In 1992, the foreign film Like Water for Chocolate stormed the scene and endeared the hearts of audiences and critics all around the world. It was nominated for 3 separate awards (although, I don’t believe it captured any of them): the 1994 Independent Spirit Awards®: Best Foreign Film nominee, the 1994 BAFTA®: Best Foreign Language Film nominee, and the 1993 Golden Globe Awards: Best Foreign Language Film nominee.
The film’s main character, Tita, falls in love but is not allowed to marry the man of her dreams. Instead, he marries her sister. Throughout all of this, Tita discovers that her emotions are being transferred into the food she prepares. When she is sad, everyone who eats of her culinary treats finds themselves in tears. When she is happy, the entire table is cheery and boistrous.
In 2004, this fanciful film took on a whole new meaning for our family. I had gone into labor with our 3rd child. I labored all night and called my mom in the morning to come get the older children. By the time she arrived, labor had stalled. I could not believe it. I was so angry, I began throwing myself into other projects about the house…anything to keep from thinking about the fact that my body had decided to go kaput on me. I had some okra from a neighbor on the kitchen counter that desperately needed pickling, so I decided that would be a good thing to do. I began slinging okra about the kitchen, boiling brine and canning like a mad woman. Shortly after the jars processed, labor began again in earnest. However, when we returned home with our new little one and decided to try some of that pickled okra, we discovered it to be completely inedible. It was decidedly the grossest pickled okra ever and we had to throw out all the jars. It became a family joke that my irritation spread to the poor, helpless okra…Like Water for Chocolate.
Well, here we are…4 years later. While the labor pattern is nothing like it was with baby #3, there is still a frustration there. How can I go hours with nice, steady contractions, only to have them fizzle out after a bit? Why do they not pick up, intensify, do something that even remotely resembles real labor?
So, it might be best if I do not cook today…I may have the whole family somewhere between crying, laughing, and screaming…Like Water for Chocolate. (hee hee)