When Dinner is Late

When I first got married, I was silly enough to plan a schedule for meal times.  I was willing to be flexible with lunch, and breakfast was a quick meal before work.  So those two really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. 

But dinner… Dinner was an entirely different matter altogether.  Dinner was the meal in which we’d sit down together over a steaming bowl of soup or a hearty casserole and catch up on the other’s day.  It was all about connection, communication, and it was scheduled strictly for 6pm.

I recalled this naive thinking last night as I pulled into the driveway at 7 pm.  I mulled over in my head how long the meatloaf would take to cook.  I wondered if I would even have all the ingredients to make the meatloaf.  I didn’t, so had to make a quick trip to the store for eggs.  (Relay cooking: the event in which a cook begins preparing a meal at home and then has to run out and make multiple stops to finish the meal. I’ve said it before. I’m a professional at this).

So finally, at 8:30 pm, I pulled the meatloaf out of the oven and served up two plates of potatoes and broccoli, mumbling all the while that we should have just had cereal since we were closer to breakfast than dinner anyway.  And I set the table, but my husband and I lasted there for five minutes before we headed upstairs to watch some television over dinner. 

I kind of felt like a failure.  Like Charlie Brown.  You know, like a blockhead. 

And then Nate turned to me said, “I can’t wait until your Year End is done at work.”

And I sighed, waiting for the rest. Waiting for him to tell me that he doesn’t like eating so late and that he doesn’t like how messy the house has been lately.  And that he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to take the next two weeks of Year End, because things are bound to only get worse. 

I was expecting a  lecture on how this craziness wasn’t healthy for a husband.  You know, psychiatric help, Lucy-style. 

But he continued by saying, “You shouldn’t have to work so much.  I’ll help with dinner tomorrow.  This meatloaf is the best though, by the way.”

And then everything was okay, even if it was 9 pm and we were too exhausted to say much.  Sometimes, eating meatloaf with the one you love is enough.  And I realized that as hard as the next two weeks are going to be, Nate and I will make it together as a team… even if dinner is late and maybe not good enough to blog about.  We’ll make it and eat it together.  And that’s enough to make me feel like the luckiest girl ever.

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6 Responses to When Dinner is Late

  1. jelillie says:

    Thank you Nicole. You probably don’t realize it but this post was a word of confirmation with the Charlie Brown reference. I have been struggling all night with a title for my next by-line. I had it written last night but was a little tentative about publishing. Now though with your help I am certain! My next post (on perseverance) shall be called, “Embracing Your Inner Blockhead!”

  2. Abby says:

    This is so sweet!!

    I seriously have no idea how my mom does it. Seriously. But then she doesn’t have strictly schedule meal times, anyway… some nights we eat at 9.

  3. I love this post. You have me all teary eyed now, no lie. I love the relationship that you guys have.

  4. justmarriedgirl says:

    In my case, Mike is the one who gets home late-ish (7pm or after). I try to have dinner ready, but he doesn’t always call when he’s running late. I can’t tell you how many arguments spring from this very issue! I have all these grand notions of eating together, and it works for the most part, but tonight was one of those nights that he was late and I ended up eating macaroni and cheese on the couch all alone. Sigh.

    You are so very good for working a long day and then going home to make a big dinner. Nate is a lucky guy!!

  5. Cari says:

    Gosh this sums up my lifeeeeee!!! Goodluck getting through the next couple weeks!!

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