It’s such a relief to reach Friday night and know that it’s take-out tonight.
We’re going through this stage with Kurt and NC at the moment, as they transition between wanting to live at home and us wanting them to fly the nest, where we’re never quite sure how many we’re cooking for. All we can hope, is that their decision not to partake of the family meal symbolises the next step in their journey to full independence, which will ultimately push them out of the free parenting vessel.
I’m not insinuating that our offspring are thoughtless, selfish or ENTITLED, it’s just that they’ve never had to think about anyone but themselves.
Some days the whole family appears at the dinner table – (Who am I kidding? Collect their meals from the kitchen to eat off trays in their rooms) – typically when there is fuck all in the fridge to get anyone’s digestive juices flowing, and only a Happy Potter spell could conjure up a Masterchef masterpiece – Other days it’s just the two of us.
On more days than we’d like, the kids decide to eat at home along with every starving, waif and stray student from Newtown, all desperate for a taste of home cooking, and we’re supposed to become the parenting version of Jesus and turn some tiny bowl of out-of-date leftovers into a feast.
Long gone are the days when the family used to squish side by side, dubiously content on the sofa, hot food burning our laps, to catch up on the latest episode of The Project together. The traditional event of eating as a family has long been replaced by this new system more fitting to our entitled progeny, that we call, ‘no dinner for me, thanks,’ or what I like to call, ‘taking the fucking piss’, that usually manifests itself about five minutes before we dish up.
It’s the old man I feel sorry for, because since he took on the very important role of primary cook – except for those scary days after his latest drama queen kitchen meltdown (he finds cooking stressful, apparently) when I have to step in and rescue the situation – he’s the one that gets fucked over.
Having said that, I have to micro-manage any new recipe so thoroughly, I may as well cook the damn thing myself.
With more cash in their pockets these days (because what’s the point in saving for a deposit for a unit, derr?), a mature taste for international cuisine and a fine selection of affordable take-out on offer in the hood, Gen Y now weigh up their options after a hard day grafting at further education, and it’s dependent on the appeal of the food on the menu at home.
Kurt would prefer to eat toast and Marmite any day rather than salmon (wild or not), and NC needs her daily five portions of vegetables to maintain her brain power, so the old man’s staple meal of meat and rice just doesn’t cut it, and is more often than not replaced by some lavish veggie stir fry from the local Thai.
Which is fine, when our bundles of joy are thoughtful enough to give us some notice. Not so fine when we roast a chook big enough to feed the suburb and it turns out that there are only two of us eating, plus one rather over-nourished dog who no longer complies with her ‘small breed’ categorisation.
Even more frustratingly painful for the old man, (and something that could lead to his fifth mid-life crisis in as many years), is that this system is not budget-conscious, something he has been working hard to perfect since he took over the role of house bitch.
And lest we dare forget the saying: Happy husband, happy shopping