Baking a Kate


Balance, compromise, give and take. I don't know why, although they make perfect sense, I reject these words when speaking of love relationships and matters of the heart. Maybe it's because words like these, like most words to me, simply don't do justice to the enormity or complexity or beauty or sadness that make up each one of us, and certainly not when we're living in love, a place that for me goes hand in hand with the courage to exist in constant openness and vulnerability. To me, common sense has its place, but it can also be like a recipe in a book. A pinch of balance, a dash of compromise, and if you follow the instructions, your relationship cake will taste sweeter than anything you've cooked up before.


Aside from the romantic aspect of it, I'm not interested in marriage, I don't need it. I don't want to compromise, I don't want to give and take, I don't want to bend or conform. I don't come from a conventional world, I didn't have conventional parents. I'm not saying they were perfect, but my father was free to board a plane and walk the streets of Paris when he so desired, my mother was free to embark on a play, throwing herself into hours of rehearsals with actors coming and going through the revolving doors of our home. Not without a price, but it was accepted that my father's first priority was his writing. Not without a price, but it was accepted that my mother was an artist before she was a wife, a cook and a housekeeper. Because at the foundation of their perfectly imperfect relationship was a deep respect for one another, a shared core value that you did not try to change or bend or step on the feet of the person who chose to spend their life along side of yours.


I don't want to tell a man to pick up his socks, it's easier to pick them up myself, and if he wants me to fold his shirts, I may not do it just the way he likes, but I will do it with love. I don't want to stop him from driving across country without me, because I'm only interested in sitting beside someone when he's interested in sitting beside me. I know very well that when lives join it's about balance and compromise, but first it's about two people who've lived ten million moments long before they found themselves standing in front of one another asking, Is she the one? Will he be the one?


When I buy a new toothbrush it's flattened out in a week, I bite the inside of my lip when I'm nervous which is most of the time, I forget to pay my bills, and although I'm not insatiable, I am like a garden that always needs water. I remain healthy and strong without it, but I thrive on affection and attention, and a perfect day for me might be a picnic in the park, but it also might be staying in bed, listening to the same record over and over again and having a good cry until I've recovered and am ready to join the party.


I can afford to be cut, I will melt if it gets too hot and I will freeze if the wind blows too cold. But the egg was cracked, the ingredients mixed, I am the Katie cake that sits on the window sill and will remain just as I am. Not unmovable, not unbendable, not uncompromising, but always solid and moist, sweet and firm, decorated with red roses and a slew of those trick candles on top that never stop burning.

May 18, 2011