Essay: Stuck in The Snow, Or, Do You Know Any New Soup Recipes?

Aug 1, 2014

Nothing that homemade comfort food can't cure!
Credit Eliot Phillips


All I can say is, thank God I'm not suicidal, this being another snowy Wisconsin inside-by-choice-and-will-to-live day.* Serial days of isolation can make a person, who might otherwise be cuddling with a partner or cooking with a buddy, pretty blue. As usual, when it snows, I take to my comfort food-making. And, just at that time, I was making a new recipe for split pea soup.

But, then, how many soup recipes do I know? I mean I actually own the bible---the Soup Recipe Bible, that is. Will I need to stay in isolation forever? Although,  I wasn't completely cut off from communication. I did get a hilarious e-mail from a favorite cousin likening her job interview to the dreaded "blind date," only, she said, you don't have to wear your silk stockings or Miss America outfit.

Not only did Judy's e-mail give me a giggle; it reminded me of a man I had recently been dating. A nice man. A handsome man. But, for undisclosed reasons this coupling would not have worked for me.

Okay, I'll disclose them.....And, sure enough, just as I was thinking about Dick (no, really, his name was Dick), he texted me. His text said that he felt misunderstood and thought we should talk (I had broken up with him after a series of "Drink and Dials," that solidified my feeling he drank too much for me. Every one of our six months of dates was in one or another of his favorite bars.)

Well, hating to hurt a person's feelings (and, believe me, I've had mine hurt before!) I wrote a long-winded and emotional-sounding apologetic text to him in response. Something about-- it was no reflection on him. Actually, it was a reflection on him, but hadn't I retired from the business of changing a potential mate? This would be like a busman's holiday for me, since in my day job, though I like to think of it as a "calling," I am a psychotherapist and alcohol/drug counselor.

The fun part came a moment or two later, when he texted me again: "Elaine, I think you are a really lovely woman and, if the relationship with you and Bob doesn't work out,  I'd like to see you again."

Well! Elaine? So, he has a list of potential women companions! I blushed at my serious No-Reflection-On-You text that he and the guys at whatever bar he was at were probably now howling over. I lowered the heat on my soup and sent his text back to him, with a note: "I think you meant this for someone else."

In no time, I got a defensive text response from him; "Elaine is just a friend of mine! I was having a drink with my buddy George in her neighborhood, and I thought I'd ask her to join us!" I shot back, "Well, if she joins you, what's she gonna do with Bob?" 

I could just see D. on a barstool, having shots with his buddies and watching the Packers, as Wisconsinites do. At least, now, they could chuckle, not at my unsuspecting nature, but at him: "Busted! ***hole! You're buying!" I just, as the texters say---and I find it rather annoying (don't you?)--could Laugh Out Loud thinking about all of it.

And so, I just poured myself a glass of Sparkling Organic Pear and started my marathon viewing of Netfliks' Allie MacBeal, the old TV show. I find that sometimes being alone can be being in pretty good company, especially when I treat myself well. I mean, I love Chickflicks, but what guy is going to put up with a full afternoon (and possible evening) of them? And my split pea soup with chicken sausage made a delightful dinner.

*Wisconsinites say: "The Four Seasons of winter are: 1.Almost Winter ; 2. Winter ; 3. Still Winter ; and 4. Road Construction.