With the divorce rate according to Divorce Statistics quoted as follows: “……….for the first marriage 41% to 50%; the second marriage is from 60% to 67% and the rate in America for 3rd marriages is from 73% to 74%”. Whoa. We are a fickle bunch in the U.S., yes? The grass is always greener in our neighbors yard. If the divorce rate is this high, it stands to reason exes come as part of the package when forming a new relationship, particularly once you get beyond your early twenties. I’ve had friends over the years who not only were still in communication with their exes, but actually entertained a social relationship with them including the ex and their new spouse in family holidays or weekends at the lake. Hmmmm. If you have children together, certainly there is the need to maintain a good relationship, but I don’t know if I’d want to have my ex and his new squeeze over for pizza and Mexican Train of a Saturday night. I suppose if the breakup was mutual, and the feelings congenial it might work as long as it didn’t turn into a night of reliving old times together where the new partners feel like they’re walking two steps behind in the conversation. It’s a bit of a sticky wicket that.
Baggage becomes more cumbersome as the years pass. It is difficult to find someone with not at least one suitcase packed and dragging behind them unless they’ve lived in the basement at Mom’s house since their teens and remained pure waiting for the “right one” to show up. Most of us have a history helping to make up the sum of the whole. In my case stating I have been married four times, widowed twice, can jar the teeth out of any interested suitor. Not everyone wants to sign up for the race with such a dubious track record. I have never been one to shirk the truth, so always I brought this up beforehand to give the other person a chance to excuse themselves, go to the bathroom and duck out through the transom if they felt the need. It’s wise to bring up the children before you accept an invitation. This is not the kind of surprise you want to introduce on a fourth or fifth date.
Most of us aren’t thinking clearly as the tentacles of love wrap around us. Love, love, love is in the air and whether or not our new partner has $3,000 worth of unpaid parking tickets in his glove compartment, is late on his child care payments, or just knocked off Citi Bank in a Richard Nixon mask seem faint in comparison to the dazzling glow of his smile. Once deeply involved in a relationship large flaws in the original structure tend to become more evident if we have not sorted them out in the beginning. When younger whether or not your new love interest wants children or not is a big one. At any age, really. Where you want to live is important. Not only if it be an apartment, house, trailer or tent but are you a city person or someone lovin’ that fresh air country vibe? Another criteria might be are you a dog or a cat person? Once sharing sheets will you come to resent Honey Boo Boo, a small whiny Pomeranian with a licking fetish taking center stage under the covers? Are you a neat freak while he makes dirty a lifestyle? Does she leave her makeup all over the bathroom, hair stubble in the sink? These can all be deal breakers after the new car smell wears off. Money. There’s a big one. Are both partners fiscally stable? One more than the other? Who is going to work if children come along, and how is the money funneled into the relationship? Does it all pour into one pot, two pots, or two separate pots with some in a combined third? My ex, for example, entertained the philosophy the ATM was always good for withdrawing money if the account showed a balance. He did not, however, believe in discerning whether or not checks had been written towards that money. We had separate accounts.
Perhaps a gourmet cook who loves to spend her afternoons preparing delicious five course meals to be enjoyed with the perfectly selected bottle of wine, might think twice about hooking up with a mate who considers gourmet dining a bag of blue tortilla chips dipped in a pink plastic bowl full of Velveeta salsa dip (I like this combination personally). Once I dated a man for three years whose only vegetable selection was corn, not fresh sweet corn on the cob either, canned corn. His only meat choices were beef and chicken, and when it came to starches Rice a Roni or potatoes, fried, baked or mashed were the selections on his list. The man had not consumed a green since he first spit out his spinach at the age of two. His mother told me in order to get him to eat enough food to survive she once gave him only corn dogs for a year. Really? After a while, being a foodie at heart, this was to douse what was a rather fiery beginning. “What’s the green stuff?” tends to take the wind out of the sails of a really great meal.
Along with the exes coming along with a new pairing, there are in-laws, and in most cases a circle of friends. Friends can surprisingly be a big issue. My first husband had a friend since grade school who I referred to as “the groper”. I purposely never seated myself next to him at the table after he’d enjoyed a cocktail and when he first came the door I always greeted him carrying something large like a stockpot to put as much distance between us as possible to avoid any unfortunate body contact. During my second marriage, Pat came into my life. God went overboard with Mr. Pat when it came to pretty. He truly was a beautiful specimen of male. However, perhaps noticing he’d gone too extreme in the looks department his maker held back on good sense and manners moving those traits on to someone less attractive. Pat, a boundless boy even in his thirties, dated girls with names such as “Bambi” or “Tinker”, I’m not lyin here. Most of them had barely graduated from high school limiting dinner conversation to their latest cheer leading meet or where to get the best mani-pedi’s in town. Sigh.
Who wants to think about all the above when locking lips with someone we adore? Perhaps we should. Maybe like E-Harmony we should fill out a detailed resume on ourselves listing our predominant likes and dislikes. If we did, would anyone ever go past the first date? One has to wonder. Perhaps throwing caution to the wind and seizing the moment is what we are intended to do and if it doesn’t work out like an unfortunate purchase show up at the Return Counter with your marriage certificate explaining, “it just wasn’t a good fit”. As usual, no answers, only questions.
Well, Valentine’s Day with its triumphs and disappointments is once again behind us on the calendar. We had delicious filets for dinner. I hadn’t made stuffed onions in years and these were delicious and looked so pretty on the plate.
Baked Stuffed Onions
8 large onions
4 slices prosciutto
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. paprika
3 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
3/4 cup Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 1/4 Tbsp. softened butter
1 cup chicken stock
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bring large pot of water boil. Peel onions, and drop into boiling water. Boil for 8 mins. Remove from water and allow to cool.
Fry prosciutto until crisp and drain on paper towels or place on greased cookie sheet for 10 mins. and drain on paper towels. Crumble.
Core onions, leaving 1/2″ rim. Chop and reserve 3/4 cup onions. Level bottom so they will stand nicely if necessary. Season the cored onions with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil over med. heat. Add chopped onions. Cook until translucent, about 6 mins. Add garlic. Cook for 1 min.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In mixing bowl combine cream, egg, nutmeg, paprika, parsley and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Add cooled onion mixture. Season as desired and mix well.
Place 1/2 of each slice of prosciutto in bottom of each onion. Spoon 1 1/2 Tbsp. of filling mix into each onion.
Combine remaining breadcrumbs with Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over top of onions. Dot with butter.
Place onions in shallow baking dish. Carefully pour stock around onions. Bake for 60 mins., basting regularly, until onions are tender. Tent towards the end if filling gets too brown.
Bake for 60 mins.