Thursday, March 26, 2009

Food for thought....

This a guest post written by my husband. He sent it to me in an email and granted permission to post it on my blog. Despite all the really harsh and raw things on my blog, I do still love him and will always think he is a beautiful person inside and out, and this post just confirms that....

For many years, food has been an important metaphor in my life. I grew up on a farm, we had a huge garden that my grandfather helped us to plant and I loved cooking with my mom from the time that I was 7 or 8. When I went to college I became a baker and then later I became a pastry chef and a cook at a major hotel. Food can be grounding. When you chop up tomatoes and onions, mince garlic, add fresh herbs, and then labor over it in the kitchen, you are taking the best that Mother Earth has to offer, adding a little of your own love, and then serving it to people you love unconditionally.

When we were married, we prepared much of the reception food with the help of our friends and families. Since our own wedding, we have helped others celebrate by freely helping them with our own 'catering skills'. We've shared many great moments in the kitchen and even great times cleaning up in others' kitchens.

When I moved out, it was important that I find a place to rent with a big kitchen, and I immediately filled it with cooking tools, a new Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, and the best tools I can find. I purchased vacuum sealing equipment so that I could impress my friends with Sous Vide cooking, the new rage in professional circles. Yet, after a couple of months, my kitchen became empty and bare, not of professional tools, fresh ingredients, or of cookbooks. I noticed it was barren without the love and teamwork that had been in the kitchen in our home.

Sometimes, as gay men, we put one virtue ahead of all others, the idea of love or sexual affection. We become convinced that we were somehow cheated out of a normal measurement of this ingredient and then we become obsessed with seeking it. This idea of love or sexual affection is a little bit like sugar. In appropriate amounts, in a cookie or a cake, it adds sweetness. If there is too much, the cake will collapse, the cookie becomes too hard, or it dominates the other ingredients. I believe, what I've often found in the gay world, is an obsession with finding sugar, a kind of saccharine substitute for real love and the true mix of virtues and emotions that come with it.

On Tuesday, I had the chance to cook again in our old kitchen. It was for me, a powerful and wonderful experience. I found a fun recipe on the Internet and purchased fresh ingredients, chopped them up, and saw as each of these strong ingredients--garlic, onions, thyme, cream, stock, chicken, pasta, parsley and stock came together to make a great dish, chicken tettrazini. It was a dish prepared with love and a bit of hope. My parents came by unexpectedly and then you helped me serve the dish. The kids loved it, my parents did, and you did also. The dish was well blended and the ingredients were harmonious.

Pieces of me (he used my real name), I miss the many different ingredients in our marriage. I miss the cooking. And I miss the love. No amount of adoration from my gay friends makes up for the emptiness I now feel in my own kitchen. I could make the best Sous Vide dish in the world, but without you it always seems to fall flat. I hope we can cook together some more and find ingredients that will make it work.

(my husband's name)


Sarah said...

Oh, sweet. I am almost crying for joy over this one.

Let us know when he is ready for us to come meet him.

I will continue to pray for you, that things will continue to go in a direction that is best for your family.

Thanks for sharing.

Bravone said...

Pieces, Thank you for sharing this. I think your husband speaks for many of us who have had the privilege of marrying and having a family. Because of our gay natures, we feel like part of us is missing or being unsatisfied, yet, in the attempt to find it, often don't realize how much our lives are enriched by our marital and familial relationships.

The only way I have been able to have both needs somewhat satisfied, it to remain in my wonderful marriage and reach out to other men through blogs, support groups, and gay and straight male friendships to establish bonds where feelings and appropriate physical contact can be made. I need the occasional male embrace. I need the text, email or phone call from a male friend to affirm my worth. Yet having all the male embracing and affirmation would be hollow without the love, interaction and affection of my wife and family.

I have known of your goodness. It is nice to also feel the goodness of your husband.