Cambodia, Food, Phnom Penh, Travel

Paired.

I feel as if most of my posts have a strong focus on relationships and food, I’d apologize to my dear readers for this (it seems that I may have one or two out there), but to continue posting entries about my life I would have to stay true to these two topics: they really just most easily represent the complete enjoyment I grasp in this gastro-friendship-bacon covered-romantic mess of a life I lead.

I had a few cheeseburgers this week, three to be exact, and considering there are seven days in a week I seem to have come out on top depending who’s side you’re on. The first one I got on Thursday, I stupidly ordered without fries. Although delicious, char-grilled and covered in Emmentaler (from Garage Bar) that core potato-y element was missing.

My second time around at Lone Star Saloon, I made damn sure to order fries with my Bleu Cheeseburger and I can state definitively and decisively that those little slivers of potato make the meal.

Exceptionally fantastic, memorable things come in pairs. One by itself can be good, even great, but for full on satisfaction a pairing is necessary. I’m not saying this solely romantically either, I would have to say even to this day the metaphorical fries to my cheeseburger would be my best friend Brooke Miller. For thirteen years we’ve finished each other’s sentences (pardon the sappiness), filled each other’s hair with tears over breakups and hamster deaths, cut to the bone with insults only the other would know could hurt so badly, and loved each other through every second of it.

Another pairing that happened recently is my mother’s engagement as of two weeks ago. Sorry Mom, it’s public knowledge as of now. It was a bit of a shock, her fiance being a gentleman from back home in Washington State and a semi-quick ordeal, but I support them fully and completely and truly think I’ll find a friend in him over time. After the death of my father in 2010, I don’t believe she, my sister, nor I thought she would ever remarry. Us Mischke women generally really enjoy our freedom, in different ways assuredly, but the thought that she would recommit after the death of a 32 year old marriage, the love of her life, and still in my opinion the most wonderful man on Earth never really made sense to us at the time. I do understand completely though the primal need for companionship, the importance of it, and considering most of the time I’m really probably not the best at being a good companion (especially to my mom, even though I consider her one of my closest confidants) I believe she found someone who will balance her, complement her, teach her, and love her in a way that will grow and nurture her until the day she, or he, departs. I also believe that she will do the same for him in ways neither of them can yet even grasp.

It will be a loss for me in a number of ways and the selfish adolescent part of me that I’m sure will never quite go away wants to slam my bedroom door, pout, and play Taking Back Sunday really, really loudly just to annoy her until the last minute we live together. I will no longer have her all to myself, even though deep down I know I never really did, and her love will be shared with another human that I hardly even know and she and I won’t be able to live together anymore even though I just moved to Cambodia two months ago. Even as I write these things, I know that they’re really not hurting me and not all that much will truly change; I just like to think that they’re the kind of things that should bother me and that I should make a fuss over. She’s found her tater tots (she already had her french fries) to accompany her cheeseburger-self and I can only look at her adoringly as she sketches out simple wedding dress designs and re-reads love letters from her Mr. Smith.

I figure for now, my friends are my french fries, all over the world. In Phnom Penh, I’ve decided to make a lot of people my best friends whether they know it or not. It’s the people I can spend 9 hours laying on a couch in pajamas and marathoning Dexter with, the people I can moto around town and eat steamed dumplings for $1.50 and kind of want to punch in the face hoping they’ll do the same cause bruises are fun for stories and to look at, the people I can listen to for hours talk about their relationship issues because it’s just the biggest struggle for them right now, the people who will bring me iced coffee every morning like clockwork and help me chase cats around alleys. Like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t doubt that marriage will creep into my life at some point. I absolutely want it to and all of it with kids and dumb dogs and tree houses and jam covered watercolors and time-outs and arguments and the making up after arguments and grocery shopping. But until that comes, I’ll look  at my friends who are on their honeymoons, naming their babies, and wall-papering their first homes and swell with pride because they’ve found what they want, in this moment.

I know people who spend their entire lives technically alone, in the sense that they never marry but lead happy, rich lives full of love and camaraderie. I also know individuals who have spent their entire lives with someone, but have numerous affairs, divorce six times and never find the marital happiness that comes with true, hard-ass work. Different paths for different people I suppose, as it should be and of course will be in this odd world we live in.

For now though, I’ll take another couple orders of fries. Extra salty.

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