I nervously await the knock at my front door. The anticipation is more than I can bear as I try to decide whether I should go ahead and change into my comfy sweats and T-shirt. I reluctantly decide to push aside my desire to be comfortable in favor of looking somewhat professional. Maybe he would at least take into consideration the fact that I had worked all day.
Hearing the sound of car door, I stand up tall, lightly brushing away crumbs - remnants of the Tostitos that had incessantly called my name from the cupboard a few moments earlier. Taking a deep breath, I gather my courage and slowly open the front door.
He couldn't be more than twenty-one. Avoiding eye contact, embarrassed I stare down at the pair of Nike's I am quite sure I helped buy. He grins and confidently blurts out, "Why good evening Mrs. Hester!" It is in this moment I realize he's been here so many times he knows me by name. "I've become quite familiar with this address." I cut him off mid-sentence. Attempting to change the subject, I quickly ask how much I owe. Before he could answer, my husband yells from the recliner, "She's quit cooking for me son! I think she's forgotten how!!"
Grinning and shaking his head, this twenty-something young male places the ticket in front of me to sign before releasing two nutritious salads and one not so nutritious pepperoni pizza into my hands. I can't help but wonder what he thinks I will do if he gives me the food first. Slam the door in his face and run? He knows where I live! I digress.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. I had done really well. I actually cooked two nights in two weeks! My husband - who by the way is a great cook...and who loves to cook...and who delights in reminding me how I am not making something exactly the way he or his grandmother would make it - gets home every afternoon around 3:30 p.m. I, on the other hand, usually arrive home between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m.. I have therefore come to the reasonable conclusion that if he hasn't started cooking something by the time I get home, this is my clue to get out the delivery menus and begin deciding what we want for dinner. Isn't this the way it is supposed to work?!
Last Thursday, I came home from a long day of tests at a local medical facility. Neither me nor my husband felt like cooking or going out for dinner, but we each wanted different items from different restaurants. No problem! We knew that our two favorite local restaurants don't charge an extra delivery fee, so we simply ordered from two different locations. Thirty minutes later I hear a knock at the door. I answer, and there stands our regular delivery guy from our most frequented salad and pizza delivery place. Looking as though he had come to convey heartfelt condolences he quietly said, "Mrs. Hester, is everything okay? We noticed that your order was less tonight, and we were worried something was wrong with either you or Mr. Hester."
Biting my lip to keep from laughing, I thanked him for his concern. Hoping the news wouldn't completely destroy him, I explained that this evening, my husband was craving a different kind of pizza. Tonight was the kind of night only a Pizza Hut Meat Lover's Pizza would do.
To ensure he knew I hadn't permanently silenced Charlie for ratting me out about never cooking, I called him to the door to say hello. Saying our goodbyes, all guilt over all of the meals I've had delivered suddenly melted away. I decided it was time once and for all to declare ordering delivery versus cooking properly justified. This practice can now be attributed to more than mere laziness, convenience, or lack of skills in the kitchen. Ordering delivery vs. cooking, ladies and gentlemen, should now be considered an act beneficial to one's safety and well-being.
To reduce stress, I order the same meal to be delivered to my home at least twice a week from the same restaurant. I always order from the same telephone number so that my name and address is already in their system. I always use the same method of payment, and never under any circumstances deviate from normal patterns of ordering unless I am prepared to give an explanation for doing so. And if for some reason I do happen to deviate from those patterns because something truly is wrong, I can rest assured that someone will wonder what has happened to the Greek salad, extra black olives, grilled chicken salad, extra chicken, dressing on the side over on Rocky Hollow. Be diligent my friend. The life you save could be your own!