Speak Up

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Time to Say Goodbye

Like clockwork, my mind and body seem to drastically change every Saturday at 11:30 AM. I wake up a happy, well-slept woman of the weekend. I catch some lame yet addicting Saturday morning TV. I grade a few papers, write my math plans for the following week, and get dressed. Erik wakes up and we usually have breakfast together and chat about the Sunday ahead. But right at 11:30 when the chef is dressed and hovering around the door gathering headphones, keys, and glasses I get struck by a lightening bolt of rage and sadness. I don't even know it's coming, but Erik always does. I start getting mad at him for leaving without actually articulating that feeling. I refuse to kiss him goodbye, I complain about something useless and inevitably he leaves on a sour note because I got moody all of the sudden.

We've realized this happens now and we've started to talk about it, but it's not until 11:28 that we're both catching on to this rage. I seem to survive Tuesday through Friday because I leave first to go to work. There is something much different about Erik leaving first on Saturdays. I'm the one being abandoned. I know you're all thinking I'm a drama queen using the word "abandoned" but I'm just in touch with my feelings. (Group therapy once a week and I'm not afraid to say that.) And what does abandonment mean to me? It's a feeling that I would guess a lot of other chefswives can relate to. I connect to the feeling, remembering my past and being abandoned, so to speak, as a child. I don't want to be left alone all day. Once the chef is at work and cooking and ordering, yelling and cleaning I'm fine. It's those moments around the door that I dread.

An easy fix would be simple: get myself out of the house on Saturdays before Erik goes to Perry St. But I'm not interested in quick fixes and patch ups. I want to correct the issue completely. I think I've already started that by talking about it here on the blog. Perhaps next week will be a little easier now that I've released some of the negative feelings associated with the chef leaving. Time will tell.

Actually the chef and I are going to a wedding next week! The general manager at Perry St is getting married on Long Island and Erik is working the AM only so we can go. I'm so excited! A wedding is like a romantic date wrapped in cake complete with champagne and a conga line.

Food is Love


Go Erin Go said...

I feel for you, Hillary. I don't get mad when it's time for my chef to leave on Saturdays (and Sundays), I just get sad, and perhaps a little clingy. And I'm with you, I don't want to leave before he does, because that takes away from the small amount of precious time I see my chef each week.

can't say anything to help, but I know what you're going through.

DCW_Chapel Hill

suzkenney said...

I can sympathize with your feelings. My chef and I have a relationship via the telephone throughout the week, since we are on opposite work schedules. You are not alone; I have found myself picking a fight for no good reason right before he is leaving for work on Saturdays. Then I feel guilty about how selfish I had been. I have found that on Saturdays when I have plenty to do I do not mind it that much he leaves it is the days that I am bored and no one is around that are the hardest.

Wash DC

married2thecook said...

Oh i would SO be lying to you if I didn't say I've gotten so mad at times I want to explode. While I appreciate his passion for his work I have often said it is the other "woman" in our marriage. I think it is so natural and honest and legit that you get angry, sad, lonely, frustrated...it's why we all have each other. They are a unique breed those darn cooks, love them but dang...why couldn't they have become accountants and worked 9-5 some days?

hang in there - let loose here when you need to....and know you are NOT alone.

I think the secret is to have a strong support system, and good out sourcing of things you need done that he handles so that when you are together it is quality time!

Unknown said...

I agree with everyone who posted. It's really hard being with a chef sometimes. Mine had to work on Sunday and I moped around the house all day. He ended up taking the night off -- he knew I was upset about it because Sunday is our day together.

There's not always good rationalization for our feelings. It's OK to let yourself feel badly sometimes, as long as it doesn't take over. And it's not too bad of a thing -- if you didn't really love him, you wouldn't miss him so much.

Lia said...

It appears that you are a teacher? I am a teacher also, married to a chef.
Talia, Santa Rosa CA

Hilary Battes said...

Yes, Talia I'm a teacher too. I teach second grade in Jersey city and I love it! I think teacher and chef are a great combo!