Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay
"Ugh! The bread is soaking wet! Bread is not supposed to be soaking wet!" he snarled at me as he spit a soggy mouthful of half-chewed peanut butter sandwich into a tissue. I stood at attention next to his bed. He handed the sodden and heavy tissue to me.
He was now vegan, grain free, nightshade free, lectin free, phytic acid free, and deaf to my feeble protestations. He was not free, however, from his acutely tuned palate, which was maddeningly different from mine.
He had requested a peanut butter sandwich. I knew meeting all his new diet criteria would be a bitch, but I rose to the challenge. I had to.
I chose a very small ten dollar loaf of 'bread' and bought it. I bought some raw peanuts. I shelled the peanuts. I soaked, sprouted, and dehydrated the peanuts. After very lightly roasting them, I ground those peanuts into peanut butter. I then very carefully smeared the freshly ground peanut butter onto the somewhat normal looking bread. I made sure to get the peanut butter to the edges just like I had learned in home economics class long, long ago.
I knew how to make a proper tea sandwich.
I now spent my life trying to make this man happy. I signed up for that didn't I? Wasn’t that my reason for being? To make this man happy?
Well, he was not happy with that sandwich.
And he was not happy with me.
And he made sure I knew it. Come to think of it, I can't seem to remember the last time Walter was happy with me.
Or, I with him for that matter. Especially now that he's added another responsibility to my list of "things" to please him.
Going vegan was his latest "shiny new idea". He'd seen it on Dr. Phillip one morning. I remember the day he called in to the show to sign up. He didn't know what he was getting into. I knew it was only a matter of time before he soured on the idea, then blame me for not being able to comply with the "rules" of the challenge. That damn Dr. Phillip. Walter lived his life by that "doctor". And I use that term "doctor" loosely.
Just about the time I made it to the trash with that ball of rejection soiling my hand, our daughter arrived. Walter kicked his pity party into second gear, along with his criticism of me.
Emily emerged from his bedroom, her eyes beseeching me to just hang on a bit longer. "He's just grouchy after breaking his leg," she said in a sympathetic tone.
That was this time, I thought.
I knew Walter was in constant pain. At his age, breaking a leg was nothing to dismiss. But then, any reasonable person wouldn't have attempted to repair the gutters from atop the roof. My two cents dismissed, I waited for word from outside disaster had struck.
Then I promised myself I'd be patient; let everything done and said roll off my back. Tomorrow, his scheduled appointment for removal of the cast will free him from his bondage. He'll feel better hopefully. And I'll get some much needed rest.
Cast now removed, I settle him in his living room recliner with feet elevated. I then assemble within reach all the necessities he demands for his comfort. The kitchen awaits me as I attempt to prepare a lunch dish from the vegan cookbook he purchased from Dr. Phillip.
Lunch finished, I sit at the kitchen table staring out the back door. A small bird lands on the half-finished lanai. He soon took flight. I think to myself: freedom.
I return to the task at hand and make several phone calls arranging for items that need taking care of. Pulling the documents from the secretary, I sign them, fold them neatly, and return them to the envelope. On the front of the envelope, I write: "To Walter."
I reach for the key. Carefully I unlock the second drawer. I remove all the expensive jewelry from my person and place them within. I place the envelope on top. Finally, I lay the key on the kitchen table. I take with me only the clothes on my back. There's nothing here I want to accompany me into the new unknown. But it can't be any worse than the past known 25 years. I think on it no more. It's finished. It's done.
It's funny how it's the small things that tip the scale of intolerance to the point of no return. If I don't do this today, one of us won't be here to wake up tomorrow. Once respect is lost, and you pull back the thin veneer, you'll see the foundation has crumbled.
I'm now free from the self-imposed bondage I allowed to happen over the past 25 years. No more.
Oh, I almost forgot. One last task that need attending to.
I'll leave a note on the refrigerator door with the instructions on how to prepare The Sandwich.
Image created by @justclickindiva in Canva
Happy rest of the week everyone with whatever your endeavors.
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