July 12, 2021

It must have been the meatloaf. I had the odd (considering my ho-hum attitude towards the dish) desire to make meatloaf yesterday. Granted, I was within my usual tendency of using what I have (ground venison from a hunter-friend) to make a dish that works with it. So meatloaf was my weekend plan. In part, this was a purely practical decision; as I would not, I assumed, be tempted to consume as much as I usually do when it comes to meat; there would be plenty leftover to carry us into the next workweek. And I do make every effort to plan ahead these days, knowing how stressful meal prep can be once I’m in the throes of a workweek. That said, meatloaf was the plan. By the time I got home, however, later than I had intended, thanks to some family responsibilities, I was already a bit flustered, and not in the mood to put together a new dish. I shot out a series of minor household requests to Peter and then, in the middle of one of them, he called me out on it. I stopped. I pressed him until he finally verbalized his frustration. And then it was out. And there we were. In the middle of one of those marital moments . . . those moments of impasse when you feel like the world is falling in on you, and you are stuck. Stunned. 

“I don’t know what to do.” I said. “I don’t know . . .” Then came the tears. I wanted out. I wanted him out. I wanted him. I wanted . . . 

I wish I could tell you a lovely “happily ever after” right now. I wish I could resolve this post with a bright and shiny resolution. But the fact of the matter is that we did not solve the problem. We did not have a happy reunification.

What we did, instead, is sit down to a now-cold dinner together. We let each other’s presence be the balm that a resolution had not been able to be. And though meals are usually remembered because of the happy memories surrounding them, this slightly glum meal setting ended up being over a loaf of meatloaf that was, I dare say, the best damn meatloaf I’ve ever tasted. So there. There’s that.

*photo: the garden-fresh onions and garlic I used in lieu of packaged soup mixes most recipes call for

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