My husband has been gone this week, enjoying time in Steamboat Springs with his mother and sister. When Steve heads up to the mountains with our fourteen year old border collie, the corgis and I chill at home. Well, I chill and they annoy each other until they get tired and fall asleep. Then they chill too. The biggest difference between life in our home when Steve is here and when Steve is gone is the menu. Steve is a foodie. He loves to eat. He is continually thinking about his next meal. When he works from home, there is a steady stream of activity as he traipses upstairs and downstairs, between his home office and the kitchen, foraging for food, making food, carrying food downstairs, and then bringing the empty plates back up when it’s time for the next meal. Sometimes I think he must be a hobbit. Breakfast. Second breakfast. Elevensies. Lunch. Afternoon latte. Dinner. Then supper. Me? I don’t get all wound up over food. When you have the food intolerances I do and food can make you rather sick, you decide that maybe eating isn’t all that exciting. The most for thrilling food choice I contemplate is whether for my afternoon snack I should mix it up and skip the baby carrots and go crazy and eat a handful of raw almonds instead. Yawn.
For dinner this week, I’ve had some gluten free/dairy free/soy free soup from Whole Foods, some gluten free butternut squash ravioli, rice noodles with peanut sauce and broccoli, and a couple kale salads. Tonight, I decided I would treat myself. I planned to put in the effort and cook some actual meat. As I was choosing which cut of steak to buy, I waffled. I had thought I would pick out a beef tenderloin for myself, but when I saw the price I balked. So, I bought a top sirloin, which was less than half the price. As a result, the dinner was disappointing. I didn’t time anything right. The sautéd mushrooms and shallots were done before the sweet potato, which was done before the steak, which took forever to cook because it was so thick. Even though I had trimmed it, it was too fatty for my liking. The potato was perfect and the mushrooms and shallots were a delight, but I ended up feeding most of the sirloin to the corgis, which they were quite happy about, thank you very much.
As I was doing the dishes, I started pondering my disappointment. Was I disappointed because if Gordon Ramsey had been watching me cook, he certainly would have stuck my head between two slices of white bread and told me I was an idiot sandwich for not getting the timing right and not cooking the steak to a perfect medium? Was I disappointed because I made a huge mess in the kitchen for a meal that I ended up giving to the dogs? Was I disappointed because I enjoyed the mushrooms and sweet potato the most, which isn’t surprising because I lean towards vegetarian anyway so what was I thinking? It was none of the above. I was disappointed because I’d cheaped out on the steak for myself. I wasn’t willing to spend the extra money for the tenderloin I really wanted because I prefer the leanest steak possible. Instead, I opted for the same organic top sirloin I feed to our dogs with their kibble and green beans. What’s ridiculous is that the extra money for the steak I wanted was not an issue. We definitely had enough in the bank account for the tenderloin and the extra amount on the grocery bill was not going to mean I had to cut our budget somewhere else. How depressing is it that I couldn’t bring myself to spend an extra $12 for the cut of steak I really wanted? I mean, I probably wouldn’t have cooked it right anyway and I most likely would have still messed up the meal timing, but at least I would have enjoyed the steak rather than giving it to Loki and Goose. So apparently, ala When Harry Met Sally, I am the dog in this scenario.
I’m disappointed in myself because I haven’t yet learned my worth, even though I keep saying I’m figuring it out. I guess it’s a lot to ask of myself to forget a lifetime of negative programming that convinced me I didn’t matter and didn’t deserve anything good. But I have been working so hard in therapy to reimagine myself in a more positive light, to feel that I’m worth something. It kind of sucks to realize I haven’t gotten very far with that yet.
Don’t I know by now that I’m not top sirloin? I am organic beef tenderloin, dammit. Sigh. Hopefully next time I will remember that and treat myself accordingly.