What’s for dinner? I bet you’ve heard that question about as many times as I have: at least 11,700 times.

I got that number by multiplying thirty nine (the number of years I’ve been married) by 300. I picked 300 because I don’t cook dinner every night. But maybe I should give extra weight to Thanksgiving dinner.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful I have the means and the opportunity to not only drive to the local grocery store, but to spend time at said store selecting fresh food items from a plethora of choices.

Still, after 11,700 dinners, my creative juices are running dry. I remember my mom asking me what she should cook for dinner one week when I was a young teen. She was working on a grocery list. Little did I know the desperation underlying her simple question. “How should I know?” I said. Now, I can sympathize with her dilemma.

Every once in a while, I buy a new cookbook or a new cooking implement or look up a new recipe on the internet. I get excited about putting together new dinner dishes. Then, the start of another week rolls around and I’m back to square one figuring out the dinner menu for the week.

Cooking dinner is like doing the laundry: you’ll never be done. I’ll never forget starting to fold a towering pile of clean laundry at the end of a long day when my daughter walked into the room wearing a dirt-stained t-shirt and shorts.

My husband’s always been an enthusiastic cheerleader of my cooking – expressing satisfaction even with those dinners I consider disasters. The other night, when he was lifting a forkful of food to his mouth, I told him I was looking forward to his retirement in a couple of years. “Why’s that?” he said.

“Then you can have the opportunity to cook dinner,” I said. “Why should I be the only one having all the fun?”

The next day he told me he planned to keep working for at least ten more years or 3,000 more dinners.