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Option 1 or See picture from “Go-to Dishes” post

You walk into your home, finally, tired from work. Before you come in you stop to check the mail. You enter your home still rifling through the bills you have to remember to pay. You notice your significant other is watching a blowout on _____(ESPN/Bravo). You know your significant other will be distracted by this for at least another hour. Instead of vying for attention you decide to _____ (go for a run/relax and read a book)

If you go for a run continue to paragraph 2. If you read a book continue to paragraph 5.

2. You are so tired from all of the food and family dynamics from the weekend. You knew if you read you’d fall asleep within 15 mins. A jog is just what you need. You can pick up dinner or simple ingredients on your way home. Maybe some salmon and pre-made, but fresh ravioli. You’re thinking about food. You probably should have grabbed something quick to eat before you left. You start thinking that by the time you go to the grocery store and get home it will be midnight. Maybe you should’ve ordered a pizza. The more you run the more you feel energized. It begins to drizzle a little bit, but running in the cold rain makes you feel like Rocky. You stop in front of the grocery store with the pizza store right next to it.

If you get pizza continue to paragraph 4. If you go to the grocery store continue to paragraph 8.

3.  “Hold on, Jimmy. Let me get this one (gestures to you) outta here.” He turns to you, “Here you go See you soon. Stay dry.” The owner slides the box that says Voted Best Pizza, Made Fresh Just for You. Even though you know all the boxes say that, it warms your heart just a little bit anyway.  You’ve also got a bag of side salads and a reusable grocery bag with you just in case. You thank him and leave. On your way out the door you bump into a guy coming in and drop the box. The bottom crust of one piece hits the ground. You stare at it for a second then put it back in the box. “Five second rule,” you think. You tell your significant other about it when you get home as you put the bags in the refrigerator. Your partner _____s (verb) you and wonders _____ (seriously/endearingly/both) aloud why you are his partner. Your partner _____ s (verb) the dirty piece. He insists that ____ (you/he) eat it. You are _____ (touched/hurt) by that. Your significant other eats it. You are so tired, but have learned a lesson from this dinner. Things won’t always work out how you want them to, but sometimes that’s okay.

Continue to paragraph 9.

4. The pizza guy knows you when you walk in. He asks how you’re doing. Now you know you go there too often. He heats up your slices and you wait as the gruff men in sweatshirts filter in from the cold, a fraternity of hard working New Yorkers. While you wait a light drizzle outside turns to rain. You like the smell of the cold rain on the pavement and don’t mind getting a little wet.

Go back to paragraph 3.

5. You are so tired from all of the food and family dynamics from the weekend you knew if you read you’d fall asleep within 15 mins. A quick nap is just what you need. When you get up you can probably run across the street and pick up some salmon and maybe some salad greens or pasta. You’re thinking about food. You probably should have gone to the grocery store before you laid down because now the idea of going out again makes you want to sleep more. You dream of bringing in pizza. Maybe your significant other can get it. Maybe the fresh air will wake you up a bit. If you’re out maybe you should stop by the grocery store.

If you get pizza continue to paragraph 4. If you go to the grocery store continue to paragraph 8.

6. You come back home, turn on some music and get to work. You throw some mustard and herbs on the salmon, cut up a yam and throw it in the oven. The dates take more preparation. You stuff them each with an almond, fill them with goat cheese, then roll them in coconut chips. You hope the combo works and get excited at the prospect of a simple starter.

Continue to paragraph 7.

7. You shower while it cooks. You get dressed and then pull the fish out of the oven. Because of the giant gap between your stove and the countertop, you drop the piece of fish right off the spatula and onto the floor. You stare at it for a second and try not to get upset. When was the last time you cleaned the floor? “Five second rule,” your partner says. Your partner witnessed the drop and  _____s (verb) you then wonders ____(seriously/endearingly/both) aloud why you are his partner. Your partner _____ s (verb) the dirty piece. He insists that ____ (you/he) eat it. You are _____ (touched/hurt) by that and insist that neither of you do. Your significant other eats it. You are so tired, but have learned a lesson from this dinner. Things won’t always work out how you want them to, but sometimes that’s okay.

Continue to paragraph 9.

8. In the store you don’t even need to think. You’re on autopilot. You pick up a yam, a pound of fish and pre-made ravioli. In 30 minutes you’ll have yourself a good dinner, something that isn’t turkey. But wait. What’s this? Almond stuffed dates wrapped in coconut? Could you make your own version of this as an appetizer? You find the key ingredients and you’re on your way. The fatigue from the day is starting to get to you. It crosses your mind to refrigerate everything and just cook it tomorrow. You’re excited though about a new recipe.

If you choose to go back home and cook go back to paragraph 6. If you decide you’re too tired to cook, go to paragraph 4.

9. After eating you leave the cleanup for the morning, though you know you really won’t get to it until the next night. That thought bothers you so you clean up quickly contemplating how dinnertime when you’re tired makes you think about the ways in which you push yourself just to meet a basic human function. You go to sleep grateful for the good that came from the missteps and that your significant other insisted on eating the piece you dropped despite your protests. You know that in the morning you’ll get up and do it all again. Maybe you’ll go out for dinner tomorrow.

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