“You know what would be amazing? If we had fajitas sometime.”
My sweet, hardworking husband spoke those words. Please note- he was not demanding fajitas. He was not impugning the dinner I did cook. He was not even really asking for them. He was simply commenting- hey! It would be cool to have fajitas sometime!
I would like to say that I reacted as a kind, loving wife. Or, indeed, a kind, loving, not-insane-person-of-any-relationship because again, a comment about fajitas should not make one literally foam at the mouth in anger.
But I did not. I reacted selfishly.
Here’s the thing. I hate cooking. I do not use that word lightly. I really, really hate cooking. I hate meal planning, and grocery shopping, and prepping, and cooking, and cleaning up, and ugh, all the cleaning up. There’s so much. I. Do not. Enjoy. Cooking.
I’m a stay at home homeschooling mom, though, so that’s something that I have to do every day. At least three times a day. And join me in the refrain this time- I DO NOT ENJOY IT.
Tuesdays, though. Tuesdays are easy. I’ve instituted a strict Taco Tuesday policy. I make three pounds of taco meat every few weeks (the kind that comes in the tube, because we’re classy.) and simply thaw it every Tuesday night and throw some tortilla chips at the kids. You know, for fiber. It’s easy. It’s quick. It’s a day I don’t have to do much or any prep at all and everything goes back in its containers and in the fridge. That’s the entire point of Taco Tuesday.
So when my husband innocently suggested that I make fajitas for Taco Tuesday, I felt personally affronted. It’s Taco Tuesday. It’s not explore-Latin-cuisine day. It’s not chop-a-bunch-of-things day. The chopping! Do you know what has to be chopped for fajitas? EVERYTHING. LIterally all of the things except the tortilla is chopped to make fajitas. If you’ll refer to the previous paragraph, the joy of Taco Tuesday is that THERE IS NO CHOPPING.
I mean, seriously. Does he not know what I do all day? The other meals that I have to prepare and serve and clean up after they’re rejected? The educating of his children? ALL Of the other things? He cannot seriously be suggesting that I find a new recipe, marinate steak, and chop all the things.
Whoa. Where did that come from. Why is my reaction immediately one of selfishness? One of holding back a part of myself- even if it’s just the part that chops vegetables. Why is a simple request- not even a request, a simple comment- met by my biting his head off?
After all, marriage is a total giving of self. We so often think of it financially, or sexually, or the whole in-sickness-or-in-health thing. I am the first person to opine on how you need to share everything with your husband, and refuse to withhold your fertility, or being prepared to stick it out when things get gross in marriage. (I’ve seen many, many happy marriages go through the taking-the-other-person-to-the-bathroom stage.)
I’m busy. I’m tired and cranky and sick of being asked for things all day long. But it would not occur to me to withhold affection from my husband or children because I was tired. Why did I immediately jump to pitching a fit about chopping vegetables?
Love is sacrificial, even if the sacrifice is small. I want to show my love for my husband in all the facets of our life- just like he does for me. So for now, I’ll show my love for him by making fajitas.
(Author’s Note: It turns out that fajitas aren’t very difficult at all and DANG THEY ARE DELICIOUS.)
(So he’s smart on top of being an awesome husband.)
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About Kathleen Kirchner
Kathleen is a cradle Catholic, but on a journey to greater understanding and reverence. Formerly a historian specializing in Vatican foreign policy and Jewish-Catholic relations, now she homeschools her two young children and tries to get them interested in...anything other than Netflix. Married to Matt, her engineer and personal Geek Squad for five years and counting. If it's not the school day, you can usually find her playing with makeup, reading a book, or napping. You can read her personal blog at www.pencilsandeyelashes.com