The Universal Man. Is it a thing?
My parents were here this weekend to see Christopher's first football game. My mom and I had already talked about what I needed to get from the grocery store. So the menu was set. No one was going to have to worry about going to the grocery store or wonder about what to eat. It really should be as simple as that.
On Friday night daddy was going to have his usual - Amy's pizza. It's just the frozen cheese pizza, and then he adds his own stuff to it.
My boys were having leftovers. I purposely cooked on Thursday night so there would be leftovers and I wouldn't have to worry about cooking Friday night. So they were having stuffed shells.
Mom and I were having "Chipotle" - homeade style. I had soaked black beans overnight and she was going to cook them. She and I were having brown rice topped with black beans, pico de gallo, salsa and guacamole. On Saturday she and I would eat the same thing. Daddy would have his "Chipotle" rolled in a burrito and I would pick up hot wings and shrimp fried rice for my boys. Nothing to think about.
Early Friday morning my husband had already eyeballed the soaking black beans with a look on his face like, I hope those aren't for me. I wanted to say, those aren't for you but I'm not having dinner discussions at 7:00 in the morning.
Friday afternoon, daddy sees mom cooking the black beans. He said, "What am I eating for dinner?" I answered, "Your usual. I bought the Amy's pizza." I thought as if you were going to eat anything else.
There's an episode of The Cosby Show where Cliff gives his parents a cruise vacation. His dad turns down the vacation because he won't have his morning newspaper or his oatmeal. My daddy isn't quite that bad yet. It doesn't have to be Amy's pizza if that's impossible, but he IS having pizza on Friday night.
So back to the conversation, he knows he's having Amy's pizza. He asks my mom, "What are you going to eat?" Mom rattles off, what she and I are having. Then he asks what my boys are having and I say, "Leftovers."
My husband and Christopher weren't in the house when I ate my Chipotle style dinner. When they came in the house, Christopher asked, "What's for dinner?" I said, "Leftovers." He asked, "What were the leftovers again?" I said, "Stuffed shells" and he said, "Yes!" They both like the stuffed shells. Thank goodness.
While I was fixing Christopher's plate, I offered to fix my husband a plate too. He obviously didn't hear the whole conversation because he asked what was for dinner. I said, "Stuffed shells." Then he asked, "Did you eat?" I said, "Yes." He asked, "What did YOU have?"
Mom and I looked at each other, because it was a déjà vu moment. We read each other and we were both saying, "What difference does it make what we are having for dinner or whether or not we ate dinner?" Is this a Universal Man thing?
Without a second offer to fix my husbands plate, he said, "I was thinking about picking up some fried rice." I told him I was going to pick that up on Saturday after the game. Then he said, "I'm all shelled out", in reference to eating stuffed shells twice on the night before. I just gave him the look that said oh well, do what you want, if you get shrimp fried rice tonight, you'll be eating it again tomorrow because that's my plan and I'm sticking to it.
He ate the stuffed shells.
On Saturday, I made breakfast for the boys, including daddy. Mom and I were having whatever else. At some point in the morning daddy asked mom, "Did you eat?" and "What did you have?" My boys were gone, so nobody had to ask me.
Fast forward to after the game
I tell daddy to ride with the hungry men. Mom and are going to pick up hot wings and the shrimp fried rice and then we will be home.
I get home with the food and I don't sit down with a plate of rice and chicken. My husband asks, "What are YOU going to eat?" Without rattling off the whole Chipotle style menu, I just say, "A burrito." My mind screams, "WHY????"
Daddy doesn't ask what mom is having. It makes me understand that this question must only occur when the mom/wife is having something different.
Fast forward to Sunday morning breakfast time
I'm not a fly on the wall. I am standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. Mom and dad were here in North Carolina and still had to drive 4.5 hours to South Carolina. They've been here for two nights. Daddy asks, "Did you take out anything for dinner?" I turned my head slowly, mid dish wash and said to myself no he didn't.
I don't think mom knew how to respond. Like perhaps he didn't actually mean to say that. But then he continues to talk about dinner at 9:00 in the morning saying he can have pizza again if that will make things easy and he can start eating such and such tomorrow. Then he asks if they have to go to the grocery store.
I can't really remember what I said exactly. I had a whole paragraph of sarcasm ready to roll out but I kept it simple. I chimed in with my really? tone, and said something like, "No woman wants to think about what's for dinner after breakfast or when they are not even home" and I went back to washing dishes like I wasn't all up in the conversation.
Whatever I said, they both laughed. Mom said, "Thank you, Kenya!" And daddy said, "You always were my second wife." Whenever mom was being patient and kind, I said what she was really thinking.
So is this a Universal Man thing? Must we think about food 24/7?
Unfortunately my boys weren't in the kitchen when this whole conversation went down. So when I snap in the near future, "DON'T ASK ME ABOUT DINNER BEFORE LUNCH!" they won't know what hit them or where it came from.
So anyway my boys did show up in the kitchen when they were hungry. I made their 2-serving breakfast which followed with my husband questioning, "What are YOU having?"
Thankfully no one asked about dinner yet.
My mom and dad should be more than halfway home now. I'm dying to know if daddy brought up dinner again.