It's Just Love; It's Not Food
Which is to say that I have been returning home brain dead every afternoon for the last week, except on the weekend, which was full to the brim with Uncle Jim duties.
But I saw/heard a commercial just now-- Whilst playing solitaire, which is about all my mushy gray matter is up to about now-- that got me. The build-up was all this Oh-it's-hard-to-be-a-good-family stuff: "We hardly have time to see each other" "I work the day shift, he works the night, but we catch up at dinner," yada yada yada, coming up to the nipperoo or pay-off: having dinner together keeps families strong. And the product?
Now, I have eaten my share of Hamburger Helper. Back when we were both working, that was our evening meal oft-times, because-- and this was part of the ad, too-- it's damned easy to make. One pound, one pan, dinner. And it's not bad bad food. I mean, I can certainly think of (and remember) worse. And you know what's in it. You put in the wet stuff (meat, water, whatever), and if you read labels, you know what kind of gunk the box is adding for you.
And then, one night, I was just done with the stuff. I found myself confronted with a plate full of ground beef and noodles and orange goo, and I simply didn't want it. I told my wife this, and we haven't had HH since.
It's not a hard prohibition; it's just that shortly after the episode the Wifey decided to go on a diet, so we ended up eating separately, a practice we continue to this day. She has her healthy stuff, and I eat outrageous crap that ought to be killing me but, mysteriously, isn't. (Burgers, barbeque, fries, sausage, pizza; about the healthiest I get is Mexican food.) On the weekends, of course, we go out, together, and every single meal is a concombitant of our culinary lusts of the moment.
(I was gonna stick something in here about how ridiculously strong our marriage is, but y'know what? Either you already know about that or you don't really need to.)
But my point, and I do have one,* is this: Hamburger Helper has never saved a family at risk. In fact, I have nothing to back it up, but I would wager that it has more often lead to instances of abuse and marital strife than it has brought the fam together in the warm, soft glow of domestic bliss.
PS: The Wifey ate at Morton's Steakhouse last night-- business trip, dinner on the corp-- where she had Salmon Fillet, which she described as scrumptious. After reading this entry, she commented: "That piece of salmon I had last night could have saved a family at risk!"
*Thank you, Ellen, forever thank you.