I’ve got leftover turkey to deal with. Not sure why I made a 10 pound turkey for the three of us. I knew, going into Thanksgiving, that Jenny wouldn’t eat any turkey. I made some noodle/turkey casserole thingee the other night. It was okay. It wasn’t anything that we’re dying to have again. I pitched the rest of that. Next I’ll try turkey soup. What is the compulsion to use every bit of the bird when I know that none of us are interested in eating any more of it? I satisfied the desire to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Why must I sentence us to boring meals until we’ve used every last bit?
I do the same thing with avocados. I buy a couple because they are good for us and some of us like them. I make plans and before I know it, the avocados have zoomed past ripe and landed right at gross. But avocados are expensive. I hate wasting them. I could buy cilantro and limes and make guacamole, but I’d be throwing good money after bad, in an effort to save what has gone bad. The guacamole wouldn’t be nearly as good as excellent guac made with perfectly ripe avocados.
I’ve done the same with a few relationships. I set out with the right intentions, only to have things go bad. Then I keep throwing good energy at it, hoping to make what is bad better. If a relationship is bad, I can throw all the positive spin in the world at it, and at the end of the day, it’s still just bad. I remember the counselor saying, “Put a positive spin on it. No marriage is all bad.” I was never quite sure how to put a positive spin on my continual failure as a spouse. You could dress me up, but I still couldn’t clean or cook well, as far as Mark was concerned.
I was talking to a dear friend yesterday. She’s at the end of her rope in a friendship with her neighbor. She kept giving her neighbor the benefit of the doubt. After three years of being a good listener and supportive friend, and getting the life sucked right out of her, my friend called it quits with her neighbor. And, because my friend is a really good person, she feels guilty about it. Isn’t that just how it is? Does the neighbor feel any guilt for taking and taking and never giving, during the entire length of that relationship? Who knows for sure. But, clearly, she took that love and attention for granted.
How are we supposed to know when enough is enough? When can we be done reinventing leftover turkey? When can we quit investing in a relationship that is not going anywhere? Who decides when and if it is time to quit? Do we wait for our partner or friend to make the decision? Can we get to the point where we honestly feel we have tried and given enough? When can we walk away with a clear conscience and hold our head high and say, “I did my best and it’s the best I can do?”
I usually let those damn avocados sit there and get rancid before I give myself permission to throw them away. I walk by them several times a day, and think to myself, “Those moldy things cost you three bucks. Good job. Nice waste of money.” And with each pass, I get crabbier and crabbier at myself for wasting the avocados. Finally, out of frustration and annoyance with myself for being so worked up about something so ridiculous, I pitch the damn things.
That’s a relief.
Now I’m free to move on to the next irritation.
I’ll leave the turkey in the fridge until it’s ready to walk out on its own.
Nobody’s going to want turkey soup, anyway.