Habits are a strange thing; especially when newly cultivated.
I cooked two nights ago. In my own kitchen, and for myself, with my own pretty crockery and cutlery. It felt odd and strange and it didnt fit with what a meal was supposed to be like. Which isnt right, because this was a habit I’d cultivated some months ago, and grown to accept and enjoy.
Now, meals to me, the right kind, are in the S.O’s messy boy-kitchen. Always cooking for 7-1o people, with all the wrong utensils and ingredients. There’ll always be a ton of people stuffed into the kitchen, dipping not-so clean fingers into the pots and pans Im painstakingly filling with food. There are always people more than eager to roll & light me a cigarette, when I get tired and cranky of standing in front of the stove. And once its done, we’ll all sit together in a large living room, and eat together – the S.O and I always sharing a plate; not for the sake of romance or intimacy but because there are never enough plates. For the first few minutes there’s silence while we wolf down, and then we’ll pause to breathe and savour, and laugh and converse. Then we’ll light each others cigarettes, and enjoy whole-heartedly that post-goodmeal smoke, that only smokers can understand.
And its a meal, a “homely escapade”, and it makes and keeps us all full and happy inside out.
Now that its the holiday season and everyone begins the snow-tainted disperse home, its a temporary cooking-for-myself again, before I go home. But a month before I get to complain about cooking for too many people in an ill-equipped kitchen; a ritual that has become my favourite habit. I’d thought I was crazy for missing it so painfully, when I finally have my clean and pretty kitchen back, with its snow-capped-trees-view, and I get to cook for me, me, me.
But I miss the bustle and the babble. I miss shouting at noisy boys, and feeling smug when they do what I tell them to. I miss bonding with the only other girl in the house over how noisy the boys are. I miss how the meals with no planning, and with stuff just thrown in along with instinct, are always the best and most appreciated. I miss that Im-so-tired-of-cooking-all-this-and-you-guys-are-ompletely-useless cigarette. Peace and quiet and tranquility are alien to me now. They dont fit with what I want now, with who I am.
The S.O was right, for a change. Habits, they’ll always mess you up.