25) holiday meal prep

My December to Remember II: Day Twenty-Five

News: Several dead after “bomb cyclone” hits northern U.S.
Putin claims he’s “ready for peace talks” with Ukraine.
Joe Biden misses traditional Christmas Eve calls with children about Santa.

I’m always preparing for something, because I believe anything could happen at any time. I’ve likened the way my mind works to a series of waiters bringing out a bevvy of main courses all hidden under dish covers. There I sit at my table, letting each one of them show me what’s underneath. I may sample a course or refuse it entirely, but at least I’ll know what was being offered. That way, when the actual main course happens, there won’t be any surprise.

But sometimes, no matter how much we prepare for it, reality can slap us in the face, and it can really hurt.

When it comes to matters of the heart, I’ve never been particularly lucky. For example, I’m the only one on both sides of the family who has never brought someone home for the holidays. And at this rate, I don’t think that’s even going to happen. I’ll just be a recluse in my Vermont cabin after publishing my first novel. That option seems like the tastiest of them all. However, there was one so-called relationship that went on for years and years, with lots of back and forth and ‘will-they-or-won’t they’ always at the forefront. I had to go through every single option on the table on this one, as it took all sorts of twists and turns and rule changes, evolving in ways that I’d just go with, as it all felt so real in my heart.

But the whole thing was just on paper. Only through words. It was one big fancy menu presented while the kitchen was closed. I considered this person the absolute love of my life, but I ultimately had to ’86’ it when I found out they had chosen another. Yes, this was one of the options I prepared myself for, but it still hurt. It made no sense and too much sense all at once. And I knew it was a recipe for disaster if I stayed. So I left. It was my choice to go this time. To ignore all the dinner options and just leave the restaurant. It was the right thing to do, as much as I wished I’d go on tasting the specials over and over for the rest of my life.

I’m not adding any photos to this entry because I don’t think the internet, in all its vastness, can accurately portray just what I’ve been feeling. Plus, it’s cheesy when menus have pictures of the food. This is just always going to be something I’ll think about until I don’t. And I know it does me no good to reminisce on past meals when my present tastes are completely different.

I know what I want, what will satiate me, what’ll makes me feel full and satisfy what’s left of my taste buds. And I can’t do that when a restaurant goes out of business. It’s just impossible. So I’ll keep traveling until I find that place I can call home. Where you’re welcomed as family and treated as such. Maybe my last meal is out there. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll be cooking for myself forever, or I’ll get to the point where I produce my own food for my baby. Who knows what’s next. I’ve got to at least try. Because sometimes, making things from scratch can be the most satisfying dish of them all.

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