I ordered a Chicken Caesar Salad. There was so much chicken in it, really more than I needed. I found myself cutting and sorting, making a neat pile of the grilled chicken on one half of the plate.
Robb would have loved this salad. He would have had a lot to say about this salad, I thought, poking food around on the plate.
When he traveled, our conversations were minimal. Other than two calls a day to check in (“Good morning, I love you” and “Good night, sleep so well” sprinkled with the perfunctory “I miss you, but yes, I’m fine”), texting was our lifeline.
I always felt like we should have more to say.
Probably other couples have more to say, I told myself. Probably other couples pray on the phone and read the Bible aloud to one another.
But, in general, I learned that it was good for us to choose what worked in our relationship based on what actually worked in our relationship – not on the expectations we imposed on ourselves based on assumptions of marriages we perceived as stronger, more engaged, more connected, more in love.
We just didn’t talk a whole lot when he was traveling. We did a quick check of the marital pulse and called it a day. Don’t overthink it, T.
But there was this one time – I remember it so well. I opened my email, and his name popped up in my inbox. I opened it to see two full paragraphs.
What a gift. Two paragraphs!
I went on to read that he had met a colleague for dinner the night before, and Robb had ordered a Chicken Caesar Salad. It was apparently the most amazing Caesar Salad ever in the history of his life.
Oh, the chicken.
You wouldn’t believe the chicken.
More chicken than you can imagine.
Enough chicken to have some with every forkful.
Oh, the chicken.
Two paragraphs: Chicken.
That’s what he wanted to tell me.
At the time, I was woefully disappointed. I’m sure I was jealous that he had dinner out with a colleague while I was managing the scattered evening routine of meals and mess and baths and bed.
But I was also annoyed that all he could tell me about was the blasted chicken. Honestly? I wait and hope for a connection, and this is what you send me?
Oh, Tricia. What an entitled bride I allowed myself to be sometimes.
In retrospect, he had a great dinner, and he wanted to tell me about it. He had enjoyed a delicious meal, and he knew I could appreciate this. He knew I was sleeping, and he wanted me to awaken to this story in the morning.
I’m the girl he wanted to talk to about chicken.
That’s actually quite an honor. A silly, little, deep and profound metaphor of an honor.
It’s good to have that somebody. It’s great to be that somebody.