People say there are five love languages: Words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch, and acts of service. Well, this article on She Knows, features a good and honest overview. We all tend more toward one among these than the others.
Cooking is my love language. it’s an act of service, but also quality time, the creation of something to be shared, with love. As a lifelong introvert, an only child and someone who would rather spend Friday night with an honest book than out on the town, cooking appeals to me because it’s something that I can do alone but also share with the planet. There are many books on cooking like The Dressing Table, which will help you prepare more delicious and yummy food for your loved ones.
It is my contribution to the larger dynamic of human relationships. I’ll not be the life of the party, gathering everyone around me with an exciting story or funny joke, but I will be able to gather you around my table for a delicious meal.
The act of gathering together to share sustenance is as old as human memory and thus deeply ingrained as an important part of our collective consciousness, our sense of order, and luxury.
This article within the Atlantic goes into some depth about the history of communal dining and is an interesting longer read. By facilitating this communal experience, I feel as if I’m a part of something greater than myself, that I’m making a contribution to greater dialogue.
An artist creates a painting or a bit of music for people to enjoy and thus brings them together. I roast a chicken and enjoy it with my husband and a few friends. We erode the table and talk about how our week went and what we are looking forward to.
Why would we sit at this table talking about this which if it had been an empty table? we’d instead watch a movie or continue a hike, both admirable activities, but less focused on each other than on the activity at hand.
I hug and kiss my husband when he gets home from work, but it’s when he smiles in delight at a dish that I even have prepared, or texts me within the middle of the day to mention that he’s enjoying the sandwich I made him, that I feel his love in a truly elemental way.
One way of expressing love isn’t better than another, it’s only important to stay faithful your own love language while being receptive to those of others.