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Top Chef

I hate to cook. I don’t mind doing it and know the importance of cooking my food; for me or my family, but honestly? I don’t like doing it. I don’t walk into the kitchen and go,’FUCK YEAH! LET’S MAKE SOME DINNER!’

bubbasparks is the cook in our house. Not just because I hate it, but because he has ALWAYS loved it. He loves to be in the kitchen; reading recipes, searching the internet for different versions of things, the whole shebang. Best of all he’s one of the most amazing home cooks I’ve ever met.

I can’t tell you how many people give me the side-eye when I say I hate cooking. Even supposedly evolved women will look at me like I told them I torture kittens when I say I hate cooking. My mother-in-law once questioned my contribution to my family since I don’t cook.  Never mind that this woman loves watching cooking shows with men and loves Cake Boss, all dominated by doods. The whole thing was confounding. Then, the other night, as I was watching Big Love and Nicki was raging against Barb for taking dancing lessons, I realized something.

I think the insinuation, by my mother-in-law and by some other women I’ve encountered, that I am lazy harpy feminazi because I don’t cook is really about choices. They don’t have the option to NOT cook. They have to cook for their families because their spouses DON’T. There is never a day off, a day to say “˜fuck it’ and hang out on the internet, take a nap, play with their children, whatever.

I wish I could say that my aversion to cooking was an actual feminist plot to make the menz get off their asses and in the kitchen, but it isn’t. But what IS important? I am with a partner who recognizes I don’t like something and he picks up the slack. It’s the same reason I do the cleaning. He’s not as good at it and we think it is a fair trade.

I despise domesticity because I feel the roles of women have and are still bound by the vacuum and the sauté pan. I don’t give two shits about matching sheets, dishes and drapes. I don’t care if there is some smudge on the couch, a few dust bunnies on the floor, or some scum in the bathtub. But that isn’t just it; I just don’t LIKE it. I’m sorry, but there is no DNA strand that determines a woman is supposed to like dusting and using the Magic Eraser to clean the sink.

Certainly, there is no need to live in filth and our entire family cleans and keeps things tidy. But it’s not a focus and will never be. And maybe that’s the key? Granted our cats, Mr. Pibb and Rihanna don’t do anything to help out, but the 3 of us all clean up our mess, sweep up the dirt, bake our cookies and make our beds and that is what makes it our home. Everyone participates and so it’s not ONE person’s responsibility.

Cooking is just one part of one’s domestic life. I don’t like it. So? I do plenty of other things that support my family, which frankly, is what it should be about. The chores you do or the perfect pork loin you roast don’t determine your worth.

19 replies on “Top Chef”

I do like cooking, a lot. However I don’t typically get home until near seven and then to make dinner for us is the last thing I really want to do. Mr.Pear’s contribution to mealtimes is showing up to eat when I’m nearly finished or picking up McDonalds. I end up doing the bulk of the cooking, cleaning, tidying, laundry, etc.; and it definitely wears me down. I do wish it were more equal, but his good qualities still far outweigh the irritating ones.

Since I’m the one who has always had the lousy commute (and the Mr. has had the convenient, walkable commute) he’s the one in charge during the week, and on weekends I pull my weight in looking for recipes and poring over our cookbooks and, depending on the dish, doing the heaving lifting too–at the very least I am always up for some prep work if there’s a lot to be done and we can make it work in our smallish kitchen.

Honestly, I didn’t get into cooking myself (until then just enjoying the eating part and watching Mr. cook) until I was unemployed for a few months–making a loaf of bread or prepping vegetables was an easy, therapeutic way to shake off a day of unsuccessful job hunting and it meant that food would be made that much faster if the mise en place was all prepared.

Then again, I’m the one who cleans the bathroom and the bedroom so as others have said, it’s all about finding the jobs that work best for you both and who cares what others say/cluck.

PoHusband is just now discovering the joy of making food that involves more than “open box, stick in oven/microwave.” (We used to get a lot of takeout, OK? But we’re on a budget now.) It’s led to some interesting things, which I’ve been documenting for posterity (WAFFLENINI FOREVER!).

I can cook, I just don’t always like to expend the effort most of the time. I get in moods, though, where I bake five batches of cookies or decide to try to make some overly complicated recipe or another, but I have my standby meals, and that’s pretty much what I stick to. My husband is just now trying to get comfortable in the kitchen, so I’m doing the best I can to encourage that, because it’s cheaper than takeout, and I’m very lazy.

It’s interesting how much gender is tied to views on traditional gender roles. I only started cooking very recently, mostly because I could make the things I really want to eat (i.e., really spicy things). On the other hand, my boyfriend has always loved to cook. When my very traditional grandma found out that he did all of the cooking, she automatically assumed that he must have taken on every single domestic role in our house, and that I must have therefore had the goal of being the sole breadwinner. She also assumed that I must be helpless on nights when he worked, and decided to give my boyfriend tips on leaving me leftovers with instructions.

I suppose I should take it as a bizarre compliment that she viewed me in that way since she is so traditional, but really I just didn’t feel like cooking.

I’m usually very “FUCK YEAH LET’S MAKE DINNER”, but I still get sick of doing the cooking every night. I’ve been bugging Mr. about getting into cooking a bit so he can cook some decent meals for himself if I get sick or just don’t feel like doing it. I can’t expect him to love it like I do, but he can at least be competent at it!

(He always cleans up after dinner and washes the dishes though, so at least I’m not doing ALL the work.)

Hate cooking, always have, always will. Would prefer any other household task, seriously. My hate of cooking = not being a foodie.

I know food = love. I still love my family, but not that way. Too bad, it reflects poorly on my mothering.

Entertaining cooking is fun though.

GURL! Food =/= love. Don’t start that! Never mind that makes food become a replacement…

Food is food. Love is love. One doesn’t replace or supplant the other.

I love my family, too, and I love so much I know to not make them eat my shitty beans and rice.

All these comments make me hopeful I’ll find a spouse who loves to cook too. My mom is very traditional and still packs a lunch for my dad, but she loves cooking and trying new recipes like bubbasparks. I don’t mind cooking, I’d just rather spend my time doing other things. And I do like to clean so I hope I’ll be able to make an even trade.

I was lucky enough to marry a man who went to culinary school. We usually split cooking duties, depending on who has more time/energy. I firmly believe that chores aren’t gender dependent. As long as no one feels hopelessly put-upon it doesn’t matter who does what.

I think this is key

Everyone participates and so it’s not ONE person’s responsibility.

I actually do like cleaning and keeping up the house (I’m totally anal retentive and I also like saying “Surfaces, darling, I need my surfaces!” to myself when I’m cleaning up because it cracks me up.) However, there are plenty of things I don’t like doing around the house (I hate taking out the garbage and doing laundry), so my husband does it. Our chores do kind of fall along “traditional” lines, but it more or less works for us–and if something doesn’t work we change it up.

It’s all about what works for you in your life/home/relationships and if people can’t get that, or get judgmental over it well, that’s on them, not you.

It’s all about what works for you in your life/home/relationships and if people can’t get that, or get judgmental over it well, that’s on them, not you.

Perfectly said. I like to cook and I, too, am very particular so I ‘tidy up’ more than my guy. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t do his share. He takes out the trash and cuts the grass (‘male stuff’), but he also does the laundry and makes the bed (‘female stuff’). We’ve found a nice balance.

My mom does the majority of the cooking, mainly because my dad can screw up a pot of beans in 5 seconds flat. But my dad can grill like a champ. So every dinner is a combined effort that comes out wonderfully.
And cleaning? You screw it up, you clean it up. Momma don’t pick your mess.

I think, as you said, the issues of feminism comes into play when you have (and insist upon) an equal partnership, part of which includes split household duties. As long as it’s a fairly even spread, different tasks shouldn’t be tied to a gender.

Growing up, my household was ruled by a simple law: mom doesn’t cook. Mom does dishes, mom puts the groceries away, but mom does not cook. Dad does the cooking.

Having recently moved back home as just another unemployed college grad, I’ve found myself taking over the cooking role. When she was living alone, it was all pb&j and ramen for her. She heated things. I can’t live like that. And while I’ve never been particularly skilled or enthusiastic in the kitchen, I find myself enjoying my new domestic, dinner-making role. I kind of enjoy cooking.

RIGHT ON. The people who smirk when I mention cooking (“for my man” heavily implied) are the same ones who scoff when they find out the man does all of the laundry. Meanwhile, everyone in my household is equally fed and clean – so if someone has judgment about how that is accomplished the problem is theirs.

I think your “FUCK YEAH, LET’S MAKE SOME DINNER” sentiment totally movitated me to cook tonight!

Seriously, though – I think in most of the hetero couples I know the man is the primary cook. It’s likely because the ladies are doctors and lawyers and such, and the men are the primary house/kid caretakers. Maybe that’s becoming more prevant as Gens X and Y grow up?

Mr. Soybean and I cook toghther alot – I’m veg and he isn’t, so somtimes the veg dishes I make aren’t really up his ally. He’ll throw a slab o’meat on the grill or something to augment my potato-bean dish.

But, most mornings (becuase Mr. Soybean gets up earlier), he makes breakfast. And, it’s GOOD.

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