how Dinty Moore almost ended a marriage

the definition of “beef stew” nearly wrecked a marriage.

if i’m lyin’, i’m dyin’…my hair.

put on your comfy pants, grab a cup of Antigua Dark Roast and settle in.  i’m about to tell a story.

two friends of mine got married.  awesome!  yay love!  they were newly back from their honeymoon and she wanted to cook him a nice dinner.  yes, he was a lucky, lucky man and she…we all felt a little sorry for, but were grateful for her ability to overlook his numerous and glaring flaws.

he got home from work and she said, “what would you like for dinner?”  he said, “beef stew”, and she immediately burst into tears.

now, she wasn’t an overly emotional psycho that had some sort of horrific history with beef stew, so stop judging, Judgy McJudgerton.

she was a farm girl who grew up making everything from scratch and had just been asked to start an 8 hour process to make dinner.

at least that’s what she thought.

he grew up in a house that was a shrine to tin and cardboard.  if it didn’t come out of a box or a can, he didn’t eat it.  so imagine his surprise when she starts sobbing over hours of work and all he wanted was to find the can opener.

to him, beef stew took 5 minutes on medium-high heat, but to her it was an all day process that began right after you slaughtered the cow.

it took them nearly an hour to sort it out because neither one had a clue that doing it any other way even existed.  they didn’t even know how to open the conversation.

pile on the fact that she was desperate to please as a new wife and he just wanted to eat, and it was a big ol’ stewy mess.

they eventually did sort it out and have lived happily ever after in a world that has a perfect balance of home cooked meals and Kraft Mac N’ Cheese, Family Size.

the end.

miscommunication can take many forms.  the reality was, they weren’t defining beef stew, they were defining themselves.  savory, meaty goodness was just the catalyst to begin working on figuring each other out and learning to compromise.  something everyone has to do when choosing to make someone else a permanent fixture in their lives.

has a definition ever caused problems for you?

are you a stew-from-scratch or stew-from-a-can kind of person?

now i’m hungry.  what’s for lunch?

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8 comments on “how Dinty Moore almost ended a marriage

  1. jennw2ns says:

    Yep. Me–pancakes from scratch. Him–Bisquik. Me–tea kettle on the stove. Him–Keurig. It works out eventually. 🙂 It helps when you realise what you, Sharideth, point out, which is that the argument is not really over, say, the tea kettle, but about who you are, and how you are to merge your two selves and lives.

  2. Donna says:

    Yep, for us the biggie was how to host a dinner. I come from a family-style, people wandering in and out of the kitchen to help themselves, etc. kind of background. For him, the definition of hospitality is for the messy work to be done behind closed doors where the guests aren’t to go, and provide a start-to-finish beautiful experience for our guests. This first came out when we were registering for our bridal registry regarding the different things we gravitated to. It became clear immediately that we’d have to compromise in love to better understand why the other feels more comfortable doing it their way. We entertain a fair amount (the thing we share is that we both love feeding people), so we’ve developed a bit of a hybrid method, though we’re still refining it so we’re both at ease as hosts. But at its core, the difference had to do with how we’re built. And we love each other so, as hard as it is at times, I think we both enjoy learning about each other more and more through these sorts of differing understandings of “how things ought to be done.”

  3. ThatGuyKC says:

    Haha! They’re both speaking English, but they’re not talking the same language.

    This is along the same lines of my post today about making assumptions and how I was an ass.

    I don’t care how it’s made. Beef stew is beef stew. Especially if someone else made it.

  4. Jamie Kocur says:

    A man I know grew up with boxed potatoes his entire life. He ate dinner with his girlfriend’s (soon to be wife) family for one of the first times. Her family was a made from scratch kind of family. He turned to her and whispered incredulously, “Are these REAL potatoes?” She looked at him like he was crazy.

  5. Regan says:

    Mmmmm. I love cooking. No stew from a can for me! But the funny thing is, I grew up in a family where we ate food from cans and boxes. I wanted something better once I got out of the house!

  6. One of the few things I really like about being unemployed at the moment is that I have time to cook things, if not from scratch exactly, then from fresh ingredients and doing the work myself.

    As for definitions causing trouble, one relationship foundered on the simple word “okay”. I’d ask how she was, she’d say okay, and I’d move onto the rest of the conversation. I thought “okay” meant “things are going smoothly, nothing to worry about”. In her lexicon, it was, “things are a bit tough, I’d like to talk about it.” We figured this out slightly too late, and there were other things that didn’t quite work as a relationship, but we’re now good friends, so it’s all good.

  7. Jenn says:

    Stew from scratch kind of person. I don’t know if there were any food definitions that have caused stumble points, but explaining I’m ethnically and denominationally Mennonite always leads to really funny questions. No I don’t use a horse and buggy and we aren’t a cult… those are normally the first two questions.

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