Entitlement

Dad did it. He traveled for work and ate in restaurants and just chose off the menu. Now my husband does it. He packs himself, sets himself up for regular laundry and dry-cleaning and leaves his bags with the bellman so he can come home to us for the weekend.

He knows every waiter in town and bell-person for room service. Honey, you don’t get that at home. When he’s gone I cook fish until Wednesday (he’s highly allergic to even the smell) or just eat vegetarian, salads et al.

He comes home Friday and sometimes still smells the salmon I cooked en papillote in the oven with grilled leeks and a coating of grainy mustard.

Home is not a restaurant to order meals willy-nilly. I can’t have steak or burgers for this meat and potato guy every day of the week. So what do I do for the entitled? Husband goes through phases, we’ll be married 15 years next week. Together well over 16 years. Crystal Light, yogurt, fruit bars, he still dates Cherry Garcia.

I buy him pummelos, French breakfast radishes, heirloom multi-colored carrots, cherry and Kumato and other tomatoes, and many different varieties of apple. When he says he’s getting hungry I ply him with one of these instead of a chocolate bar or ice cream.

When he is around 24/7 it becomes a kitchen nightmare as he has decided to cook (the furthest he got was making toast at age four and he still is amazed that I can make a tasty grilled cheese sandwich years later). He can make spaghetti and meatballs on his own using bottled sauce and either I or the butcher provide the meatballs. There are still spatters of tomato sauce on our kitchen walls.

The other is pancakes with a complicated recipe and I supervise while he uses every bowl and pan and I just whip the egg whites and enhance the mix with vanilla and cinnamon.

We do get along, most of the time, unless entitlement takes over. I’m the “dog mom” and cook and manager of our home. I am also his partner in business. A certain one has stymied us because of legal issues for one paragraph in a contract. I wrote a full revision of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in two weeks so that a 12 year-old could spend weekends with his father re-enacting Revolutionary War battles. Anyone who signed in for the weekend was eligible to be conscripted, no matter the age. We didn’t want a kid to go somewhere like Afghanistan.

One paragraph has taken these lawyers two months. I’ll tell you more later, or not. OK, it is about hirers sucking the life out of people. They own everything you ever thought of from the day you were born until the day that you die even though you work for us for six months and your contract ends.

As a human being, how many contracts can one sign, essentially signing one’s life away every time for nothing? He will not do it. My dear old Dad would not have done it when he was alive. I was born of a gifted, educated, supportive and stubborn man. I married one. Aye, there’s the rub. Dee

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