When I got married to my husband, Giddy, I had a lot of people volunteer relationship advice:
- Never let the sun go down on your anger
- Men want sex all the time; prepare yourself
- Your first year of marriage is going to be hard
- Never say “you always,” or “you never”
And then, of course, I got a ton of unsolicited advice about when, where, and how we were to have children.
But of all the advice I received, no one warned me of what would be the greatest challenge my marriage would face.
The dreaded question: “What are we going to eat for dinner?”
I knew before we got married that Giddy had a very specific list of foods he would not eat:
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Macaroni and Cheese
In my mind that left me with:
- Left-over chicken, rice, and potatoes
At first I thought he had merely had bad experiences with these foods but surely he would like my versions of them.
Giddy would sit quietly at the dinner table looking at me as I devoured my handcrafted sandwich.
G: “I don’t eat sandwiches”
Me: “But you haven’t tried THIS sandwich”
G: “I don’t eat sandwiches”
Me: “Why don’t you just try it before you decide it’s not for you.”
G: “I have tried sandwiches. I don’t like them. I don’t need to try yours.”
This would throw me into a fit of rage.
Then I decided I would try to be tricky and rename the foods on the fated list in an attempt to broaden his pallet. This had a 50% success rate.
G: “What is this?”
Me: “Baked Pasta”
G: “It looks a lot like Lasagna.”
Me: “No, it’s baked pasta.”
*Insert Gideon giving me a dubious look*
My adventures and misfortunes of attempting to find foods my husband would eat only began to expand his “do not serve list”:
- Lettuce Wraps
- Anything with a cream sauce
- Anything that combines chocolate and peanut butter (fine on their own but combined? Atrocious!)
I floated between being infuriated that Giddy wasn’t eating all of my cooking creations, to being panicked that I was going to unintentionally starve my husband within the first year of marriage. I could hear the voices of my critics/advice givers now, “The man could survive living in Uganda during the civil war, but his wife’s food killed him.”
Well, isn’t that interesting
Almost immediately upon Gideon’s arrival to Canada, we were invited over to friend’s houses for dinner so they could meet Giddy. Friend’s would ask, “Does Giddy have any allergies?” The truthful answer is no, no he doesn’t have anything that physically keeps him from eating certain foods. “But should I mention Giddy’s list of aversions?” I’d think to myself. No, I determined that would be rude, and I could risk the purchase of McDonald’s on the way home to keep Giddy’s BMI up and keep down my wife-guilt about starving my husband.
But then something interesting would happen.
He would go to other people’s houses and eat every, dang, thing. He would even make proclamations across the dinner table like, “Ashley, why haven’t you ever made this for me?”
OH, you mean this cream-based soup and grilled cheese sandwiches? Because it causes us to doubt the validity of our marriage, that’s why.
And this was not a show for my friends, he would genuinely request these recipes after the fact.
99 Problems But Food Ain’t One
I am happy to report after four years of marriage, our food saga has (mostly) ended. My husband is not malnourished, and I do not have an anxiety disorder over what to pack for lunch. I have at least 10 recipes I can throw into rotation (though many of those recipes are just chicken and rice cooked in a variety of ways) and Giddy even cooks a great deal of our meals. Self-high-five!
Four years of marriage does not feel like enough time to become one of those people who hands out relationship advice. With that said, this was the only piece of advice I didn’t get when Giddy and I got married, and it would have been really helpful.
So get ready for some unsolicited marriage advice:
Spend your pre-wedding date nights strolling the isles of Chapters Indigo in the cookbook isle, and scrolling through Pinterest. Have your significant other identify recipes that look appetizing; use force if necessary.
If at any point your significant other mentions their mother, abort all plans, register for gift cards to major food chains, and call it a day.
Now go in peace.