“Nah,” I say. “It’s just a stupid frying pan.”
At the time, he knew me well enough not to shrug his shoulders. “Why do I feel like there is a story here?”
I hadn’t told anyone the embarrassing truth about the pans, but with him the story spread. “Over ten years ago,” I said, “my mom found some beautiful new cookware for sale at Macy’s. She kept it for my wedding shower, or my sister’s, whichever came first. Because it hasn’t happened for any of us yet, the pots were in my mom’s basement, making fun of me every time I went. So last month I finally took them.
My mom didn’t tell me to take them – not because she didn’t think I deserved them, but because it felt like throwing in the towel for myself and my sister.
“Honestly, I don’t know why I took them,” I said. “I thought I would feel empowered, but I just feel sad.” I looked at the ground as my eyes filled with tears. Flashing them, I said, “Anyway, to use it instead, I bought an overpriced, non-toxic casserole dish that I saw on Instagram, and you just deliver it. “
Dave was silent for a moment, as if working on a complicated math problem. “I had a dream the other night that the world ended,” he said, “but I survived. I know it’s a bad thing to say given what’s going on, but it wasn’t sad because my family survived too. He shrugged behind his mask. “I wonder: if everything went away except for you, your family, your house, would these pans have the same meaning?”
I shook my head. “Probably not.”
“You are exactly where you are supposed to be,” he says. “I believe that. And I hope someday you will too.