I bought some zucchinis on Tuesday. We had just said goodbye to my parents at the airport after a fantastic Easter weekend of laughter, re-connection and deeply rooted conversations that you can only find among family. I was feeling blue because I already missed them. On our route back to our apartment Timothy wondered if we might stop by our local Trader Joe’s, a hippie grocery/wine/awesome store that originated in California, so of course we love it. 🙂
Zucchinis were on sale, 3 for $1.99. I spotted this moments after Timothy encouraged me to pick out my favorite flower bouquet. (I mean, come on.) So zucchini on sale, and when I see zucchinis on sale I get excited because I think maybe, just maybe I could pretend I’m some awesome cook because I cook with exciting food that starts with a “z”. So this got me pretty pumped. So I grabbed the zucchini, our favorite orange juice, salad bag and adorable bouquet, and we were off (we didn’t eat those all together, that would be gross). Oh, and our spirits were lifted further as we ran into a PLU friend in the wine section as we got the good pink stuff (white zinfandel 3 buck chuck).
Timothy asks me to turn on the fan, even though nothing is burning (this is a rare occasion). I ask why and he says it’s because he doesn’t like zucchini. Raw or cooked? Cooked. Well I like them cooked. (Again, another opposite of many between Timothy and me).
Then why did you let me buy them? “Because you were so excited.”
I seem to read a lot of blogs and online articles that are titled “10 ways to spice up your life” (did I just quote the Spice Girls?) or “5 signs you have a child with problems” or “8 tips to keep your brain from rotting.” They are all countdown lists. Some are helpful. Some are not.
My spouse, rolling with my excitement about a fancy food – that’s love. I have no “5 tips to finding and sustaining true love,” because, like many things I’m finding at a rapid pace, love is an imperfect, lifelong path of sweetness, connection, and vulnerability that you walk with your person.
Timothy is that person for me. Even though he doesn’t like cooked zucchini, he still strolled with me through Trader Joe’s and he keeps walking with me as we are kind of sad and feeling bittersweet that our Easter weekend with my parents is over. He didn’t get in the way of me getting all giddy over being creative with our dinner, and he ate the thing for dinner (which I thought was pretty good). That’s love. Walking with your loved one through questionable food choices, tearful hellos and tough goodbyes, late-night extra-innings, and the joys, squabbles and dreamings of daily life.
I can’t say this love is perfect all the time, because it’s not. It’s hard work, but it’s the best kind of work (it’s true, Ben Affleck). I wanted to tell this small story to remind us of the importance of naming those unique moments of love that make the tough parts worth it. And next time I’ll be more stealthy about adding zucchini because who doesn’t like cooked zucchini?