If you are a loyal, or even a semi-loyal reader of my blog (and if you are, THANK YOU and please don’t leave me, ever!), you’d know from previous posts that I dislike cooking. A lot. In fact, I despise it, and wish I had a live-in chef. With three dudes who eat their way through the groceries before they are even unpacked, I do have to attempt to be a responsible mom and provide substantial meals so I don’t hear them whine that I’m forcing them to the brink of starvation. In other words, a bowl of macaroni and cheese just doesn’t cut it anymore, unless it’s accompanied by steak and potatoes.
During the weeknights, with the boys’ crazy sports schedules to navigate, I try to plan dinner in advance. Notice I said “try.” Some nights I do actually serve a real meal. Other nights, it’s pizza or chinese takeout, or a sandwich and chips for dinner. But, for the past two weeks, something really incredulous happened during dinner time in my house.
Fully cooked dinners arrived at my door.
I said to my husband, “this is a dream come true.”
Unfortunately, the reason these dinners were being delivered was a sad one. But, I must emphasize that for me, the dinner delivery was undoubtedly a bright, happy occurrence during a dark, unhappy time.
In the Jewish religion, when someone passes away, the family frequently sits shiva. This is a week long mourning period where people come to your home to pay their respects to the first-degree relatives of the deceased. When a person makes a shiva call, it is customary to bring or provide food for the family in mourning. However, my family opted NOT to sit shiva. It’s not that we didn’t want to mourn, but I always remember my mother saying that the problem with shiva is that you have tons of support and visitors during that time and then once the shiva ends, everyone is suddenly gone. And for someone like me who does not like to entertain in my own home (I’d rather go out!), the thought of people coming to my house all week when I felt like crap, would be my worst nightmare.
My friends still reached out to me, though. How can we help? What can we do? I even had one friend tell me she was going to organize a meal train, where local neighbors sign up to provide a different meal each day. Ohhhh how that was tempting. But, I couldn’t with good conscience accept such a generous gesture. Perhaps if I didn’t have a husband who actually enjoyed cooking, I might have said yes to the offer. As for me, of course I’ve been extremely sad and crushed by my loss. But, I’ve been functioning. And, I could prepare a dinner for my family if forced to.
Except I wasn’t forced to.
One day, a friend showed up with two shopping bags of fully cooked dinner food. Another day, my neighbor walked across the street with a fully cooked lasagna. A delivery showed up another day from a great restaurant in town with enough food to feed two families. And another lasagna, plus salad and dessert appeared from another friend. Then, I received a gift card from a bunch of friends to a local restaurant where we could eat or order in from multiple times before the card was depleted.
Not only was I so touched by these acts of kindness, but I was thrilled — overjoyed really — that I did not even have to think about dinner for my family.
Naturally, my first impulse was to share this with my mom. For me, it’s like a reflex to want to call my mom and gush to her over what my friends had done for me. I know she’s smiling now though. And super excited for me that I didn’t have to cook. I’ll give you one guess from whom I inherited the “hate to cook” gene…
I’ve found this meal delivery experience to be enlightening and want to spread that to my readers. I want you all to know that it made me really, really happy to receive dinners. In case you weren’t sure, that’s a giant hint. Birthdays, anniversaries, any occasion — I’ll take a dinner delivery from now on. No jewelry, no clothes, no fancy gifts — Dinner please!! I promise you, I’ll LOVE IT!