Well, folks…this was bound to happen.
Yesterday evening, I came home from work to an empty home. There was no boyfriend humming and bopping along to Britney, slicing, dicing, and preparing an exquisite gourmet meal. There was no Kitten skulking around the kibble cabinet. There was no Bird-Brain perching imperiously atop the refrigerator overseeing the proper running of the household.
No. Instead of being greeted with the customary pre-dinner hustle and bustle, there was…silence. Bird was in her cage, quietly picking the yellow pellets out of her food and flinging them into the water dish, Kitten was busy knitting fuzzballs under the couch, and Boyfriend was nowhere to be seen. No pre-dinner White Russian or glass of pino met me at the door. No delicious aroma greeted me halfway down the corridor.
The inevitable moment I always had feared, somewhere in the back of my mind, had come to pass.
Yep…after three long years, Boyfriend was gone. I was alone.
Two nights a week, at least. See, as of yesterday, Boyfriend returned to college. And while this is a good thing, as it means Boyfriend is that much closer to that much-more-lucrative-than-mine degree, it was also a very, very, very bad thing.
Because it meant I had to cook and fend for myself.
Now, it’s not that I’m not an independent, grown man fully capable of taking care of myself. After all, I made it for years on my own before Boyfriend came along without starving to death. And once upon a different lifetime, I was actually regarded as a pretty decent cook, thank you very damned much. The things I could do with top ramen? Amazing.
It’s just that over the last little bit, those skills have fallen by the wayside. I mean, sure, I can cook. I can even bake. But have you seen Boyfriend’s repertoire? When you’re living with a man who likes to cook and is actually good at it, you don’t look that gift horse in the mouth. You hop on and ride that sucker for all he’s worth, right?
You bet your ass. And I’ve been riding that horse all the way to the dinner table, every night.
Yes, I’m aware that I’m spoiled. As an old acquaintance of mine (and by acquaintance, I naturally mean ‘tall, blond, green-eyed, muscle-y acquaintance of hot South African accent…) once said, I’ve really managed to land my bum in the butter this time.
(And no, the expression doesn’t make that much sense to me, either, but did I mention the blond hair, green eyes, muscles, and accent??)
But spoiled or not, surely I could manage to take care of myself two nights a week. Surely all those latent kitchen-y skills would re-emerge, right?
Uh, yeah. Riiiiiiiiiiight.
Let’s just say that by the time Boyfriend got home (to be greeted with a wadded-up shopping bag to the face) and dinner was served (an hour later, despite my determination to have it served the precise minute he walked in the door) some new ground rules had been established. Among them: (a) I am not allowed to go grocery shopping alone (shopping list? what shopping list??); (b) I am not allowed to handle the kitchen cutlery unsupervised (lest the vegetables expire and grow new forms of penicillin before I finish chopping them); and (c) I am not allowed to use the stove (because really? who knew you could burn water?).
Also, from now on, it’s been determined that I am to spend Tuesday and Thursday evenings, when Boyfriend is in class late, either (a) writing or (b) in the gym, but never (c) cooking, and that dinner will be either leftovers or something prepared by Boyfriend the night before.
This, Boyfriend assures me, is probably in the best interest of the entire universe.