Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Making food for the people you love

There is something so intimate and elemental about cooking for someone. It’s showing you care at the most fundamental level possible.

I love you and I care about you so I’m going to feed your body so it can keep going.

Jane does the cooking at our house. She makes breakfast for the kids. She makes us delicious dinners every night. She even makes me lunch to take to work.

Sometimes it’s a grilled cheese sandwich. Sometimes it’s yummy leftovers.

She will set a tupperware on top of my phone so I won’t forget. Or she’ll sneak a container into my backpack without me even realizing it. I’ll get to work, start wondering what I should eat and find food in my bag.

Sometimes she’s warmed up the leftovers and my work clothes will smell faintly of pork. Delightful!

We lived in Boston in the late 1990s and I worked for a startup north of Lexington. I worked on the software team but we also had a hardware group. I loved those hardware guys.

All born and raised in South Boston with the thickest accents you’d ever heard. They were rowdy and crude and hilarious.

Greg was one of my favorites. He was Greek or Italian with thick black hair, mustache and goatee. He always wore a horizontal striped polo shirt and jeans to work. He was medium height and scrawny.

I’ve never seen someone eat so much in my life. He always knew where food was in the office. If someone brought in a treat, Greg was the first one there.

He would bring in gigantic sack lunches. Greg lived with his girlfriend and had for many years. But he would still go to his mom’s house every Sunday for dinner and his mom would give him his lunches for the week. It was a big source of contention between Greg and his girlfriend.

She’d always say, β€œWhy can’t I make your lunches?!?” and he’d never let her. His mom was the only one allowed.

I understand her annoyance. To care about someone and not have that opportunity to care for them, to express your love, that has to sting a bit.