If my husband had his way, every meal would be sauteed peppers and onions over a bed of brown rice with some cheese, salsa and hot sauce sprinkled on top.
On Sundays, I go through the typical pre-grocery store torture. I pull out a notepad and ask everyone, "What should we have for dinner this week?" The responses are as predictable as they are unhelpful:
Son, age 8: "Hot dogs and French fries!"
Daughter #1, age 5: "I don't know, Mommy. What do you want?"
Daughter #2, age 3: "Chocolate!!"
Husband: "How about we grill up some peppers and onions and make some brown rice to put it on? Maybe some cheese? Salsa? Hot sauce?"
I love all of these people, but I can't guarantee that they won't drive me to insanity.
My diet is finicky in its own way. I love fish, and sushi is my ideal meal. Lean proteins and green veggies are the best. Sometimes, I just want soup for dinner. Or on the less healthy side, a slice of cake. What can I say? I don't get that hungry at night.
My husband won't get near fish. Any fish. Ever. He won't even wash a plate that has recently had fish on it. And while he loves black beans, the thought of them turns my stomach. We're hopeless.
After talking about the dinner struggle with my friends, the only thing I can conclude is that I'm not alone. In households all over America, otherwise happy couples are sparring over what to have for dinner. It even influences where people choose to eat out. What a royal pain.
And I'm sorry, but those meal plans people post online? Not too helpful. You have no idea how hard it is to make everyone happy with dinner until a child holds firm in her determination to eat nothing but a Hershey bar at dinnertime while your husband makes himself his fourth serving of peppers and onions over brown rice that day.
Consider this my warning: I'm throwing in the towel. There's no shame in defeat when you're trying to negotiate an impossible contract, and the dinner struggle feels the exact same way.
In this situation, giving up is the healthiest solution. If I want cake for dinner, I'm gonna do it. I am a dessert blogger, after all. Life is short, and it's definitely not worth engaging in endless battles over differences of taste. I love my husband. I love my children. I just hate the way they eat.
Truce. We can eat at the same table at the same time. But in terms of what we eat? I. Give. Up!