Parts Unknown

Some say care giving, especially the parenting of a person with autism, can put strain on a marriage. [Let me note that there’s fresh evidence to refute the claim that it leads to a high proportion of divorces – it might actually be that care giving parents pull together in love and service to their child(ren).]

But Melissa and I experience conflict over this man.

I’m into his shows. I like the deep dives into other cultures through food and human interest.

Melissa thinks me weird. She dubbed him “The Food Guy” and, when I really got into his comments about the inner darkness of writers, she put him on her index of people/shows/events that I like but that she can take or leave (emphasis on the latter). She gives her own titles to such people/shows/events. For example, Michael Chiklis in The Shield was “The Scary Guy” (although that show won her over); Jeremy Wade’s show is “Scary Fishes.”

So I bring up Bourdain because he is a chef and his writing and TV work explore the world through food.

I must confess that one of the rewarding, pleasurable things about care giving is that it’s made me a better cook. I was telling Melissa just the other day how much I find myself looking forward to making a nice Sunday dinner for our family.

She’s praised some of my dishes as “better than restaurant food,” and I am encouraged by such praise.

Last night, I made something that Joey should never, ever, not even come close to enjoying. I baked chicken and served it with sauteed fresh green beans and Vidalia onions. After I hand fed Joey enough to get his evening medications down (he won’t take them any other way), he devoured the rest of the bowl. Not even a green bean or onion fragment to be found. I could have cried, I was so honored.

So here I am, cook and blogger, in Parts Unknown – the world of care giving. In some ways, it’s made me a better person, both in skills and in character. But I’m still a writer at heart, and I’ll let Bourdain have the last word,

Writers as I know from looking in my own dark heart, are generally terrible people. Put ten of them together and it’s like putting your head in a bag full of snakes.

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