Disclaimer: I realize at this point that my last entry had a slight reference to substance abuse. At this time I would like to say that the title of this post in no way implies that I am in fact on crack nor do the pictures, though hilariously funny, mean that I was under the influence of crack cocaine while they were taken.
I’ve never been good at following directions. Never.
I have several memories of my childhood that include adults getting frustrated with me. In fifth grade we had a day where we were making origami swans. I had the directions on a sheet right in front of me, as the rest of the class did. I couldn’t get it. My teacher kept saying, “FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!” I thought I had. My swan ended up looking like something my brother had shot at me only a week earlier through a straw.
Oh! But then there was fourth grade when asked to write a haiku. We received an entire lesson on the form and structure of the poem. We were to write our own original and I was thrilled. Surely I would have the best haiku of the class. I quickly finished and brought the poem up to my teacher who said without emotion, “No. That’s not right. Read the directions.” Again I tried, this time sure that I had achieved my goal but again I was slighted and returned to read the jibberish that somehow was to direct me to my end. One by one all my classmates successfully turned in their poems and the excellent ones were posted with pride on the bulletin board. I stayed in from recess to try and finish mine but never did. Sad? I know.
Then there was the first time I washed my face. My mom had told me exactly what to do and how and gave me everything I needed. But in my head I had this great dramatic picture of a model with thick which soap caked on her face and I could see myself in her as she splashed huge handfuls of water against her perfect skin. So I pasted bar soap on my face as if it were a crayon and practiced splashing it off. I got water everywhere and didn’t get any soap off. When I came downstairs frustrated my mom laughed hysterically. I’ve had acne ever since.
Cooking is no exception for me. When I look at a recipe my eyes glaze over and I can’t focus on the words that splatter across each page. I get dizzy just trying to make sense of everything. I don’t like being told what to do. I think to myself, “I don’t need this. I have the basic ingredients and I’ll just mix them all over medium heat.” That tactic doesn’t usually work when trying to bake a cake…
Why does this happen to me?! I’m not on drugs. I love food. But it hates me.
So after numerous chuckle meals I decided I would have to step it up. I would have to find and marry a person who not only was courageous enough to taste my chuckle meals but who was also a brilliant cook in his own right so that at some point in our marriage we could have a delicious dinner that didn’t leave us with heartburn and indigestion simultaneously.
And I found him! Andrew. And even though he tries to explain the physics of cooking to me (brain volume goes to mute) he loves me and lets me mess up as much as I want. And when I am willing or desperate he offers advice.
Tonight we are having guests over – a phobia of mine – and this morning when we were getting ready for the day he asked what I had in mind for dinner tonight. I said, “I’ll just think of something and whip it up.”
Andrew gently said to me, “What about something like grilled chicken and stuffed peppers?”
Somehow I came away from that conversation thinking it was my idea.
So the dream team will charge fearlessly into the unknown tonight. I will say a prayer for our unsuspecting guests and maybe if God smiles upon us. We will have a delicious meal – heartburn and indigestion free.