I felt immediate and overwhelming relief: Oh good, it wasn’t me! I would put on my Florence Nightingale uniform and zip over to his place and nurse him back to health.No sooner had I heaved a sigh of relief when the caretaker in me kicked in. The feel of my hand on his fevered brow would certainly do the trick and he’d realize I was the woman he’d long been looking for.It was only recently, since I’d been living on my own and encountering my friends and colleagues as a single person, that I had begun to see how deeply loved and appreciated I was by the people in my life, love given to me as a grace, without merit. As long as I had chicken soup on the brain (and, I reasoned, the healing properties of this soup might keep me from getting the flu I had marginally been exposed to), I went to the store and bought the ingredients for the best chicken soup ever, along with a baguette of crusty sourdough. My kitchen filled with the aroma of love: love for myself.I have cooked hundreds of pots of chicken soup in my life and yet this was the first time I made chicken soup expressly for me. I enjoyed the soup and then had to email my sick acquaintance and offer to bring some over.
It may not help with fighting sickness or bolstering self-esteem, but honestly, it can’t hurt.
Alcohol and drug addiction didn’t help the toxic brew.
But now, with 23 years of sobriety behind me, a lot of emotional and spiritual growth to my credit, a very strong sense of who I am, and what talents I bring to the larger world, I still had no clue how to date.
Some women flirt by sending pictures of themselves in scanty little underthings to the man they’re hoping to attract. “Sexting” is most prevalent though, the media tells us, among teen girls. Only, instead of texting racy photos of myself, apparently, I send pictures of homemade soup.
Or at least, that’s what I would be doing if my friends weren’t actively trying to stop me.