It's Labor Day weekend. That means summer will soon be a distant memory and Sundays will be dominated by the Steelers. At our house, it also means that it's Carmen's Fantasy Football draft. That's when he and a bunch of his buddies go to a hotel, eat hot sausage, drink beer and set up some kind of expensive game that will go on until January. Carmen has been studying whatever he had to study for the past 24 hours---sort of like cramming for a final. I don't really know much about it or why they do it.....it's a boy thing I guess. Don't get me wrong....I am not sexist. Women may very well do this type of thing too. Just not any women I know. I see it as boys being boys---playing their games. But, now that they are men, their games have a more complex nature to them. Whoever invented the whole fantasy league idea (a man, I am guessing) went to great lengths to give it a lot of bells and whistles to elevate it from the everyday board game and to give it an air of importance. I think the inventor wanted to make it so that it looked like a lot of work. Most likely, he figured it was a good way to enhance a man's chances of selling the idea to his wife/partner/significant other. If a husband/partner/significant other would say "hey, I'm going over to Tom's to play make-believe" when the grass needed mowed, the garbage was overflowing and dishes were still in the sink from breakfast---he would would not get past the front door. But, make it look like hard work and possibly an academic pursuit and things get a little more understandable. Now, don't get me wrong---from what I can tell, it demands a lot of time and work on the part of the guy who runs the league. But, that's not Carmen's job. He just plays. And, eats hot sausage and drinks beer. But, he loves it. It's a "Labor" of Love.
In my pre-lap band life, Carmen's football draft would mean that I'd get to do a some shopping, maybe go out to dinner with the kids and then meet up with a few girlfriends for drinks and smokes and maybe even a 2 am breakfast. But, not this time. Toni and I did go out to the mall for a few minutes---she desperately needed some new eyeliner pencils and lip gloss. But, then, her phone rang---signaling that it was time for her to go off to do what 16 year old girls do. Just in the knick of time too--I was feeling a little achey and uncomfortable. So, after I dropped her off at a friend's, I came home. I puttered around the house a bit, read a little, listened to some music and then headed to the kitchen to experiment with a few new recipe ideas to get me through the next week or so.
Being in the kitchen is something that I really enjoy.....when I have the time. And, I had the time. Some people loathe the entire process of cooking. But, I have always found great comfort and joy in it. And, coming up with new recipes brings together 2 of my favorite things----being creative and good food. As I was thinking about the new recipes, I realized how important those things are to me. How happy I am in the kitchen. How much I love to cook. How much I love to scour markets and grocery stores and little specialty food shops. How much I love my herb garden. And, the great rapture I find in tracking down the perfect combination of seasonings. And, the sense of accomplishment I get from developing a great menu. And, how much I love to serve good food and eat good food. Everything about food and cooking makes me happy. And, I don't want to give any of that up. I still want to spend hours in the kitchen cooking for holidays and for family and friends. I can't imagine my life without it. Good food is a part of me. It's vital to my happiness. It's a "Labor" of Love.
Being a lap bander is not easy---I'm slowly learning that. Now, my Lap Band is a Labor of Love too........