Best ever popovers
Pleased To Meet Myself http://bit.ly/A6RMEi
After my last round in the ring with a codependent marriage I swore I would not look at a man until I had freed myself of all my codependency traits. That was three years ago and thought it was time to break out of my self imposed exile. I was ready to test my recovery.
It is often said in Al-anon that the best way to check how far we have come is to look back and see from where we began. From years of not being able to spend a minute alone, I now love my own company. In fact, I am so busy having conversations with myself I often don’t want to be interrupted and so I took on the dating challenge with a totally new perspective. Before I was obsessed with wanting to save and be saved. Those relationships were cringe worthy. But dating was still daunting and that’s without throwing codependency tests into the mix. I was reminded of the line from When Harry Met Sally. When Sally’s friend hitched up with Harry’s she burst out with relief, “Thank God I don’t have to go out there.” I was going out there.
I was so out of touch with dating as the last date I went on one was ten years ago when I met my last husband. He was Piggy in a Blanket in my book and wondered how many piggy’s I would have to meet before a Prince came along. And by Prince, I mean a Knight in Shining Armani not the other kind. But more important he had to be kind, curious, and be a minimum height of 5’11″. My five inch heels demanded a tall man. My codependency may well be over but my superficiality was still intact.
But where would I meet him? The only places I frequented daily were supermarket aisles, the Santa Monica stairs and the fabric district downtown. I was reminded of the story Paula Dean told when she started dating again. She asked God to please send her a man but he would have to be close by since she only ever she went to her restaurant and her home. A short while later a man showed up at end of her block and after one look at him she said, “Oh God, please don’t tell me you sent him.” She landed up marrying him. Since I’m not that convinced there is a God and if there is would like to think he has more important things to do than run my errands, I never bothered to seek his help. Instead, and with great reluctance I took the only option available – joined a dating site. It took every bit of courage to do so.
With great reluctance I uploaded a photograph but couldn’t bring myself to fill out the sales pitch nor any of the other details that were required. As fast as the responses filled my inbox, I hit delete. The men either couldn’t spell, didn’t know that “I” was a capital and for the most part couldn’t string a sentence together. And English was their first language?
I left for Toronto a week after I registered and received an e-mail from the first man who could spell and was also rather witty. His photograph reminded me of Don Johnson and was thrilled that he stated his height to be 5’11.” Internet dating wasn’t so bad after all. Having established that he wasn’t an addict of any kind I agreed to give him my number. It felt weird to be back in circulation. After a number of flirtatious banters over the telephone, he offered to fly from LA to meet me. The romantic in me was charmed and my wayward ego was stroked.
I picked him up from the airport and as I drove up to the curb my heart sank. He didn’t look anything like his photograph. His picture had to be at least ten years old and he certainly wasn’t 5’11.” He was closer to 5’9.” Did he think I was blind and wouldn’t notice the passage of time or that I towered above him? I felt cornered. If I went along out of politeness it was too close to pleasing and that just scratched at the scabs of my codependency. I had no idea what to do. Before I broke out into obnoxious behavior I drove straight to my son and instructed him and his wife to spend the evening with us.
What was I thinking when I agreed that he visit for three days? I really had to raise the bar with men – not being an addict should be a given not a reason to applaud and award special treatment. Why didn’t I just agree to coffee when I got back to LA? Three days! I wanted to kick myself. And the worst part was that I began to second guess myself. He was interesting to talk to, had a wonderful sense of humor, and there wasn’t a subject on which he wasn’t knowledgeable. Yet I wasn’t in the least bit attracted to him. What was wrong with me? And could I even trust what I was attracted to given the list of dreadful men from my past? Maybe this was what it was like when there was no drama from an addict, no one to save and no on one for whom to work? Perhaps this was what normal felt like after years of normalizing the abnormal? Was I still a codependent craving the adrenalin fix? I had no idea what to think, what was real, what was imagined or what was masked by my superficial needs. I was reminded of what Robin Norwood wrote in Letter’s from Women Who Love Too Much where she described how difficult it was for a recovered codependent to love. I thought it was this discomfort she described and was encouraged to plod along. The night before he left he asked to kiss me. “Definitely not,”I blurted out. We must have had the same expressions of shock. His from my refusal and mine from the thought.
I saw him a couple of times back in LA before I left for a trip to South Africa and continued to berate myself for being so superficial. He was smart, funny, sweet, kind and curious. Yet I recoiled each time he came near me. Had codependency killed my sexuality? I questioned every instinct that surfaced not knowing which ones to take notice of or ignore. Did it mean I was still a codependent because I had a visceral reaction towards him? Could it be true that I was still attracted to addicts? I was relieved when I left for South Africa and didn’t have to deal with it.
While I was away he sent an Anthony Wiener photograph of himself and that put paid to all my misgivings. As I opened it I gasped. He posed in front of a mirror in a thong and the only other piece of clothing he wore was a hunting hat with the words “done hunting” as the caption. Codependency had nothing to do with my revulsion and I had no need to question my recovery. My instincts were spot on.
The day I returned home he arrived unannounced in the middle of my unpacking. With clothes strewn everywhere he ignored me when I explained I was jet lagged and needed to get settled. In disbelief I watched him remove his trousers. “What are you doing?’ I shrieked. He was hot, he responded in a matter of fact tone and proceeded to go and lie down on my bed. I froze. My recovery ran through my mind like a video. As codependents we have an inability to say no and also have to learn how to say no faster. Never again, I had promised myself, would I contort myself into a pretzel to please a man, or place a man’s feelings above my own. Without hesitation I walked into the bedroom and threw him out.
I was truly recovered.
The best thing that came out of this incident were the popovers they served at the dinner that night at Jacob’s and Co. Here is the recipe.
Unbaked popovers filled to the top of popover cups
- 1 cup milk, heated
- 8 eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 Tbls salt
Cheese for sprinkling the tops of the popovers
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Beat the four ingredients in a mix master for 15 minutes. Fill popover cups with batter, sprinkle with cheese of choice (Gruyere, cheddar or Parmesan) and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for a further 20 minutes.