Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Hints of Me
The other night Steve reheated a few bits of steak that had been kept, left over. They came off the grill hot and peppery and I picked one up in my fingers and savored its soft texture and delicious taste. I did the same to the second piece. Standing there by the BBQ I had a flashback.
Growing up was a solid but humble experience for me. My mother fed her large family with plain, wholesome food, few spices and a cookie now and then. Meals were planned around the piece of meat, with a starch and vegetable. We counted out meatballs to make sure they were delivered evenly, passed the large bowl of mashed potatos around and ate lots of peas and corn.
When I started dating Steve at the tender age of 15 he gave me many of my 'firsts.' First submarine sandwhich, corned beef with onions and mustard, heated. That was the first. And my first piece of pizza. We went out every Friday night after he got paid at the grocery store and found fun.
Sometime into this love story Steve took me to the Shakespeare Steak House. I don't know what to compare it to, but it was a schnitzy, expensive restaurant. We both had a glass of wine. I think I probably ate a few buns, some appetizers, pickles, salad, whatever. I have always loved to eat. And then came the steak.
I think that steak was the first and most exquisite piece of food I had ever put into my mouth. I sucked and savored the bites, the unbelievable texture, the flavor. MY! But I was silly from the glass of wine, and full from buns, so I found the steak a bit too big, and I wrapped it in the linen napkin on the table and slid it into my purse. Giggling all the way out of the restaurant, I took my half finished steak with me. (I had no idea there was such a thing as a doggy bag.)
Well... we went to the Rock Pile dance club and listened to the band and danced off the buns, and when I got hungry I took the steak out of my purse and ate it, using the napkin to wipe up the drips. You know, that steak was still a magnificent experience, even room temp and unadorned.
As I stood at the BBQ tasting my steak I realized that I am the same girl I was. I still do unconventional things, and love to eat. I remain able to savor a moment and delight in humble and ordinary blessings.
And I also realized what a big thing it must have been for Steve to take me to the Shakespeare Steak House. He made a pittance, and took me to the most expensive dinner in town. He did not chide me when the little girl in me giggled and stole a napkin to carry my best taste ever. He enjoyed the newness I was experiencing and always fed my laughing heart.
He still does all this for me. He lets me be unconventional, delights when I am free enough to suck the juices of life, fully enjoys every new humble treasure I discover, like the flavor of a tomato ripe from the vine which carries hints of every summer of my life. And because he loves me like he always did, I have been able to stay who I am.