Next month George and I will celebrate a dozen years of marriage. I have learned in that time that it is very important to find out what your spouse’s needs are and then try your best to meet them if you possibly can. And ideally, they will focus on attempting to meet your needs. Follow this concept and you should have a happy, satisfying marriage. George doesn’t really need much so it’s been a bit of a walk in the park for me thus far. Me…the truth is I may be like Sally Albright from ‘When Harry Met Sally’ (yes we’ve been here before but I do believe we can learn a lot from this movie):
Harry: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally: Which one am I?
Harry: You’re the worst kind; you’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.
There is a small chance this could also apply to me. That being said, I probably only have one need that George has been unable to meet in nearly 12 years of marriage. It’s been frustrating, disappointing and sometimes just painful. One of my basic needs is to eat seafood, and lots of it. I have a great love of almost all seafood. I remember with fondness and salivation a rare time I had the pleasure of eating a whole lobster. We were travelling in the USA and stopped in the delightfully quaint little seaside town of Newport, Rhode Island. Not only was the lobster delicious but it came with a bib. Any food that comes with an adult sized disposable bib is OK with me.
George does not like seafood. Possibly he’d have the good old crumbed fish and chips but that’s about it. No crustaceans of any kind will ever pass his lips. Because George won’t eat seafood and I am too lazy a cook to prepare separate meals, we rarely eat seafood at home. So every birthday and anniversary dinner I request we go to a seafood restaurant. He is usually happy with the small range of non-seafood options on the menu as he is a ‘safe’ orderer. I enjoy our occasional seafood dinners out but something is always missing. I desperately crave the seafood platter for two. Or should I say ‘tower’. I see waiters straining as they carry huge multi-level seafood platters to couples at the next table. I then spend a portion of the rest of our evening leering over and then complaining that I will never be able to get the shared platter – all because of George and his seafood aversion. My basic need to share a seafood platter for two was being unmet. And it was causing resentment.
Complaining about this deprivation one night with another couple, I discovered that they were in the same boat. He loved seafood. She didn’t. That’s when our eyes locked and a
scheme plan was immediately concocted… It was obvious that we needed to become Seafood Swingers! Why had this never occurred to me before!? A reservation for dinner was made at a nice local seafood restaurant overlooking the water. When we all arrived, the mood was just right. The moonlight sparkled on the water below. The lights were dimmed. The music was relaxing. The white wine was cold and crisp.
Menus were brought and our spouses ordered their lamb and beef and then sat back. This was our night – Mine and ‘His’…Our time to shine. After a discussion with the waiter, a hot and cold seafood platter for two was ordered. The young waiter had caught onto the excitement as he heard about our plight and he seemed to be personally invested in making sure my dream was fulfilled in all the glory it warranted. He joked, he chatted, he loitered. Then he delivered. When it did finally arrive I was a little disappointed that it had not come in tower form. I had wanted the wow factor of multi-levels and maximum height and had envisioned it to be delivered by several burly waiters, struggling under the weight of it. But two regular sized metrosexual waiters seemed at ease carrying a single platter each and laid them down in front of us. The delights included mussels, oysters, hot and cold prawns, blue swimmer crab, lobster and Moreton Bay bug. Although single levelled, the platters still took up the whole table and were high enough to obstruct vision of our spouses faces. Who cared? We began meticulously working our way through the great feast.
Whilst George couldn’t meet this need, I can say that he encouraged me with all his might. He told me “Go for it, after 12 years you deserve this…Yes you can fit that last bit of crab in… No you haven’t got anything in your teeth.” He was a delightful cheerleader from the sidelines and my heart swelled with love and appreciation for him as I enjoyed sharing a meal with another man.
I think the moral of this story is obvious. When your husband can’t meet your needs, sometimes it can be appropriate and prudent to find someone who can…especially when it comes to seafood dinners. Just make sure you all grab the right keys off the table at the end of the evening.