Leftovers are a huge commitment

Right now, I’m cooking some gluten-free oatmeal. It’s 6:25 p.m. P.T.

No, I didn’t skip grocery day. As a matter of fact, I had planned to make coconut curry chicken over rice. So why am I stirring blueberries and walnuts into mushy oats right now?

Because I have commitment issues.

For the last three years or so, the vast majority of the food I’ve cooked has been for myself. Sure, I made dinner for friends, family, the occasional boy-type-friend. But mostly, the cooking has been for me.

At first, I used cooking for myself as an exercise in self-love. I was suffering the first pains of separation, and I saw cumin-crusted lamb chops and sautéed spinach as one way to prove to myself that I matter to me as much as my marriage did. At the time, I needed that reminder that taking care of myself was (and is) my top priority.

After around a thousand days of taking care of myself since then, though, I am over it.

When I make dishes like coconut curry chicken, I have vats of food left over. The same is true for spaghetti, BBQ, carnitas — things that were once staples in my weekly menu. So, cooking delicious meals for myself now means that I will be eating the same meal for DAYS. Lunch and dinner. Sure, I could make meals for one, such as lamb or steak. But eating like that gets expensive pretty quickly.

So here I am, eating oatmeal for dinner. Oatmeal is easy, it’s tasty, and it doesn’t ask me to live with it for a week at a time. It’s the Friends with Benefits of food — I don’t have to commit.