CAN YOU RELATE?

Relate

I haven’t felt much like blogging during the past couple of
days, or so. The whole family is
sick. Kajsa has been puking (poo-king)
even more than usual. Chris is no
better. He actually went to work today
and was framing away, going over to the Spot-a-Pot to vomit whenever
needed. He would have kept going, except
his boss told him to go home and rest. So he went fishing for the afternoon. In his words, how hard is it to sit at the side of a pond and stare out
at nature for a few hours.

I don’t know if he caught anything else, but he did bring
home a wee sunfish for the small aquarium. He really wanted to see how it would do with the Gourami, but it
died. So now it sits, devoid of its
former skin and bones, in our freezer.

This brings me to a couple of interesting life choices we’ve
been dealing with lately. As many of
you know, I’ve been a vegetarian for nigh on 20 years. A few of those were even vegan. I never thought during much of that time that
I would date, much less fall in love with and marry an omnivore. But I did.

When we first met, I, during one of those all night, bare
your soul conversations, told Chris that I didn’t eat meat partially because I
couldn’t kill an animal. And if I cannot
bring myself to kill it, what right do I have eating it, ya know? Well, it turns out that I should have kept my
big mouth closed. Chris now sees his
hunting and fishing as some great dharma. As a matter of fact, he is proud to repeat my words to any poor soul
who’ll listen. Would that I could, I’d gladly go back in time so that I could eagerly
eat those words in exchange for even the most delicious Kung Pao Tofu I’ve ever
laid a lip to. Not only this, but he is
quite pleased to remind me regularly that we don’t have to buy meat due to his
amazing prowess with a shotgun. (I know,
insert image of chest-beating Neanderthal here, eh?) I don’t know where all this is heading. I’ve expressed my disdain for meat in our freezer. Chris’ answer would be to buy a freezer just
for dead animals…to which I ask, “What about not spending money on meat?” So there’s part of the issue.

The second conundrum was quite literally born of the
first. We are presently in a state of
limbo with the diet of our dear sweetie, Kajsa. I have this lovely stay of execution for now. Not only does her current primary source of
nutrition come from her nightly tube feeding, but we both agreed prior to her
conception, let alone birth, that out child would consume no flesh until she
was fully cognoscent of exactly what the impact of that action was. The problem is that she is so damn
smart.

In fact, any part of me that didn’t loathe Chris’ humongous
aquarium for its cheesy 1970’s bachelor pad qualities, has quickly been
supplemented by the education Kajsa garners from it with regard to life and,
ultimately, death. She’s figuring out
the finality aspect with great speed. Added to that is the fact that she has the compassion of…well, a kid
who’s been tortured by nightly shots, weekly lab tests and numerous surgeries. While such experiences have left her with a
heightened sense of empathy, they have seriously wreaked havoc with her ability
to feel sorry for those with whom she so easily relates.

And there in lies the rub. Chris is practically coaching her in some kind of warped survival of the
fittest/personal manifest destiny type of philosophy while my own live and let
live attitude is really coming back to, ahem, bite me in the butt.

So I guess I’m currently at a bit of a loss. I didn’t have this quandary with Maya. She has always been a vegetarian.  Paris
just went along with my mothering. Chris
– not so much. We are diametrically
opposed when it comes to this. Therefore, we stand on new ground. 

So my question today is; are any of you out there from
culinarily mixed marriages?  How have you
handled it? What has worked? What has failed miserably? I truly appreciate any advice on this. Thank you.

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7 thoughts on “CAN YOU RELATE?

  1. I really don’t know what to say here. I’m constantly surprised that people with ‘opposing’ diets can live together peacefully. Honestly, I admire people like you, who can tolerate that difference. I think I would just get bitchy and lay the rules down somehow – but that’s obviously not the diplomatic way to go.

    When we first moved in together, Todd wasn’t vegan. He ate whatever I cooked though, and had meat rarely when we went out/visited grandma. I bought him cows milk for the first week he moved in so he could have something with his cereal – when that ran out, I told him it was water or soymilk. I cooked him fish ONCE. BUT that only lasted a month or two – I showed him a couple PETA videos and some of my books and he immediately decided to be a vegan. So essentially I had it really easy.

    The issue is so much more sensitive when you’re trying to make a decision about your child. Have you done more than express your inability to kill animals to chris? Are you a vegetarian for health reasons in addition to the animal-friendly reasons? All I can think of is giving him resources that he might be interested in reading about but I have no idea how he’d react to that.

    I hope you can reach a common ground that you are both comfortable with. If not, maybe if you kick and scream and cry, it’ll work? Oh, I’m useless. I’m sorry!

  2. Briefly. When I was a vegetarian 11 years ago, SOS didn’t join in until a year and a half later. That wasn’t so bad–he knew I wouldn’t cook or prepare meat for him. Eventually he became vegetarian too.

    When I told him last summer I was becoming vegan, he didn’t want me to “do that to the kids”. But when he became educated, he understood two things:
    1. It was the right thing to do, health- and ethics-wise, for our family.
    2. He wasn’t with the kids 90% of the week and he had zero say in their diet.

    It only took hime 2 weeks to become vegan too 🙂

  3. It’s awfully nice of you all to give me advice on how to convince him. But that’s never going to happen. We’ve got to find a way to make our differences work together.
    He actually read this last night and got a little upset. I fear that he felt I’d portrayed him poorly. He really isn’t a caveman.
    In fact, he tends to be a fairly gentle soul most of the time. This is just a very real part of his life that he feels he has a right to.
    He worries that Kajsa isn’t able to get enough protien. And with the renal aspects of her life, I can see how he would worry. But she is. She had a higher albumin last month than ANY patient that they had ever had.
    Mostly, I guess we need to learn how to reconcile our differences.
    I have confidence that we will, together, blunder our way toward a resolution.

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