with a salad these days. I have very little interest in cooking and that sentiment only gets worse once summer sets in.

  2. Anonymous9:19 AM

    I hate to cook. I hate to decide what to cook. I hate to talk about it. And I don't particularly like to go out to eat. So I graze and I'm actually getting fat on Triscuits.

    You know what I really want? An IV. THAT's what I want!!!!!

    And I want a car so I can go grocery shopping BY MYSELF without a posse of hangers on. I'm with Wordgirl on the salad.

  3. Are you kidding? I LOVE Gyros!!!!! I actually fiend for them if a significant amount of time has lapsed since my last visit home!

    But enough about me, don't worry Nance, and this too...shall pass! Hang in there Rick!

    LMAO @ Jared calling Sam on the phone...I thought my sister was bad sending a text as we share the SAME couch!

  4. Anonymous4:09 PM

    When I don't want to cook, my boyfriend will ask what's for dinner and I'll say: "We only have turnips in the fridge." That has become code for "Take me out to eat." We seem to have a large quantity of turnips in the fridge recently. :)

  5. This is what we've had for dinner this week, maybe you'll find it inspiring:
    Thursday: BLTs, German Potato Salad and mandarian oranges.
    Wednesday: Grilled Chicken Sandwiches topped with mushrooms, mozzerella cheese and Italian dressing on hogie buns with a green side salad
    Tuesday: Hot Dogs and sausages on the grill with baked beans and tomato and cucumber salad
    Monday:Roast Beef that cooked ALL night in the slow cooker with carrots and garlic herb mashed

    Hopefully this helps you get out of the slump.
    FYI: I'd be more than willing to cook for your family for a small fee :)

  6. Anonymous8:19 PM

    Sounds like my house lately. Like a few months ago when I was up to my neck in school work, writing for my grad school blog in addition to my own, and studying for a mid-term. We got into take-out in a big way. But then I get sick of take-out because there are really only a few options that I can stomach. The worst thing is that even when I am in the mood to cook and actually have the time, L. refuses to eat certain foods that he ate right when we got the Stomach Virus from Hell. That wiped a lot of quickie meals right off the map.

    MAY 23rd TIE: I'm kinda lukewarm on this tie (internet-viewed, I admit). Something about the putty color and the same size diagonal stripes that never vary. Can't say a thing about the knot. Windsor I think I know, but a 'four in hand' is a total mystery to me. I googled it and became even more confused... Windsor, half-Windsor, double Windsor, four-in-hand...

  7. I guess I'm lucky in that I never have that problem here. There's just so many places that I like that by the time I've cycled through the list, I can just start right back at the beginning again.

  8. I used to call my brother on the phone to come upstairs all the time! Is that wrong?

    I LOVE gyros too...
    Mmm, I think I'll have that for lunch tomorrow...

  9. I love to cook and hate to cook. I hate it when it's obligatory, which is basically every day. In our house, the serious meal problem is seasonal. We have a rule that all four of us eat a home-made meal every night (serial eating only if hard-pressed; leftovers okay; but they never leave any leftovers so I am always starting from scratch). We don't have the budget for takeout or prepared store-bought, but I wish the Takeout Fairy would visit! Spring through midsummer is nightmare season. The Mom Who Cooks must drive the Toyota Taxi morning, afternoon, and evening in and out am until 9:00 pm, so the cooking has to be done in the morning. Thank goodness for crock pots, soup broth, eggs for quiche, and microwaves! And, as Nina said, sandwiches and salads. I know for certain that in a few years I will mourn the absence of the following, but now they are my exhausting bane: Recitals, musicals, rehearsals, concerts, uniform and costume fittings and washings, sudden changed schedules for rained-out baseball practices and games, invitations from friends, Quinceaneras, dance lessons, music lessons, voice, emergency sleepovers and rides begged by other parents who are in the same boat, missed buses (kids too tired to obey alarms), driving in final projects and picking them up, award ceremonies, "continuation" activities, Pep days. ZZZZZZzzzzzz.

  10. I'll come over for the gyros!

  11. wordgirl--salads do not fly at the Dept. my boys are too huge and too hard to fill up and MUST have PROTEIN (see ref. to working out). I love to cook but hate to make the decision on menu constantly, esp. when i do not feel like eating. plus, when i say the night before, "what does everyone want to eat tomorrow for dinner so we can take it out to thaw?", the Drama gets enacted that night. it's absolutely hideous here. why do i let these people live with me???

    v-grrrl: i'm the opposite. i crave company for grocery shopping or it turns into absolute hell for me. i take way longer and agonize over items. and i am such a weakling that it is awful to load stuff in the cart, unload onto the checkout, back into the car, etc.
    plus, i force someone to hold and keep track of the coupons. the boys hate it. sam actually tries to ditch the coupons all around the store.

    tera--i used to adore gyros! i fiended for them and loved festival and fair times just because of them (and seeing cows and bunnies!!) but then i got sick and lots of foods sort of went over the side.

    girlanddog--i'm one of the few people i know who actually likes turnips. for real.

    nina--thursday, wednesday, tuesday, monday...either you don't know your days of the week, or you don't cook every day. LOL. i probably should pull out the crock pot. but it's been hot lately for heavy meals.

    ortizzle--this week was bad for a reason similar to yours: i was on the interview team for two positions in our dept. and was home late (like 5-5:30) three nights this week. too tired and too late to cook a major meal. and I know what you mean about the virus putting you off foods. that actually happened to me with--of all things--CHOCOLATE when i was little. can you imagine?

    re: that tie. i hear you about the stripe issue. listen--let's just be grateful when it's not a purple. we'll both have coronaries if he ever shows up with a GREEN!!

    ih--well, we're not too diverse with carryout here in our area. and if i'm in my mood, it wouldn't matter anyway. i get to the point where the taste or texture of anything besides WATER is off-putting.

    princess--LOL. it's a youth thing, then. although, there was one memorable evening where i ALMOST called sam from upstairs to come and find the remote. i was too tired to look for it and too tired to get up and change the channel. i can't believe i'm admitting this, and on my blog for posterity.

    sputnik--my boys are car owners and drivers now, and though i used to sweat it everytime they took the car out, now i can relax. it's a nicer time than the chauffeur time. but it took a while to reach that level. you'll get there.

    neil--you'll have to bring them!

  12. It was just easier for me to think backwards :)

  13. Anonymous3:21 PM

    May 24th Tie Report: Yup. Egg yolk again. That is so not Brian's color. (I wonder if it is anybody's color.) As I viewed this on my little podcast window (it did not bear enlarging the 'viewfinder'), I couldn't help thinking that this tie is the perfect example of one of the cardinal rules of fashion sense: if you see the garment (shirt, dress, etc.) or accessory (tie, scarf, jewelry, etc.) and not the person... It is NOT flattering. Watching that podcast, all I could see screaming out at me was Yellow, Yellow, Yellow. Eeeew is the perfect parting comment, Nance.

  14. I hope your family gets its food mojo back soon!

  15. ortizzle--i don't mind a yellow tie; it's the cheapo looking satiny gold lame-looking tie that i object to. that tie just looks trashy and vegas-y. a nice yellow dress-for-success tie can be very stylish, imho. but that garish gold is gauche.

    anali--today was a good food day: grilled chicken tossed with sauteed mushrooms and garlic, julienned sundried tomatoes and fresh basil on top of angel hair pasta. add a drizzling of really good unfiltered olive oil, and it was just delightful.


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