Sunny Side Up or Over Easy? Deciding When to Move On

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My boyfriend has exquisite cookware. Every time I cook at his house I admire how clean it is. I have two skillets at my home and both of them are charred to hell. Cooking eggs in them is almost impossible. Omelets end up with bits of black throughout. Since I don’t eat eggs (or at least I used to not eat eggs in my vegan yogini incarnation) I haven’t been too concerned. My boyfriend eats lots of eggs. Every morning it seems. Yes still his pans are perfect.

Now, I have a confession to make. I have been avoiding buying new pans because I keep imagining, every time I cook at my boyfriend’s house, that soon those pans will be mine, too. You see he should be asking me to move in any minute now. It’s been three years and we’re legitimate thirtysomethings. I would hate to waste money on my own set of exquisite cookware only to move in with him in a few months. Better to invest in 250 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. His sheets suck. Not to mention his bath towels.

Please forgive the egg analogy, because this really has nothing to do with fertility or my loudly ticking biological clock—but, I wonder how long I’m gonna go without omelets on Sunday morning? The thing is, ever since I got this ready to move in with the man nonsense in my head, I’ve become a little superstitious about buying new pans. At Target a few days ago I found myself checking out a sweet stainless steel ten-piece cookware set with reversible griddle/grill. I was also deeply attracted to a waffle iron that was on clearance. I lost my waffle iron in the divorce of my thirtieth year. Despite my mimosa brunch fantasies, I couldn’t buy the pans. Somehow, It seemed that if I did buy the pans I was giving up on the possibility of my on again/off again relationship evolving to committed cohabitation.

We’ve been fighting lately. I thought it was just a silly margaritas on Thursday night fight but it seems he thinks it might be the last fight. Really, I have no clue what he’s thinking. He hasn’t talked to me for a week now and I’ve stormed the self-help aisle at the bookstore in search of any strategy that will get me through the night. I’ve read all about men going to their caves and their rubber band intimacy cycle and I’ve tried to give him space. Of course by “space” I mean that I haven’t been leaving him hysterical voice mails asking why he won’t call me back. Instead I’ve sent grammatically correct text messages announcing my ability to give him all the time he needs. It has been suggested to me by the girly girls who love me that it’s time to stand up for what I actually want—commitment—and be prepared to say goodbye. While I realize that the pain of letting him go might not be any different than the torturous holding pattern in the status quo I cling to my patience and hope for the best.

Just ten days ago I was baking chocolate chip banana bread while simultaneously broiling wild Alaskan salmon in his awesome double oven with separate temperature controls. I’ve never been good at math but it seems like the emotion I’ve invested in the rollercoaster romance, minus the amount of time it might take me to get over him, times the accelerated pace of my diminishing child bearing years, divided by the fact that I really really really thought it was gonna work this time … well, it doesn’t seem to add up to a break-up. Or, does it? The deluxe twenty-one piece “Emerilwear” set is on sale at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and I just bought a dozen free-range, omega-3 fortified, brown eggs (I need the protein).

When did this get to be so complicated? Once upon a time I would have laughed at a woman like me. I would have stated delicately but matter of factly that “he’s just not that into you” and told her love is a choice not a magic spell. All of the sudden I’m the one who can’t let go. I exfoliate religiously, don’t have time to meet new people, need to lose fifteen pounds to fit into my good little black dress, and I spoil my lapdogs with rotisserie chicken. When I wasn’t looking I became a stressed out career woman and my artistic ambitions and irresponsible globetrotting seem lifetimes ago. Yes, it is cliché but I never thought this would happen to me.

He says he loves me. The worst thing is I believe him. I know I love him. Maybe I should get the pans just in case. The price is gosh darn good. I’d probably ruin his if I used them more than once a month anyway.

The truth is I’m not a very good cook.


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