I grew up eating Corn Flakes, outdated bread, and lots of soup made from those things in the refrigerator that were found in those forgotten containers in the back corners on the shelves. If, when the fuzzy tops were scraped off the underneath looked ok and didn’t smell funny, we ate it. Things that today I probably use for compost when I come across those questionable containers in our fridge. 

My parents were coupon shoppers all the way. When we ate out it was because we had a GREAT coupon! Dad would order from his coupons and then we would share from whatever he brought to the table. He never asked what we wanted and we were expected to all share from what he got. 

After Bob and I married and anytime we went out to eat –  It didn’t matter if it was fast food or dine in  – Bob always asked what I wanted to order. And I couldn’t give him an answer. Our conversation went like this. 

Bob: “What would you like?”

Lydia: “What do we have a coupon for?”

Bob: “We don’t have a coupon. What do you want to eat?”

Lydia: “What is the special?”

Bob: “I don’t know. What do you feel like ordering?”

Lydia: “Should we share something?”

Bob: “We can each have our own meal. What looks good to you?” 

He really wanted me to choose something I wanted. 

Now I look back and see two families where love was at the center. To care and provide for loved ones was the goal, always. The process was different but love was at the beginning and ending of every meal. 

~Lydia Patrick

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1 Response to Coupons

  1. Peggy A says:

    Lydia, what a contrast in family dynamics! Glad you always felt love in your childhood home, despite the absence of freedom of choice at mealtime. My family was somewhat like that, too, except that we never ate out or ordered food to be delivered. I lived way out in the country on a farm, and we ate the vegetables and meat we grew and had in our freezer. We never spoke the words “I love you” to each other, but the feeling was almost always there, until we got angry with someone for awhile. It was very hard for me to remember to say those words in my household after Dave and I got married. However, after Erin’s birth, the words were often spoken to each other. Actions may show love more fully, but the words “I love you” are wonderful to hear, too.

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