Living The Last Meal


The thing about marriage in that stage of your lives where you’re both busy in the familial sense of having kids who are of a certain age and involved in every extracurricular under the sun, and the professional sense where you’re both able to chase that thing that fulfills you, is that you have to carve out time for one another wherever you can. For The Man and me, many times, that means Sunday afternoons. What once were date nights have long since morphed into date days. Lunch and browsing a favorite store or catching a movie, or some combination thereof — if we’re really feeling ourselves maybe even all of the above.

Such was a date day a few weekends ago when, over complimentary chips and salsa and a couple not-so-complimentary midday drinks, we got to talking about an article I’d seen earlier in the week. The author had compiled a list of last meal requests made by death row inmates. And the food was one thing, but at least one of the inmates had, apparently, also requested an experience: to eat their last meal while watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And so we got to thinking, not only what food we’d want for a last meal but what kind of experience we’d want if nothing at all was off limits.

For the record, The Man would want steak and bacon and mashed potatoes, plus cake and a cold beer and, probably, he said, to go sky diving. Because why not? Later, he added that if he had more than just a couple hours, perhaps we could shoot a little together and go off-roading with the kids.

And I would go for injera with spiced yellow peas and pickled cabbage, samosas and curry, pumpkin pie and an iced tea. And I would want to spend every last second exploring far-flung places by day and evenings here on the farm, watching the livestock and drinking a cold cocktail beside The Man, kids and dogs.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about that conversation; about how, when we set out to dream up our ultimate hedonist heaven-on-earth, what we came up with wasn’t so far off from how we spend our lives now. But even more than that how, if we really set our minds to it, we could live that last meal — both literal and figurative — more often than not. I think we will.