From the very beginning, it didn’t look promising. I opened the ultra-light Hummus container, hoping to be granted a small amount to accompany my pita chips. As the container revealed its contents to me, I saw that it was totally swept of Hummus- except for a little pile in the corner. Enough for one more scoop, one more chip, one last bite.
And that container of Hummus helped me understand my marriage.
As I savored that last bit of Hummus and crispy pita chip, I thought about what my husband must have been thinking when he put away the container last night as he snacked during his homework. Was he so full he couldn’t eat one last bite? Did he assume the container was empty and just popped it back in the fridge anyway, as men love to do? Wait… Did he intentionally save me that last bit?
With a baby merely weeks away, husband’s final exams on the horizon, and the lurking unknown of my labor pressing my thoughts, we have had a lot on our plates as a couple lately. There has been a struggle of wills, of whose duties are more important- my husband’s as money provider, or mine as nurturer, cleaner, organizer and (sometimes it feels like) everything else. This is not something we say to one another, but something that drives most of the decisions we make during our days. It basically all comes down to our sense of self- where the heck did it go, and how do we get it back?
Well, as I ate the last bite of hummus today, I thought about emptiness. Not necessarily of the Hummus container, but of myself. One of my favorite quotes by Mother Teresa is: “Love, to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.” How often do I expect my husband to drop everything to spend time with me, and yet complain when he needs me to do something? How often do I blame him for not being there for me, not keeping me company during my lonelier days, or even for having to be married or pregnant at all? The answer is quite a depressingly lot. And as I ate the remainder of Hummus today, I may have been doing that very thing.
I don’t really know if he saved that bit of Hummus for me. I don’t know if it matters. I probably sound completely nuts, rambling on about love and Mediterranean dips. But I know that losing yourself to someone else is almost exactly what marriage calls you to do. You can’t lose everything, of course, because we are complex human beings and not robots, but you can choose someone over yourself when the opportunity arises. Real love is actually quite terrifying- because how can you trust someone with, well, your self? It’s hard, it’s one of the reasons relationships fall apart, and it’s something I really need to work on in my life.
Because really, it didn’t matter if the last bite was for me or not… It matters that I have someone worth saving some Hummus for.