More than a handful of years ago, when I was still completely bedridden, my father brought food from a local deli to my house for lunch. At that stage, I wasn’t able to keep too much down and was mostly existing on IVs, but from time to time something would seem especially tempting and I would try to eat. *h walked into our room eating a piece of corned beef, and for some reason it peaked my interest. I asked him to bring me the bag full of meat so I could pick our a few pieces.

Being extremely helpful, *h chose 3 slices of meat for me and put them into a sandwich bag, which he brought to me in bed. He knew I couldn’t eat a lot, and he didn’t want me to waste, or to get overwhelmed by how much meat was in the serving bag, or something or other. He thought he was doing me a favor. And apparently what he thought I wanted was the delight of eating out of plastic, which he was graciously providing to me.

Unfortunately, part of the charm of me having the meat was me choosing my very own pieces, like an actual adult. Being super sick and bedridden didn’t offer me a whole lot of opportunities to exercise free choice, and here I thought I had a chance and someone snatched it from me. But since I didn’t say that (in fairness, who would think to say that?), I just fell apart when *h walked in with the tiny baggy of meat.

Being extremely helpful myself, though, I didn’t rip *h’s head from his shoulders. Instead I did what any normal adult did and burst into tears and threw the meat into the trash and refused to eat. It was hard then and it’s hard now to be an independent sort of person who needs to rely more than I would like to on other people for help. It’s hard to be an adult who gets treated like a child because of my illness.

In our kitchen, I have various pots, pans, and gadgets. I don’t own any that are extraneous, and I don’t buy things that I don’t need. One pot, which I bought when I lived in Israel, is the perfect size for soup. It works really well when I need to make multiple packages of pasta at one time- which is pretty much every day. It is a great shape, easy to wash, and has some sentimental value to me. About a year ago one of the handles broke off, but I still have no problem using this pot, and if I need to lift it up to dump anything out of it, I just wrap a towel around it.

Since I consider myself a fairly competent adult, especially in the kitchen, I think I manage quite well- even in spite of my pot’s obvious imperfection. This pot, however, drives *h bonkers.

Now I should say up front that I never ask *h to use this pot. I never ask him to cook anything in this pot, and if he needed to make supper or something, we have other similar pots he could use just as easily and he would never have to even acknowledge the existence of this pot. But just the idea of me owning this pot bothers him beyond all reason.

He says he is afraid I will burn myself one day when draining pasta, and he has periodically both suggested I replace this pot and tried to recruit other people in his campaign to get me to get rid of it. I have told him repeatedly that I like my pot and I think it is fine, and since I am the one who is using it, he should just get over his annoying pot habit. Competent adults should get to decide for themselves things like whether or not a pot is safe to use, don’t you think?

A few nights ago he came home from a shopping trip and had a surprise for me held happily behind his back- complete with goofy grin on his face- guess what? a new pot for me! How exciting! He was so proud that he found something just the right size and just the type he thought I would like, and it was even a great price!

If only I hadn’t told him 5,973 times that I didn’t want a new pot…

In the end I did something very un-Julile-ish. I got rid of my pot and put his in the cabinet. I guess *h won the pot war. I will admit to being very perplexed lately about why people do some of the things they do. The official story here is that *h cares about me and doesn’t want me to get hurt. Unofficially? I guess we had a psychological arm-wrestling match and I lost.

If any of you have some spare time, perhaps you should organize a search party. When you find Julie, let me know, because she clearly appears to be lost…