He worries about me from over there, across the ocean… I eat badly and don’t sleep… He expresses it gently, quietly, persistently… *worry worry*… It is sweet, this concerned caring.
I tell him, then, to order me a salad online for my lunch, something that allows him to contribute to looking after me, to extend that concern in a practical way. The salad bar is downstairs from my work… the choices are endless and relentlessly healthy: fresh greens, spinach, snow peas, carrots, artichokes, baby corns, green beans, tomatoes, olives, jalapenos, chicken, tuna, different dressings… I tell him he can add whatever he wants to the salad (no anchovies!). He puts a lot of thought into it, I can see his mind ticking over…
“What will she like?”
“Is this a good combination?”
He has a level of fretting and concern that it will not taste good, that I will not like it, that he will get it wrong. He orders, tells me it is done, and waits for me to come back to him… approval, or no.
I go downstairs at noon like a good girl to pick up the healthy lunch he has put together for me. It makes me laugh softly to myself, it is hot and sweet and a mashup of the dynamic, which I love.
And it is a treat, a tasty surprise (oh, chilli… and egg!), he has done well. I feel holy and healthy and sweetly cared for as I crunch through the vegetables that I know I should eat more of. I think to myself, ‘This will make him happy’, as if I am some submissive girl, pleasing her master. That thought, too, makes me laugh as I make a mental note to tell him ‘No jalapenos next time’.
I look forward to making him do that again.