Be Soft In The Kitchen

“Softness” changes your vibe.

We’re all very smart, very clever, very defended. We don’t want anyone to see how films about animals make us cry, or our scrap booking, or all the mistakes we made and continue to make around everything in life.

We don’t want anyone to see that we’re lonely, or frightened, or exuberant about the simplest things. We don’t want anyone to see us being childlike and hopeful. So we cultivate our intellect, our opinions, our thoughts on where we’ve been and where we’re going.

Today I was in the kitchen eating what I’d cooked, when my husband walked in. I have a horrible history of burning food. There was the time several months ago when I retreated to the microwave, defeated, afraid my absent-mindedness would burn the house down (talk about repressed rage).

In the last few weeks I’ve been trying the stove again – scheduling cooking time, staying put in the kitchen, turning on the timer, sharpening my attention, and not burning anything! I’m cured! I’m a cook! I’m not a menace, I can do this! And the ground turkey I cooked in the pan smelled very nice on my plate.

And he says, alarm and accusation in his voice, “Did you burn something?”

“No!” I look up at him in shock.

“It smells like you burned something. Something’s burned.” and he walks into the kitchen.

“No, no!” I defend, going for the pan, picking it up to show him, feeling five years old and incompetent. “It’s just nicely brown, see?” I say forcefully, totally righteously. It’s his nose that’s wrong.

“Well, it smells like something’s burned.”

All of a sudden I get what I really feel. Yes, I’m five. I screw up my face and do big time mock crying and whining. “But I didn’t burn it!” I wail. “I didn’t….” and I go all gooey, pan in my hand, miserable.

And in that second, my husband does a 180. His eyes go deep and very blue-green, he smiles so fast I’m taken aback, and he comes towards me, arms around me, “Ohhhhhhh,” he says. And that’s the end of it.

“So, how’s your day?” he skips right to his next thought, and he’s standing right up against me, and we’re connected, and I leap from five-year-old to grownup, from lump to goddess.

Long ago, whenever this happened, I used to think it was because he was competitive and didn’t want me to be big. I thought he liked me girly and the loser at chess and gin rummy. I thought he was scared of my fortitude. Now I know that’s not it at all.

He just likes me better soft. He likes me better where I am than where I wish I was. He likes me better human than mistake-proof. And by liking me better this way, he encourages me to rise to the ultimate test of any relationship: He inspires me to say that I like myself best when I’m with him.

***I wrote this at a stage in my marriage when we were just beginning to communicate on a deeper level – where we were getting past using our daughter and the amount of our focus we reserved for her in a subtle way to KEEP DISTANCE between US.

Intimacy is scary. The dynamics of a family are somehow orchestrated to keep a balance, a status quo. The idea is- underneath, subconsciously, where we can’t even get at our motives – to keep things the same.

We do as much to KEEP from Rocking the Boat of ourselves as we do to stay connected within the family.

Everyone triggers everyone else, and no one likes to be triggered. So we try to avoid doing anything different from what we feel comfortable with.

But that’s a path of STUCK.

It’s not even a path.

It’s some kind of going in circles designed to make sure you always end everything that happens at the beginning.

That things inside us NEVER CHANGE.

And when I wrote this – I WANTED things to change.

Not because they were bad – because they WEREN’T. We had a TERRIFIC relationship – exactly as I talk about and write about and teach about.

But I wanted to go FURTHER.

I wanted to shake myself up. I wanted to have all the adventure, intimacy, excitment, scariness of love and life that I’d missed out on my whole life by always trying to keep things the same. I wanted NEW.

I wanted to explore myself – and I knew the way to do that was through our relationship.

So I experimented. I talked. WE talked.

And this was at the beginning of that – when I started talking. When I started letting myself hang out – even when it looked BAD to me.

I always prized myself for keeping myself together – no matter what. I “could handle anything.” I could “make lemonade out of any lemon thrown at me.”

And I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wanted to be SEEN. And it was my husband who was going to be SEEING me.

Since then, we’ve slowly worked with each other in this way – making sure that we don’t bust through each other’s walls (though they are so much shorter and more transparent these days) – but just feel our way through, and – well, it’s kind of magical.

You can do this every day of your life.

Circular Dating will give you an opportunity to interact with man after man after man – to slowly allow them to peer through your walls, and for you to practice actually letting those walls down a bit at a time.

You can do this – and even the men out there who you are not attracted to – or who seem unable to even hold a conversation with you – even those men can be “practice partners” for you.

Wishing you love, practice, and magic – and blowing them your way.

Love, Rori

Leave a Comment