I started this project waaaaay back in mid-summer. We've been making baby steps ever since, but I think its most useful to talk about things in order (and, um, we haven't improved all that much, so maybe writing about it will help). At that time, I wasn't really working and Mark worked full time. Our schedules remain similar, but he comes home from school around 6 instead of work.
Meal planning and grocery planning is something I've been wanting to do for awhile. Mark and I eat most of our meals together, and it stresses.me.out. I'm not sure why it bothers me so much, but I think its because I thought this would be easy. It wasn't even something that it occured to me could be difficult or annoying. And we just cannot make it work. (I was really frustrated this summer. Probably something about too much time on my hands. I'm better now. Ish.)
On a sample day, I get home around 5 or so (I leave for work before7). Mark comes over usually after 6, by which time I'm hungry. And I'm trying not to eat something, because it should be dinner, but he wants to chat and relax and catch up. And I'm STARVING. After that, he wants to discuss several options for dinner. I no longer care, because I'm so hungry. I suggest one or two things, he doesn't like them, and we both end up annoyed (me more so, because I'm annoyed and famished). Mark genuinely likes cooking, but he isn't big on having a plan or scheduling. So its no big deal to him if he doesn't figure out what's for dinner til 7 and eat til 8:30. Part of this is laidback-ness, part is having a day that is altogether later than mine (my schedule is dictated by my workday, and I eat both other meals earlier than he does; I also eat a lot less).
I think I had in my head that you just figure out a plan and it comes together. Never did I think I would be totally miserable every night. Mark knows it bothers me, but he isn't sure what to do either. (This has actually been an issue since the worst-anniversary-week-ever*.) So he tells me he doesn't care, which is not true at all, just that he has no interest in dealing with it. He just isn't into almost every meal I come up with. The obvious remedy would be meal planning, but I'm so frustrated by the whole issue that I'm overwhelmed and don't know where to start. And Mark just wishes I could work it out and cheer up about it already. I'm too hungry to cheer up.
So I spent half my weekend reading everything Trent has ever written about food, and trying to come up with a plan. I heart Trent, so that was fun, but I was still a little lost. And Mark isn't always the best listener, so when he gets frustrated he mostly a) repeats himself and b) ignores whatever I'm saying. So he'll say "x" and I'll say "Agreed, thats a great point" to which he'll say "X" and I'll say, "Yeah, definitely, and what about Y?" And he'll say, "I really think x". Its a little frustrating.
I made out a list of the meals we needed and wrote down what we needed to buy (which sounds pathetically simple when I write it...but there are so many little decisions involved, it doesn't feel like it).
*Which I will tell you about sometime. It involves bad food, a work event and possible criminal charges.