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October 12, 2007
It was mad cow disease that finally got my husband to limit his red-meat eating to practically never. It wasnt any example I set or explanation I gave for being vegetarian. Some light just went on inside his head that only he knew (consciously or unconsciously) where to find the switch for. That was four years ago. Hell still order a brisket if were at a deli or a steak if were at a restaurant that supplies an extra fork for the salad, but mostly, red meats a rarity in his diet.
After 11 years of marriage, he still teases me about the lawn trimmings that have been a staple of mine, and have been since I read Diet for a Small Planet back in the 70s. Not having met until well into adulthood, we both had set eating habits before we set up house together. Hell tolerate romaine, but add raddichio to a salad, and he wont have any of it. He will eat a raw carrot, but that may be because hes seen one of his heroes doing itIm referring of course to Bugs Bunny.
Chickens one of his mainstays, and Ive baked or crockpotted it for him. Ive justified this as if he were a pet cat Id dedicated myself to feeding and caring for. Expecting my husband to prepare his own meals (as opposed to snacking) is like expecting the NRA to agree that hunters dont need to pack assault weapons.
But just last week, he proposed that we stop buying raw chicken. It grosses you out to have to cook it, he said. (Now, I have made noises about how a whole chicken looks way too similar to a real live hen, but mostly, to the best of my recollection, Ive been stoic about it.) No, were not becoming a totally veg householdhell pick up a turkey loaf for himself at Trader Joes, or a barbecued chicken at the supermarket. And well still do our own thing at mealtime. But hes respecting my choices more since Ive respected his. Or something like that.
In any case, it was a loving gesture. A surprise gift thats so much sweeter than a negotiated point in a marriage of dietary inconvenience.