Cooking for money?

I need to backtrack a bit. My friend that I’ve been talking about these past few days is Dan. I first mentioned Dan back in October. Dan is an ex-boyfriend of mine. We dated for a year back in 2007, and have been friends since then. Dan and I broke up, and went our separate ways for a few months. There was no contact between us until I was attacked by my director. Soon after that happened, I reached out to my best friend at the time, Anita, and that was a life-changing disaster that I won’t go into detail here for fear that I will get triggered.

So, after that experience with Anita I was left with few options of whom to turn to for help. I reached out to Dan. He has been, and continues to be there for me.

Dan cares for me, though we certainly have our differences. He is reminiscent of Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory television series. He can be rigid, to say the least.

Today he offered me $50 a week if I cook a slew of meals for myself twice a week. I was aghast. It’s hard to get mad at him because he means well, but I was stunned. It’s not as simple as he’s making it out to be. Of course I wish I cooked more, and spent more time at home. The offer of the money is insulting on it’s surface. You could be offering me $1,000 and I’m still going to have the same problems with being home alone. Money is not going to solve this issue.

I immediately got switchy, and I switched into a younger peep. I feel silly that I can’t identify these peeps very well. I felt myself start to cry and babble into nonsensical upset talk. We then went to sit on the couch to talk. I started blabbing on about how I feel like a bad person because I can’t be home a lot, and, for some reason, I brought up the fact that I don’t speak to my mother. He’s always been strangely silent about that, and while I was going on and on about the things I felt bad about I tossed that in the mix. I asked him, “Do you think less of me because I don’t speak to my mother?”

Dan said, “You know how I love that game Conflict of Heroes that I play every other Tuesday? Well, the best player in the group is this guy Russ, and it bugs me that I can never beat him. Now I could have dinner with you and go on and on about how it bothers me that I can never win against him. You can listen and be supportive, but there’s not a whole lot of feedback you can give me. You’re not very familiar with tactical board games, war games or even World War II, so we can’t have an in-depth conversation about it. All you can do is listen. Whereas, I have other friends that can ask me questions related to strategy, or they can ask me what I’ve tried, and give me feedback on their experience with certain moves. I don’t have anything to offer you about your mother as I have no experience with that kind of thing.”

We stopped talking about the offer of $50 if I cook for myself. When I brought up the issue of my mother it took the conversation in a completely different direction. Though the issues he’s comparing are very different, I do think it’s sweet that he even offered something up. Years ago he would not have been able to say very much. His Asperger’s features are fascinating to me. He tries the only way he can, and it’s more than I can say for others that have come in and out of my life.

I still don’t know how to handle the cooking for money offer on the table. I want to throttle him, and hug him at the same time. Such is the eternal nature of our relationship …

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