Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's for dinner?

It’s not easy coming back to school in the fall for the 5th time, especially when most of my friends were responsible and got out and got real jobs in real cubicles (okay maybe that makes coming back a lot better than I thought). But this time, I am coming back and living alone. This is the first time I have ever lived alone, ever. I am liking it and to be honest, I kind of knew I would. I have my very own studio that I am renting from the family I work for. I nanny two brilliant and fun children, and in exchange, I have my very own space, with private bathroom, entry and kitchen. Well, the kitchen is almost done, just needs the finishing touch of an oven and stove; however, when I describe my new studio to my friends, the stove becomes a major selling point for me, as if I am trying to impress upon them that I too, will have my very own cooking range, very soon… eventually.

My friends keep asking me if living so close with the family is weird. The only time it is weird is when I get off of work, say my good-byes and head into the next room. You see, my studio is just off of their kitchen and when the parents arrive home, we chitchat and then I make my exit. At first I don’t feel like I really leave, sure they can’t see me anymore, but I can still hear them and smell the delicious dinner they are preparing. I close my eyes so to fake myself out and pretend that the rest of the house doesn’t really even exist anymore and then, I carefully choose where I want to sit. With one person and one room, the options on where to lounge can be quite daunting. Sometimes I turn on the TV and flip through my 14 channels. Then I get up from the couch and move to the matching chair. I try to save my bed for nighttime TV/sleeping only, so that helps me narrow down some of the seating options. No matter how loud the TV is, or how many times I change positions, I can still smell the food cooking in the room next door. This only bums me out when I look over to the empty space where the stovetop was suppose to be installed, yesterday, and realize that I won’t be making anything new tonight.

It isn’t that I can’t eat without a stove or oven, it is just that I can’t really eat well. Sure I have a microwave, but I don’t really want some disease to form in my head. Someone asked me, “What have you been eating?” and the list is really quite simple: turkey sandwiches, oatmeal, protein bars, micro-waved soup, yogurt, fresh fruit, Carnation instant breakfast drink, salad and last week I even bought one of those already cooked, whole chickens. I swore I would never purchase one of those things, but I got it at the Market of Choice and so I felt a lot better about it. The selection of food only got really repetitive yesterday, and probably because yesterday was going to be stove day. To switch things up a bit, I toasted my turkey sandwich in the toaster oven and melted the cheese. This gave me the illusion that I was cooking something.

I trust that they will be true to their word. I mean they are great people, they are just really busy. I know that I will have a stove eventually, but I am just not sure how to go about asking. I am not really busy at all right now, so I don’t know how to assess their free time. I mean they offered me their kitchen, but that all seems so awkward. Do I just interrupt dinner by getting busy in the kitchen with my own, or do I just invite myself to dinner with them until they get the hint? I think I will do my best to bring it up after work tonight.

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