April Fools, #9: Real Marriage is Mac ‘n Cheese

Editors Note: After this article by Noelle Ritter was published, a reader of On the Willows helped Noelle identified the speaker who she mentions below. The speaker is Lauren Winner. Enjoy…
I always get contemplative in the shower.  This usually means ten extra minutes just thinking, sometimes about my schedule, potential conversations I should have, recipes to try, thoughts on God.  I think of it as “Brain Blogging”.  If only I could immediately put those thoughts in writing, ’cause as soon as I’m out of my steam room, the thoughts vanish. But every now and then there’s ONE that holds on.
I’ve been thinking back to a podcast from a few years ago on marriage and real life.  The woman spoke of the way our society proclaims our need for the new and exciting.  Always looking for the ultimate spouse, vacation get-away, sexual position or the latest spins on keeping the love alive.
This speaker, who I would gladly give credit to if I remembered where I heard it, challenged us to find beauty in the monotony,  to find simple joy and deep pleasure in things we do or make in a typical day. It’s doing it well that counts.  Kind of like a cast iron skillet used over and over, for the same dish even — it gets better and better each time.
Marriage can be like that.  We are told the lie, and sometimes fooled, that we must keep finding the newest ways to keep our spouse happy … or else.
The truth is real love does not expire.  It’s not like a condiment in the fridge.  It grows and gets better, but not because you keep updating it.  I remember my dad telling me soon after Chris and I were married: “It’s not that I love Mom more than I did when we were first married.  I just love her deeper.”  That’s always stuck with me.
This all makes my foodie brain churn.  My best days of marriage are when my husband and I can narrow in, despite the world around us, and love each other well in the simpler ways.  Warming, uninterrupted, soul-feeding time — the kind that’s familiar and without pressure.  In the colder stages of life when circumstances are difficult, money is tighter than last year, jobs are unsatisfying, family debacles are playing themselves out, stress levels are high, what do we crave?  Comfort food — what we know and love.

The woman on the original podcast said a great marriage is like Mac-n-Cheese, the way you always remember it:  comforting, safe, predictably satisfying.  New recipe ideas fill my inbox each morning, and it’s so fun to try new things, but I’m reminded today not to get caught up in the chase of the newest and greatest.  We’ve probably already found it, and we should make it well and often.  I want a Mac-n-Cheese kind of a marriage.
Hungry for Noelle’s Mac and Cheese recipe?  Visit her website for a recipe and story of how her hero husband saved her from a kitchen fire… Now that’s an “exciting marriage.”
Photo Credit: these photos were taken by Noelle Ritter.
This entry was posted in Being a Woman, Culture & Media, Family, Food & Drink, Marriage, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to April Fools, #9: Real Marriage is Mac ‘n Cheese

  1. Kristin Dwyer says:

    Totally. “I just love her deeper.” 🙂

  2. Carol Lenane says:

    I believe the speaker was Lauren Winner. She had also written a book entitled Girl Meets God. So many thoughts are floating through my head on this topic, that I’m afraid I won’t express them as clearly as I’d like, but here it goes! God is a God of order. Think of the months and years, the tides of the sea, I could go on and on. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 King Solomon talks about how there is a time for everything. God made it that way. For this reason, I think the usual, predictable, and comfortable are necessary in our marriages and homes. Our husbands, children and we come “home” from the outside world and their hope, and ours, is to find rest from the troubles they have just left behind. An unpredictable relationship or atmosphere at home is usually unsettling and not a place where one can rest. Predictable, safe, comfortable, these are good things and I believe are God created and necessary for a good marriage and family life.

  3. Stephanie Krier says:

    Noelle! Great article… I love how you tie your passions together… food and marriage. 🙂

  4. Noelle – Love this! Great reminder. And I love what your dad said… I’ll use that one for sure! 😉

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