What's for dinner?
November 27, 2018 7:49 AM   Subscribe

I'm a great cook. Now that I'm divorced, I'm never cooking for a man again.
posted by misskaz (87 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thank you for posting this!

It's hard for me to understand when cooking became more repression than liberation, more act of obligation than act of creation. But I knew it then. This thing that had sustained me now felt like a prison. And whose fault was it? It certainly wasn't all my husband's. After all, hadn't I wanted to cook? Hadn't I enjoyed it? Hadn't I found purpose in the texture of the cinnamon rolls, the ache of my arm as I whisked a French silk pie over a double boiler? But who had that ever been for? I couldn't remember.

I relate to this so hard. Not in cooking for my partner, who is amazing, but in general. I love baking, and I do it for fun, but sometimes I feel, like, every invite comes with a "you're bringing the [whatever], right?" And in some places, sometimes I wonder if people really want me around or if they just want my delicious snacks.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:54 AM on November 27 [34 favorites]


I stopped cooking. I gave my children frozen chicken nuggets, pizza, quesadillas, or their favorite: toddler tapas—cheese sticks, nuts, fruit, crackers, veggies, all displayed on a hand-me-down china platter. Now they eat like "fancy ladies,...

I love stories of redemption
posted by clavdivs at 8:01 AM on November 27 [34 favorites]


She eventually has both a job AND grad school and this guy still clomps in the door all "What's for dinner?"

I DON'T KNOW, WHAT ARE YOU MAKING.

I frankly applaud the fact that apparently none of her answers to this ridiculous question ever involved "Arsenic casserole, eat up!"
posted by theatro at 8:02 AM on November 27 [72 favorites]


I live off of bagged salads, rotisserie chicken, and whiskey.

Fuck yeah
posted by AaronTheBaron at 8:06 AM on November 27 [50 favorites]


Cooking for me is definitely one of those things that is such a pleasure and joy when I've got the time and energy, and such a source of stress when I'm tired and rushed and thank god for you, my dearest Trader Joe's frozen isle.
posted by gwint at 8:07 AM on November 27 [25 favorites]


Oh my fucking god did this hit me right in the feelings, my already bruised, bruised feelings.
posted by lydhre at 8:09 AM on November 27 [19 favorites]


Damn that's a sad story. Really sounds like the bastard killed her enjoyment of something she was interested in.
posted by es_de_bah at 8:13 AM on November 27 [8 favorites]


i did most of the cooking for the first ten years of our relationship. then my wife got laid off from her job and we had a kid and the evil calculus of childcare expenses led her to decide to stay home with kiddo and run the house as a full-time job for a while.

she likes cooking, but i make damn sure that i thank her for every meal she makes. because even if you like it, cooking and meal planning is labor, and it shouldn't be thankless labor.

and if i ever ask her "what's for dinner", you can be damn sure that "fuck it, i'm tired, let's get a pizza" or "fuck it, i'm tired, you're gonna make this casserole recipe i picked" will get no argument from me.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:22 AM on November 27 [32 favorites]


I live off of bagged salads, rotisserie chicken, and whiskey.

I'm pretty sure my husband would be content with that menu. So would I, as long as he still made his hamburgers and pizza on occasion.

And how was she the one doing dishes if she's been cooking all day? That's the rule. You didn't make dinner you clean up. I'm pretty sure that's in all the holy texts.
posted by ghost phoneme at 8:22 AM on November 27 [66 favorites]


That night I dumped the water in the sink. Tossed the ingredients in the trash. I poured myself a glass of wine and threw some frozen chicken nuggets in the microwave. When my husband came home, we were already eating.

🎉🎊🎊🎉

I do most of the cooking in our house; I enjoy it, and although my wife can and does cook, she would also be happy eating a bowl of cereal for dinner most nights. While I know that she appreciates the effort, at least, I am So. Fucking. Tired. of cooking things I know my daughter likes that she then cries about seeing on her plate and refuses to eat. This phase is killing me.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:35 AM on November 27 [26 favorites]


Inspired by online recipe sites, he'd sit down to dinner and then let me know what rating I earned. "If I give you five out of five, you'll quit," he joked. And I laughed because when I was in my 20s, I believed that you were supposed to laugh when someone hurt your feelings. I thought you were constantly supposed to be trying harder.

serve him KNIVES
posted by poffin boffin at 8:40 AM on November 27 [140 favorites]


she likes cooking, but i make damn sure that i thank her for every meal she makes. because even if you like it, cooking and meal planning is labor, and it shouldn't be thankless labor.

and if i ever ask her "what's for dinner", you can be damn sure that "fuck it, i'm tired, let's get a pizza" or "fuck it, i'm tired, you're gonna make this casserole recipe i picked" will get no argument from me.


Same. I lucked out when I married a man who loves to cook, and prefers his way of doing things in the kitchen to mine. I also consider a copious amount of daily thank-yous to be a cornerstone of a healthy marriage. Never take it for granted. The husband in TFA is a fool.
posted by witchen at 8:46 AM on November 27 [19 favorites]


We've traded kitchen duties back and forth depending on our relative school and employment status at the time. Currently I do most of the food shopping and cooking but between night classes, community meetings and other stuff, we're not actually home at dinner time very often.
posted by octothorpe at 8:50 AM on November 27 [3 favorites]


Early on in our relationship, I told my husband that him asking "What's for dinner?" made me feel like hired help. I cooked because I liked it, but him asking that question was making me HATE it. He apologized profusely; he wasn't *expecting* me to cook. We came up with "Is there a dinner plan?" as an acceptable substitute for both of us, and "Fuck no, there isn't a plan because fuck food and all y'all" as an acceptable answer on bad days.

I still cook most days, but I cook because I like to, not because it's expected of me. When there isn't a dinner plan, he throws something together for the both of us or we forage in the fridge and pantry separately.

The guy in TFA? Christ, what an asshole.
posted by cooker girl at 8:56 AM on November 27 [55 favorites]


And I laughed because when I was in my 20s, I believed that you were supposed to laugh when someone hurt your feelings.

So much of my life has been spent unlearning this-- thankfully, not within a marriage, but still. And so much of my current struggle is that the people who taught me this fact are unhappy that I have unlearned it, and resent the unlearning, and do not wish to change just because I have.

Whenever big name comedians (or politicians) whine about how "sensitive" audiences and people are now, and sneer about trigger warnings and snowflakes, I think something similar-- "I shouldn't have to laugh when you tell me I'm not really a person to you."
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:04 AM on November 27 [96 favorites]


Metafilter: Because fuck food and all y'all
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 9:14 AM on November 27 [27 favorites]


This piece is written by the fantastic Lyz Lenz, who wrote The Mystery of Tucker Carlson which was posted to the Blue in September.
posted by Kattullus at 9:22 AM on November 27 [6 favorites]


My wife and I have lived together for five years now. We both have full-time jobs, but she is a public school teacher so her job is full time plus. When she gets home she does not have the time or the energy to cook. I had been cooking for myself for the past fifteen years and figured that anything that literally billions of women do on a daily basis could not possibly be that hard so I decided that I would cook for us. My wife is a good cook when she cooks, but she only cooks for us once or twice a month; I am in charge of every other night (although we also order in about once a week).

Cooking for two is not even a little bit like cooking for one. When I was single I could buy a frozen pizza if I was feeling too tired or busy to cook something more elaborate; not so now. In my pre-relationship days I would make a big batch of something and then eat it over the course of a week; my wife refuses to eat the same meal two nights in a row (except, amazingly, when I am out of town and she cooks for herself) and says that she never did so growing up*.

I am also in charge of anything cooking-adjacent. I do 100% of the grocery shopping (including an extra trip to Trader Joe's to get the salads that she likes and stopping at the Farmer's Market to get the dips we cannot find anywhere else). I do all of the dishes; she has not washed so much as a fork in the past five years (this has been the case for most of my relationships, though; I am unreasonably fastidious about just how thoroughly dishes should be washed and for my own peace of mind find it is just easier to do them myself).

I still enjoy cooking but I fully acknowledge that my enthusiasm is buoyed by a society that acts like I descended from heaven in a beam of golden light because I am a man who performs basic adult tasks. My wife treats my efforts as routine because people grow accustomed to whatever they are living but I still get praise from friends, family, co-workers and total strangers whenever someone finds out that I do most of the household management. I would almost certainly be less enamored with the entire enterprise if everyone decided that my gender obligated me to perform these particular roles.

* I asked her how her family ate casserole, and she informed me that casserole was a white person thing. I asked her to explain to me the difference between casserole and how her black family makes macaroni and cheese (which they bake in a fucking casserole dish). We eventually agreed that this was one of those cultural divides that we are better off not attempting to bridge for the sake of our marriage. We do not eat casserole (although we do eat baked macaroni and cheese, which I will go to my fucking grave insisting is a fucking casserole).
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:24 AM on November 27 [45 favorites]


My SO has disabilities (lack of smell, memory deficits) that make cooking especially difficult. He still does it more than 1/2 the time.

I am So. Fucking. Tired. of cooking things I know my daughter likes that she then cries about seeing on her plate and refuses to eat. This phase is killing me.

Not a parent - but I keep wondering: is there anyway to truncate this stage? Does hunger work, or are toddlers so stubborn they will literally starve themselves?
posted by jb at 9:27 AM on November 27 [5 favorites]


I tried cooking once. Waste of time. Just eat sandwiches.
posted by Damienmce at 9:32 AM on November 27 [10 favorites]


My ex's godawful dwarf bread that had to be admired and eaten obediently vs my shiny bread machine that gives me fresh fluffy bread now each morning.

This article is delicious.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:49 AM on November 27 [10 favorites]


She eventually has both a job AND grad school and this guy still clomps in the door all "What's for dinner?"

Hahahahah *sobs brokenly*.

I mean, uh, I think I can vaguely understand this perspective. Yes, that's what I mean.
posted by corb at 9:49 AM on November 27 [18 favorites]


Really sounds like the bastard killed her enjoyment of something she was interested in.

Oh I know THAT feel all right
posted by The otter lady at 9:59 AM on November 27 [5 favorites]


I was riveted, reading the article, seeing life before my divorce written in that kind of matching detail, down to the self-blame for "creating" the situation and to doing the dishes after every meal. I spent months after our separation just resting after twenty-five years trying to win someone's love with my skills in the kitchen.
posted by Flight Hardware, do not touch at 10:00 AM on November 27 [17 favorites]


I shouldn't complain - I have a supportive partner who thanks me for every single meal, is happy to "fend for ourselves" or order takeout or eat a frozen pizza, and who does almost all the dishes and weekly apartment cleaning. Despite all of this, being the Only One In Charge of Feeding Us (I typically make sure we have things for breakfasts and lunches in addition to dinner) can be so wearying. The meal planning, list creating, grocery shopping, getting home from work at 6pm and immediately heading to the kitchen because the alternative is eating too late in the evening, planning for leftovers but being left with an empty pan after he goes back for seconds... I sometimes feel like I'm choking down a ball of resentment that I don't think he deserves. And I don't even have to clean!

I enjoy being good at cooking, but moreso I enjoy eating tasty, varied, healthy food. Sometimes, just sometimes (ok if I'm being honest like at least once a week) I'd like to be able to eat a home cooked meal that I didn't cook myself. Takeout is not the same, in terms of taste, health, and cost, but my partner does not cook. He can make a pot of pasta or a frozen pizza but has no interest in learning how to make a real dinner.

He asks "do we have a plan for dinner" and my twisted brain still interprets it as an obligation. He's at least learned to never complain about what I chose to make or how much the grocery bill is.

The one I divorced was the one who didn't cook but also didn't clean. I remind myself of that every night as I hear my partner clanking dishes in the kitchen. He is pulling his weight, even if I sometimes bristle at our specific division of labor. Some of what I'm resentful of is just the burdens of adulthood.
posted by misskaz at 10:05 AM on November 27 [19 favorites]


YES. A few years after my parents divorced I asked my mom if she would consider dating again and she reared back and looked at me with this look of total disgust on her face and said, "Why? So some other man can ask me what's for dinner every night for the rest of my life? NO THANKS".
posted by stellaluna at 10:14 AM on November 27 [81 favorites]


Not a parent - but I keep wondering: is there anyway to truncate this stage? Does hunger work, or are toddlers so stubborn they will literally starve themselves?

They exist on a spectrum but there are a non-zero number of toddlers who will starve themselves. The efforts of my small human in this endeavor earned him actual specialist doctor visits and blood tests to make good and sure that his major malfunction was "stubborn toddler" rather than something treatable.

We've gone back and forth on who cooks so many times over the years in my house. I consider it a key accomplishment in both of our lives that 20 years after we met my husband is now a passable cook. Twenty years ago? You were risking your health eating what he cooked. He had no concept of flavor or food safety. But he put the effort in so my sanity now that we're parents is saved. Either one of us can throw together a meal, whoever has the bandwidth. Same with shopping.

As per usual, I do not understand how so many men can exist being such screaming dicks.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:15 AM on November 27 [17 favorites]


Some of what I'm resentful of is just the burdens of adulthood.

Indeed. With many of these articles (including the recent emotional-labor-revisited thread), I can't tell whether the message is "OMG all men suck" or "yeah, adulting is hard." I wish we were all better at pointing out the nuances.
posted by Melismata at 10:21 AM on November 27 [6 favorites]


I love cooking. I make dinner every night except for Friday, which is my sacred pizza and sci-fi night. The pizza joints know me so well that I just say my name and my order is in. But for two meals, I make enough for leftovers. So in kitchen math, that 3 different meals per week. On most weekends, I make cookies, pies, cakes, tarts, donuts, bread and all the staples I want. He makes the mashed potatoes and sticky rice, always. He’s a genius with the starches. He can cook - prior to me, he fended for himself just fine. So I cook, he does the dishes, unloads the dishwasher, and has learned not to be scared of hurting my cast iron. After dinner, I relax on the couch knowing my kitchen will be spotless when we make tea ‘n dessert. He isn’t tidy but he knows that’s my space and respects that.

I do the grocery shopping and he unloads my car and puts it all away. He doesn’t question why I go to 2 grocery stores, off-license, boulangerie, fish monger, and butcher. It takes about 2 hours on Saturdays and I find it very relaxing.

During the week, he calls me most afternoons and if I say I might work late or sound like I just can’t, he asks “what do you fancy tonight?” and then scoops it up.

Mr. Lemon_icing is a reserved man, not verbally demonstrative. I only had say 2 or 3 times that cooks shouldn’t do dishes....and his kitchen routine began. He also does all the house laundry - linens and towels - without being asked to take ownership of a house task. I know he’s saying “we’re in this together”.

Had I been treated like Lyz Lenz, I would have reacted the same way. Screw her ex. When her children are a little older, and when she gets more rest, I hope she finds something physical to do that is as gratifying as cooking once was to her.
posted by lemon_icing at 10:22 AM on November 27 [17 favorites]


Being a couple that share an extensive background in bar and restaurant makes for a somewhat different dynamic. Neither of us loves or hates cooking, but it's something we can do in our sleep. We both have our spécialités de la maison and routine quick glop (it's a fine line). We do our grocery shopping online as a collaborative exercise. We try new (to us) stuff to slowly add to our meager repertoire but will never be mistaken for foodies. I suppose this comes from years of putting bread on someone else's table to put bread on ours...
posted by jim in austin at 10:22 AM on November 27 [4 favorites]


My wife, who loves to plan and prepare meals, does virtually all of the cooking when we’re both home, but I help out with food prep like chopping, etc. and always clean up and do the dishes afterwards (and garnish her with praise and gratitude). We wouldn’t be married if I’d been all like “What’s for dinner/that was great/meet me in the bedroom when you’re done the dishes.”
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:30 AM on November 27 [3 favorites]


And like others, this line punched me in the gut.

And I laughed because when I was in my 20s, I believed that you were supposed to laugh when someone hurt your feelings. I thought you were constantly supposed to be trying harder.
posted by lemon_icing at 10:31 AM on November 27 [14 favorites]


They exist on a spectrum but there are a non-zero number of toddlers who will starve themselves.

I know this is a tangent but I want to share how my food-hating four year old nephew desolately sobbed to his mother one time, "why do we have to eat every day?"

posted by something something at 10:40 AM on November 27 [82 favorites]


He didn’t stop asking what was for dinner until I moved out.

What the actual fuck? What a passive aggressive asshole.
posted by explosion at 10:45 AM on November 27 [16 favorites]


It is truly a goddamn shame that a douchebag husband made this woman hate cooking. I'm a married man with two teenagers, and for what it's worth, one of the things I have learned over many years is that marriage is a never-ending negotiation over division of labor. It's never-ending because the labor always changes. The responsibilities of a young couple in their first apartment is vastly different than a young couple with a house and changes again once the kid(s) arrive(s) and I'm sure it will change again as they leave. It should be a partnership, not one person who is overworked and another person who thinks they are entitled to sit on their ass for whatever reason.

I like cooking because it saves money. When I got married, we basically had none, so eating out wasn't an option. Now that we're both established in careers, we still don't eat out much. Most dinners at my house are home-cooked, but during the week are simple (spaghetti & meatballs, chicken and rice, ham and mashed potatos, etc.) things that can be grilled quickly for the meat and boiled, strained, and served for the side. Add a salad or a steam-in-the-bag frozen veggie to that and voila! Well-balanced meal. When you buy your own food, you also learn awesome factoids like you could pay $40 for filet mignon at a restaurant, or if you get a good knife and a youtube video on how to butcher meat, you can go to Costco and for $50 get a whole tenderloin which, if butchered properly, will get you a weeks worth of filets plus a chateaubriand for roasting.

I also like cooking because, under the right conditions, it's a lot of fun and you can't beat the finished product. On the days I get to knock off early from work and have more time, I throw on some jazz, make a vodka mart or crack open a bottle of wine, and make something more elaborate... beef bourginon, homemade pasta instead of boxed, sauces from scratch, etc. Rustic, but with a little more time, ingredients, and finesse involved. This is where both the process and finished product become therapeutic. The kids sleep like babies because their bellies are stuffed, and the wife and I can hang out for another hour or two, talk like adults, vent about work/traffic/the kids, and get fucking hammered. Life is good.

I'm gonna venture a guess that there are two possible reasons that she wound up burdened with all the cooking duties.
1. He didn't know how to cook. This is bad.
2. He didn't want to know how to cook. This is even worse.

One of my favorite quotes from Anthony Bourdain was the following:
“But I do think the idea that basic cooking skills are a virtue, that the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill, should become as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.”

So in closing, the moral of this long-winded, disjointed rant is, if you're a man, then man up and learn to cook. It ain't that hard. If you're married, help out your significant other until they tell you they don't need it. As far as my negotiation goes, my wife is a sensational baker, so I cook, she bakes. That's the bargain we struck up and it is mutually beneficial.
posted by prepmonkey at 10:52 AM on November 27 [18 favorites]


I divorced a man who could cook, right up until we married and then somehow, despite him hating how I cooked and being verbally abusive about it, cooking became my job.

I dated a man who could not cook, refused to learn, lost two relationships over it, and also did a crap-ass job at dishes so he didn't have to do those either, and tried to blame me for being a nag.

I married a man who can cook - who has had to learn to shoulder his share of labor, but has listened and gone to therapy with me, and read every. single. emotional labor article (and in several cases, including this one, emailed me to say "I'm reading Article, and thinking about it, here's my thoughts." before I even saw it)

But wow, has it been a hell of a few years for both of us, unlearning bad habits, unlearning gender-based division of labor, unlearning complacency. I have male co-workers who side-eye me when I talk about my husband doing the dishes and being in charge of laundry, like somehow he's less male because he's willing to hand-wash my bras. But yet, somehow I'm NOT 'whipped' for being willing to re-work recipes to account for food allergies, what?

I hate thinking that the "praise men for even doing the slightest half-assed set of chores" might be the right tactic but holy fuck, I do not know how to counteract the "men will actually shame other men for even doing the littlest bit of chores" effect besides praise.
posted by FritoKAL at 10:53 AM on November 27 [21 favorites]


Last week we had another of those fucking nights. I got home after the usual 11 hours or so of picayune meaninglessness that is my day (but god forbid I'm not present for any of it), and no dinner started or scheduled. Ok, I'm actually good tonight, I can wait for a bit. An hour or so later, she asks, "What do you want to do for dinner?" Me: "I literally have no executive function left. Do you want anything specific?" She: "Jesus I don't want to get in a fight, I just want to discuss what's for dinner!" So I go into the kitchen and make rice and beans. As I was making it, I debate adding the can of diced chiles. I know she's going to complain about it, but y'know, fuck it, she can pick them out, they're not spicy anyway. I compromise and add half, and throw in the rest of the roasted red peppers from the fridge. 45 minutes later, the rice cooker clicks off, and I announce dinner. No response, now there's a fucking surprise. So I go in the other room and get her attention. Oh, she heard me the first time, and now I guess I'm the one who's being the asshole. I go upstairs and get yelled at by each daughter for interrupting them, then I can go back to the dining room and eat my dinner.

Needs salt, not at all tasty, but it's calories and fiber and nutrients and the chili sauce gives it enough flavor. I'm mostly done with my bowl when she goes in the kitchen and says, "You made more rice? We had some leftover." And I'm like, first of all, you don't eat leftovers, and second, I didn't make rice, I made dinner for my family with the general guidelines as I understand them (not junk food, moderately healthy, filling, preferably vegetarian, and nobody else had to lift a fucking finger). And again, I'm being the asshole, and oh by the way (wait for it) she doesn't really like the chiles but it's okay, she'll eat it anyway.

We're getting so much better than we were. A few weeks ago, wife and vegetarian daughter agreed on a week's worth of vegetarian meals, came up with a shopping list, and we had great meals every night. I cooked, I cleaned the kitchen, they mostly set and cleared the table, but then it all fell by the wayside. I cooked two Thanksgiving dinners last week, and the kitchen was spotless until last night when I threw up my hands because I was just so. fucking. tired. And within ten minutes of finishing dinner, the sinks were loaded with dishes. And here we go again.
posted by disconnect at 11:08 AM on November 27 [15 favorites]


Indeed. With many of these articles (including the recent emotional-labor-revisited thread), I can't tell whether the message is "OMG all men suck" or "yeah, adulting is hard." I wish we were all better at pointing out the nuances.

I'm not an article, but for me it's a strong mix. Adulting, while not especial *hard*, is draining and tedious. Enough men suck that the odds are not in your favor if you wish to find one who can take care of his own adulting. For me, I can't envision the benefits of a relationship outweighing the burden of taking on a bunch of extra boring grownup tasks and/or the life-sucking emotional labor of trying to get a supposedly grown man to act like an actual grownup.

So I'm cool living with just my cat. (I do "cook" for her, AKA warm up her food in the microwave, but she shows me undying gratitude for it.) Maybe I'll end up in a serious relationship some day, but it's hard to imagine. I'm certainly not inspired to seek one out.
posted by ktkt at 11:13 AM on November 27 [19 favorites]


Sometimes I feel like the only thing that's changed around these issues are the justifications. There still has to be a home-cooked meal every night, but now it's not because the husband says so, it's because "experts" and "science"; the woman still has to do most of the work but now it's not because it's the woman's job, but because "my schedule is more flexible" or "he hates cooking more".
posted by Ralston McTodd at 11:14 AM on November 27 [20 favorites]


I can't tell whether the message is "OMG all men suck" or "yeah, adulting is hard."

But like - it doesn't have to be! There is no reason that all meals need to be home cooked gourmet chef meals! Like, if left to myself, I would just eat like, pasta and burritos all the time and make sure that vegetables went in them. Those are perfectly fine foods and they can be made in 30 minutes! You can be a perfectly capable adult who is capable of boiling pasta, adding sauce, vegetables, and a meat!
posted by corb at 11:18 AM on November 27 [16 favorites]


I love baking, and I do it for fun, but sometimes I feel, like, every invite comes with a "you're bringing the [whatever], right?" And in some places, sometimes I wonder if people really want me around or if they just want my delicious snacks.

Oh yes I feel this too!* I go to a lot of meetings, especially a lot of activist-type meetings, and I almost always bring cookies because I really want to! I like providing something that feels like a treat for people doing hard, tiring, emotionally draining work, and giving something that literally nourishes people, and it's really satisfying to do something thoughtful (e.g. I've started making some vegan stuff and people are so appreciative, because often non-vegans don't bother making treats for vegans), and it just feels so good and nice to share something yummy with people, to help sustain them and meet their needs. AND, sometimes I worry that I'm trying to justify my inclusion in these groups? Like I know I shouldn't have to, and if I asked someone "could I still come if I didn't make cookies?" they'd think I was nuts because of course that would be fine, it's definitely not required that I make cookies, but I often feel like what I have to offer as a person isn't enough and it needs to be supplemented.

*And, if it's helpful, I definitely like your company and not just your snacks (:
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:22 AM on November 27 [11 favorites]


It's a symptom, yo.
posted by wellred at 11:24 AM on November 27 [3 favorites]


You can be a perfectly capable adult who is capable of boiling pasta, adding sauce, vegetables, and a meat!

It's still a lot of fuckin work, in the aggregate, though.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:25 AM on November 27 [3 favorites]


This sums up how I feel about a current situation in my life (not my marriage) very succinctly:

That year of unraveling, we were still in the same house and he still came home every day. "What's for dinner?" he asked every time. And every time, I'd stare at him. The energy it takes not to give someone the finger is enormous. So I'd just stay silent and eat from my salad, while he stood there, confused about what to do.

That's me. I'm in that stage right now. This helped a lot to sum up how I feel about how I'm dealing with it.

I can't talk about it publicly, but my husband is helping me through it (as is the rest of my close family), and someday, when I've synthesized and gotten some distance, I'll probably write about it. And I may have to reference this article. Thanks.
posted by offalark at 11:25 AM on November 27 [5 favorites]


Both my mother and my mother in law pretty much quit cooking some years back, out of a general tiredness of being in that role for so many years. No one has starved and they are both much happier as a result.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:29 AM on November 27 [5 favorites]


I can't tell whether the message is "OMG all men suck" or "yeah, adulting is hard." I wish we were all better at pointing out the nuances.

i think it's mostly the latter which can be exacerbated severely by the former? like, adulting IS hard, it's hard for everyone, but in a very generalized sense and in my personal life experience as a woman dating men and having friends who are women married to men, men in relationships with women tend to do very little in the way of adulting that benefits everyone in the household rather than just themselves, and what they DO accomplish frequently involves so much work on the part of their partners in order to set that in motion via complex negotiations akin to international treaty disputes that it can be less effort to just let them continue doing nothing.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:50 AM on November 27 [36 favorites]


My mother doesn't even mind the cooking, but after 40 some-odd years, she is tired of the endless fucking choosing.

If my Dad would get up every morning and say "how about we have this five course dinner involving 27 ingredients you can only buy at 6 different stores" and she bought those ingredients and made those courses, I think she'd be happier than the way things are now, in which she says "What do you want for dinner?" and he says "I dunno" and she takes two containers of leftovers out of the freezer and they eat whatever is in them.

Trying to pick things for someone else to eat day-after-day, year-after-year is exhausting. When I go home to visit, I think she's relieved to have someone else to ask -- someone who actually answers the question. She also likes it if I cook some of the dinners, but mostly if I just choose some.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:53 AM on November 27 [22 favorites]


I think the "what's for dinner" question might be right behind "money issues" in reasons to divorce. We've mostly settled in a rhythm for eating food at night, but it's taken some hard discussions with Big Purr and managing everyone's expectations. I have a big repertoire of various meat-starch-veg meals, and have now perfected the art of freezer-stove-table in about 45 minutes.
But there are so many unspoken constraints on these conversations!
Mood/feeling: no creamy things when sick, the summer is too hot for soups/stews, brown rice takes too long if I start it after we get home
What did Big Purr eat for lunch? was there too much chicken this week? No italian, mexican, or asian-style tonight?
What can be defrosted in the next 5 min so it can be cooked thoroughly?
Is there wilty CSA veggies to eat up, defrosted CSA chicken that needs to be cooked?
If there are leftovers/fend for yourself, can we reheat the food ok? (microwave is busted)
and of course, what will Little Purr eat? Luckily, they are not THAT picky, and gets a wide variety of food at preschool during the day. We've had few duds, and thankfully they take after me and are willing to eat cold leftovers.
I will usually have 2 suggestions, and if both are shot down, then Big Purr needs to think of the next option (which usually follows by what do we have? UH PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING IN THE FREEZER)

Don't get me started on the potential minefield about eating out. For various reasons related to our family upbringings, Big Purr is much more used to eating out/takeout than I am, but feels that if I "allow" us to order take out, then it MUST BE DONE. So if I'm in a "frack it" mood, we then have to negotiate what we're eating. Sometimes it's a relief when BP has a meeting, because then I can just do sandwiches or random food with little purr without the big negotiation.

All this is on top of a general lack of forward thinking (who packs snacks & water for trips and outings? Me.), means that we're usually talking about this stuff when we're all tired and hangry.

And on top of all of this, my motivation for baking and doing crazy meals has totally evaporated with my mood disorder. So we have fallen back on Trader Joes fried rice (with extra eggs and dumplings or meat, can't just dump some bag in the pan, ya know), frozen meatballs, and the variation of chicken/pasta/rice with whatever veggie is there. I used to be the spokesperson for "just roast a chicken at the beginning of the week, and you'll get stock, a pot pie and another night of leftovers by the end!" and now I'm figuratively eating my words.

and on preview:
Trying to pick things for someone else to eat day-after-day, year-after-year is exhausting. THIS. Somehow with all our negotiations, Big Purr still doesn't get how exhausting it is for me to think up all these dinner plans and contingencies, because they don't bother to look in the freezer.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 11:58 AM on November 27 [13 favorites]


Cooking and eating food is great, but I wish you only needed to do it like 3 times a week instead of 3 times a day. it consumes so much time and energy
posted by scose at 12:03 PM on November 27 [10 favorites]


ktkt: For me, I can't envision the benefits of a relationship outweighing the burden of taking on a bunch of extra boring grownup tasks and/or the life-sucking emotional labor of trying to get a supposedly grown man to act like an actual grownup.

So I'm cool living with just my cat.


This. I have two dogs that are the recipients of my emotional labour because I can count on them to uphold their part of the bargain. (This involves tag-wagging-happiness every time I come home, and happily eating whatever concoction I place in their bowls, among other things.)
posted by twilightlost at 12:08 PM on November 27 [11 favorites]


I so relate. For the first year or so after separating from a former partner, I ate mostly 5-minute dinners like eggs and toast or beans and cheese on a tortilla, and it was such a huge relief. Now, several years later in a new relationship, I have to remind myself sometimes that those options remain valid dinner options. My partner isn't the one pressuring me to do more planned dinners (and in fact, my partner shares cooking and shopping duties with me fairly equally)... It's just a weird expectation that seems to creep in from my past and general society norms.
posted by pril at 12:12 PM on November 27 [14 favorites]


Oh, and I forgot the final part of my rant. When Big and Little Purr eat and happily say "thank you!" as we're sitting down together as a family, my (tired) heart grows three times in size. I don't mind cooking for our family, but it is definitely a gift.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 12:18 PM on November 27 [3 favorites]


6 months into my divorce. The weeks my kid is with me, he or I cook (he likes cooking, bless him) and we sit down and eat together for dinner. Or go out.

Weeks he's not with me, it's pretty much all takeout/cereal/popcorn for dinner. Or nothing, if I'm not hungry. And sometimes I'm not. I look at my cooking implements and grimace. They stay in the cupboard.

And the ex wasn't really demanding, but he couldn't not eat dinner--dinner had to happen somehow, he often cooked it, but then there were dishes, and there had to be the right things in the fridge/cupboard for it to happen, and with the kiddo there, even more so. It was exhausting. I couldn't just not do it.

And now, every other week, I can. I like it.
posted by emjaybee at 12:22 PM on November 27 [7 favorites]


The headline is click bait that is not supported by the article. Shocking, I know.

Whichever editor burdened the article with that title does the author a disservice. This is a great piece and deserves much better. Which ironically is the same thing you could say about the author and her marriage.
posted by iamnotangry at 12:22 PM on November 27 [4 favorites]


Is there a . for non-obituary articles? Because all of this.

Even if your spouse is supportive cooking (almost) every day and the attendant tasks (planning, shopping) can be draining. This is especially true if it's for an unappreciative audience. For me, it was kids that stole (most) of the joy of cooking.

To me, that's the worst part of this article. This guy was not only a giant fucking entitled asshole every day but he stole/ruined someones joy. I hope someday that the author can find her joy again.
posted by Defective_Monk at 12:23 PM on November 27 [12 favorites]


IS SHE ME? OH MY GOD THAT WOMAN HAS LIVED MY EXACT LIFE!

No, wait, she can't be me, because I never did stop cooking for him, not even in the last year. On the day I moved out of "his" house, I cooked dinner for him before I left and he yelled at me about not having taken out the trash as I walked out the door.
posted by MiraK at 12:24 PM on November 27 [15 favorites]


When my stay-at-home ex left, one of the only things I insisted I get was the good pots, pans and cooking utensils. I would shop, cook and clean the dishes 5 nights out of 7 and the other two were takeout. I highly doubt she has even bought replacements some decade later.

My kids learned to love my cooking. I made them american basics and favorites like meatloaf or bacon mac and cheese or even pesto chicken. They learned that if they did not want my meal, there were no substitutes. They could go hungry or when they were older, get in the car and pay for their own meal. I love to cook especially when it is not an obligation. I actually find the washing of the dishes relaxing.

Now that I have been on my own for a while, I still try to cook dinner 3 or 4 nights. There remains a joy in cooking something tasty and healthy. I also get to put whatever spice I want in it. I generally spice things (think dried ghost pepper flakes) to a level where my hair and teeth sweat.

There were so many other things that brought me down, but cooking I refused to be deterred from the joy of it all.

Interestingly, of my three children, the one in the military, the one who is up at 4:45am every day, spends a lot of time in the field, he comes home every night he can and he cooks his own meals. Really complex and good healthy meals. The one with the most time on his hands knows how to microwave a bag of Morningstar Farms "Chicken" nuggets like nobody I know. My working daughter is still learning that somewhere between an elaborate dinner and takeout there is a simple less than 5 ingredient healthy meal that can be made. I think living in NYC and the ease with which takeout simply shows up at your door, has made her less inclined to cook. She eats with her bf most nights. I did once hear him ask her when dinner was and she responded without missing a beat, "I am dialing as fast as I can." I don't know if she was serious or just repeating the punch line from an old joke.
posted by AugustWest at 12:43 PM on November 27 [6 favorites]


I feel for the author SO MUCH - also for you @disconnect I *really* feel for you and hope things get better.
I cannot imagine a world where cooking, and by extension the cook, is unappreciated. I can cook. I can cook well. Not just complex stuff, also delicious but simple stuff. I live for the moments that my SO gives my cooking a taste and their eyes roll back and they can't quite express their feelings in words but just an involuntary grunt or a moan. I do it for them, and I do it for myself. I like to cook. Now, that doesn't mean that I don't like people cooking for me. I do. However, in our house, I do most of the cooking. It just is the way it is. My SO is helpful to assist or helpful in making easy meals or warming stuff up the days I just don't feel for it - or we order out or go out somewhere. But, my SO isn't the type to expand on their cooking level or plan complex dishes or try out some new baking thing. It just isn't them. I have to accept it. It is harder some days than others - but I am always appreciative of the meals we have together however they get to the table. I appreciate the labor, and do my best not to make it into a comparison of "level of effort". That wouldn't be fair.

but damn if I am not even more grateful now after reading the article and some of the comments on how good I actually have it and how much more appreciative I should be to have my SO's efforts in the kitchen. Thanks - I should go and bake us some cookies or something.....
posted by alchemist at 12:57 PM on November 27 [1 favorite]


*reads headline* Oh hmm okay sure I guess
*reads article* WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, that man did not deserve you

One thing I love about my partner and I living in separate houses is that I eat what I want for dinner, and what I feel like making. I do like to cook for him on Sunday nights, but he never complains about what it is, ever, and always thanks me for making it. We're about to celebrate 8 years together and he made sure to text me when he got home Sunday because he hadn't thanked me for making dinner that night. I don't feel like it's expected or taken for granted...which is the surest way for me to stop doing it.

I hope the author one day can get back to where making herself something delicious sounds appealing.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:02 PM on November 27 [5 favorites]


The nightly dinner battle drives me nuts. My wife doesn't like cooking or doing the dishes, but she does the laundry, so we've got that. She really doesn't like leftovers whereas I was born into the world of make a pot of chili and eat that or make a mess of chicken and eat that.

For her, food has such an emotional value that she struggles with what will make her happy right then. Which means the "what's for dinner" conversation can take an hour. So now it's 7PM and we still haven't eaten and she's verging on hangry and then there are times of either great defeated slump or annoyance that I can't make stew in 30 minutes.

And then of course there's the times when things are happy because a good meal has been delivered and everyone is satisfied and joy is spread. (and like alchemist, those days when I can deliver a fastball beautifully over the plate brings me such pleasure.)

Mostly, it makes me tired and I hate that.
posted by drewbage1847 at 1:02 PM on November 27 [5 favorites]


like in the sims where it takes 5h to make pizza and then you have to go to bed or die because you forgot to pee
posted by poffin boffin at 1:09 PM on November 27 [26 favorites]


From other stuff of hers that I've read recently, I've gathered that both she and her husband were evangelical Christians who were raised in a hardcore evangelical Christian subculture and that one of the factors in the breakdown of their marriage is that she has recently realized that she can't be an evangelical Christian anymore. (She's still really Christian, just not that particular flavor.) So yeah. Obviously, this dynamic exists in all sorts of marriages, but I suspect there's an extra something there because of ideas about women and wifehood that they were both raised with.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:10 PM on November 27 [10 favorites]


My wife and I are both excellent cooks but we agree that having to cook is a chore so we have an agreement that we make exactly what we want to make when we want to make it and if we're simply not feeling like it that night one of us can stop off for burritos or pho on the way home. We used to spend far too much on delivery services in the past so we've massively curbed that habit. We'll also do meal planning in advance when we don't have absurd after work commitments that week. We're even fortunate enough that we have complementary styles where she uses a lot of fresh vegetables and I typically measure butter in terms of sticks.

When one of us is cooking typically the other plays sous-chef and we'll usually alternate who does the dishes.

I don't know what my point is other than I realize how lucky my situation is, coming from a family where someone *had* to cook every night and monthly pizza was a rare treat. If we ever had kids I could see this getting completely blown apart but that's not in the plans.
posted by mikesch at 1:23 PM on November 27 [6 favorites]


My mother didn't divorce my father before she passed away, but my dad used to be an Army cook and on rare occasions did the cooking, mostly for holiday dinners. I can't remember him openly criticizing my mom's cooking, but maybe that had been all hashed out prior to my birth.
My sister had a "fine cooking" phase, and my dad (the former army cook) had a low opinion of over-complicated food and let my sister know it.
When my dad's work shift meant he would miss dinner, my mother's dinner cooking switched to "girl bachelor" - simple steamed chicken or other quickly cooked stuff. Us kids didn't mind.
posted by King Sky Prawn at 1:23 PM on November 27


And I try to tell my wife that I'm thankful for when she cooks, which she does most of the time, since she is at home and I'm usually away at work Monday thru Friday. I will point out any issues if they are egregious - "ummm - does this look raw to you?"
posted by King Sky Prawn at 1:27 PM on November 27


For her, food has such an emotional value that she struggles with what will make her happy right then. Which means the "what's for dinner" conversation can take an hour.

I've had this to a certain degree but in living and eating with a long-term partner, I've worked very hard to get over it. I think getting over it has helped with some of my disordered eating, what with putting much less emotional freight onto food. I still do have moments when he is arranging dinner and I feel very sad about my choices not being gloriously fulfilling but I push through that and just eat. Because I've decided to view eating dinner as another chore, like doing the dishes, in those circumstances. I don't like to cook very much, but it actually helps with this if I myself have cooked what we have in the fridge or I am cooking dinner because it gives me some sense of control. But there's no upside to arguing about it for an hour every night - choices should be more limited, or she should be left to sulk with crackers while you feed yourself.

The other thing that helps me is a meal out on the weekend, usually lunch, where we get whatever I'm in the mood for at that moment. So I know on Saturdays I get my emotional meal, if I need one.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:07 PM on November 27 [7 favorites]


These comments:

So in closing, the moral of this long-winded, disjointed rant is, if you're a man, then man up and learn to cook. It ain't that hard. If you're married, help out your significant other until they tell you they don't need it.

and,

I hate thinking that the "praise men for even doing the slightest half-assed set of chores" might be the right tactic but holy fuck, I do not know how to counteract the "men will actually shame other men for even doing the littlest bit of chores" effect besides praise.

Bring Robert Rodríguez' quote to mind, “Not knowing how to cook is like not knowing how to fuck.”
posted by mikelieman at 2:17 PM on November 27 [6 favorites]


both she and her husband were evangelical Christians who were raised in a hardcore evangelical Christian subculture

That's... kinda a big oversight. Like writing an article on how cows ruined your marriage and not mentioning you were a dairy farmer.

She's still really Christian, just not that particular flavor.

Yeah, I think I'm done here.
posted by iamnotangry at 3:21 PM on November 27 [11 favorites]


If the seal is good, they should be eatable but most likely mushy.

-Ms. Clav
posted by clavdivs at 8:32 PM on May 5, 2016

Though divorced, she could cook well. I always tried to keep pace but I was pizza and burger guy kitchen wise. What I did that would absolutely drive her bonkers was my impatience at market. It's a flaw of mine but dishes, no. Im a cook by trade and it's tough work like hauling 100 lbs.of taters at 7:10 a.m.
Then again I have 6 sisters.
Two have combat boots.
posted by clavdivs at 3:42 PM on November 27 [1 favorite]


The absolute worst part of cooking for someone else is when you made a lot of something and the other person decides to get tired of said thing suddenly. You can’t possibly cook ahead under that scenario, and cooking ahead would be great. Also canned foods are full of salt and they have high blood pressure. So you can’t just open canned things. On my own I’d probably live in herring and potatoes. I’ve done it before. Suits me fine.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:14 PM on November 27 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: The energy it takes not to give someone the finger is enormous.
posted by snofoam at 4:27 PM on November 27 [15 favorites]


There is no reason that all meals need to be home cooked gourmet chef meals! Like, if left to myself, I would just eat like, pasta and burritos all the time and make sure that vegetables went in them. Those are perfectly fine foods and they can be made in 30 minutes! You can be a perfectly capable adult who is capable of boiling pasta, adding sauce, vegetables, and a meat!

Yes, this is all true. But there are nevertheless still days when you have had to stay late at work doing something that is more challenging than you thought you'd be doing when you took this job and then had to cram in some other errands before staggering onto a subway that broke down halfway home and so by the time you finally walk in your door it is about 8:30 and you have to go to bed by 10.

I mean, I am a perfectly capable adult who enjoys cooking, and often does simple soups or stews for dinner. But there are still occasional days like today when I am all "fuck all y'all I am making some mac and cheese from a box deal with it".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:57 PM on November 27 [6 favorites]


My partner and I cook the vast majority of our meals separately, one or the other of us loads the dishwasher depending on whose turn it is, and it's just great, because I get to eat my proper meals that I like and that are good and she can choke down her burnt fragments of whatever.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:02 PM on November 27 [5 favorites]


(In all seriousness, I am on a diet that she isn't, and she does prefer her fragments on the more charcoally side of "sufficiently cooked".)
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:03 PM on November 27 [3 favorites]


When we visited Kansas for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago, the hostess/aunt confided in me that she had stopped cooking for her husband of twenty plus years. Just had it. Never was a "good for you" expressed so sincerely as I did. (She still cooked the whole Thanksgiving dinner though.)
posted by em at 8:40 PM on November 27 [4 favorites]


(although we do eat baked macaroni and cheese, which I will go to my fucking grave insisting is a fucking casserole).

Put frozen tater tots in it. Now it's a hotdish. You're welcome from Minnesota.
posted by saysthis at 1:24 AM on November 28 [12 favorites]


I realized the other day that I could put tater tots in my waffle iron, and my life has been a delicious greasy starchy haze ever since.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:43 AM on November 28 [18 favorites]


I mean, I am a perfectly capable adult who enjoys cooking, and often does simple soups or stews for dinner. But there are still occasional days like today when I am all "fuck all y'all I am making some mac and cheese from a box deal with it

Same, only my tough-day-desperation-foods are:
tinned spaghetti hoops with cheese
slices of bread eaten out of the bag

If I have a little more energy I make "sadness pasta" which is just pasta mixed into baked beans and cheese.
posted by stillnocturnal at 4:00 AM on November 28 [3 favorites]


I realized the other day that I could put tater tots in my waffle iron, and my life has been a delicious greasy starchy haze ever since.

*we interrupt this thread for a super-easy slow cooker recipe*

32 ounce bag of tater tots, 16 ounce pack of a smokes sausage like kielbasa (with cheese in if you can get it), 2 cups of shredded cheddar and a cup of milk. Slice the sausage, dump half the tater tots into a slow cooker, dump in half the sausage, add half the cheese, repeat with the rest in that order (tots-sausage-cheese). Pour the milk over everything. 4 to 6 hours in a slow cooker on low. You're welcome.

* we return you to this thread*
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:32 AM on November 28 [13 favorites]


I hate thinking that the "praise men for even doing the slightest half-assed set of chores" might be the right tactic but holy fuck, I do not know how to counteract the "men will actually shame other men for even doing the littlest bit of chores" effect besides praise.

Now I finally get it. I've been deflecting praise for performing basic life skills like grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, dishes. It makes me feel like a toddler who tied his own shoes for the first time. Maybe from now on I'll just thank them and move on.

It's somewhat reassuring that my wife would also garner astonished praise for taking out the garbage, say, or changing the oil in a car, despite being a grown-ass woman for whom neither of these presents any real challenge.
posted by panglos at 5:37 AM on November 28 [4 favorites]


A few years back my husband and I fell into the habit of meal planning together. It's super low-key - we have an ongoing email thread with links to recipes we each plan on making, then we shop accordingly. Online grocery shopping makes it super easy. I'm probably more of a 'cook' than my husband, but we're both responsible for getting food on the table during the week, and more importantly we're both responsible of doing the work of planning and shopping. I would lose my goddamned mind if he ever demanded 'what's for dinner?' when I came home.
posted by nerdfish at 7:21 AM on November 28 [2 favorites]


I love baking, and I do it for fun, but sometimes I feel, like, every invite comes with a "you're bringing the [whatever], right?" And in some places, sometimes I wonder if people really want me around or if they just want my delicious snacks.

Oh yes I feel this too!* I go to a lot of meetings, especially a lot of activist-type meetings, and I almost always bring cookies because I really want to! I like providing something that feels like a treat for people doing hard, tiring, emotionally draining work, and giving something that literally nourishes people, and it's really satisfying to do something thoughtful (e.g. I've started making some vegan stuff and people are so appreciative, because often non-vegans don't bother making treats for vegans), and it just feels so good and nice to share something yummy with people, to help sustain them and meet their needs. AND, sometimes I worry that I'm trying to justify my inclusion in these groups? Like I know I shouldn't have to, and if I asked someone "could I still come if I didn't make cookies?" they'd think I was nuts because of course that would be fine, it's definitely not required that I make cookies, but I often feel like what I have to offer as a person isn't enough and it needs to be supplemented.

And, if it's helpful, I definitely like your company and not just your snacks (:


Aw shit, I feel this pretty hard too. Like every time I show up to a thing and seeing someone's face fall when they're like "oh you didn't bring any ice cream?" as though it's a compliment to my skills (that I wield for my own enjoyment and sometimes to spread a little cheer to others at a time of my own choosing, please and thank you!) and not an insult to me as a complete human person. And I feel the "maybe I'm bringing homemade food so people will like me" thing pretty freaking hard too.

And for what it's worth, I like the both of you for your company!
posted by duffell at 8:53 AM on November 28 [2 favorites]


"It's somewhat reassuring that my wife would also garner astonished praise for taking out the garbage, say, or changing the oil in a car, despite being a grown-ass woman for whom neither of these presents any real challenge."

At least from my sexist-ass co-workers, nope. It's WEIRD if I know how to change the oil, and whipped if my husband bakes me a cake.
posted by FritoKAL at 9:57 AM on November 28 [3 favorites]


I love baking, and I do it for fun, but sometimes I feel, like, every invite comes with a "you're bringing the [whatever], right?" And in some places, sometimes I wonder if people really want me around or if they just want my delicious snacks.

I suddenly want to call all my friends and thank them for not pulling this shit. In fact, they've tried to talk me out of it sometimes; an equally-obsessive cooking friend and I used to team up and co-host/co-cater X-FILES viewing parties in the 90s, and once made a whole 8-course Thai meal from scratch. When one of our friends came by for the party, he stopped dead when he saw the table, stared at it a long moment, then turned to me and my co-host and said, "....you guys do know that we'd have been just fine with beer and pizza, right?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:22 AM on November 28 [3 favorites]


For complicated reasons (some of which turned out, in the end, not to be amicable), I did most of the cooking and he did most of the dishes.

I really enjoy cooking most of the time, but every now and then I go through a phase of "I can't be arsed to do anything except eat the same kind of sandwich all day", and it's very soothing to know that I can do that if I want to because I'm only cooking for myself. Or that I can be experimental and the only person who has to eat the failed experiment is me.
posted by confluency at 11:26 AM on November 28


I worry that my mother feels like this, so I immediately ask her if she needs help when I come home. I call ahead and ask if I can bring anything home, or if I can buy something, and let her know that it's ok if she doesn't feel like it and she wants us to fix our own food. And she's always like no, no, but I always wonder if it's a thing that's stuck in her to say.
posted by koucha at 12:27 PM on November 28 [2 favorites]


At least from my sexist-ass co-workers, nope. It's WEIRD if I know how to change the oil,

Yeah, in the eyes of active participants in patriarchy (of any gender), women who know how to do Man Things are either reviled or pitied, either for "trying to be like a man" (w/homophobic undertones) or for failing to find a man to take care of her.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:19 PM on November 28 [1 favorite]


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