Sometimes The Mom’s utter ignorance with the way the modern world works is truly shocking.
If men didn’t cook, then I would have starved to death long ago. And I certainly wouldn’t be in any place to eat the steak she BBQs for me as a treat each summer. I also wouldn’t have the faintest idea of how to cook myself.
Now, let me first say this about that: I am a not too bad cook when I’m in the mood, it’s just that I’m not often in the mood and even still, sometimes it’s a total disaster. If it’s complicated, involves ingredients from countries where I do not speak the language and have never visited, then chances are good I can make it. The basics are, however, utterly lost on me.
When I first moved to England, many moons ago, a good friend on my course moved into my flat. Mr Mr and I struck up a deal, I would bring home the groceries and he would turn them into food. I ate very, very well that year. All sorts of things too. In fact, it is he who can claim the award of getting me to eat steak after twelve years of ardent vegetarianism.
Whereas The Mom would’ve listened to my pleas and cooked it to within an inch of its life, Mr Mr felt no need to humour me. He cooked it so it was pink in the middle and I do believe it was served with poached pears, some kind of cheese, potato gratin and a very nice bottle of red wine. It was my first steak in twelve years and it was cooked, I will freely admit, to perfection.
Over the years, when I go and stay with him, he always cooks for us. This is because he believes I am not doing a good enough job cooking for myself. He’ll cook chicken with chorizo and veg and beans. He’ll get the whole chicken and cut it up properly, like a chef would. He takes pride in being able to feed his loved ones.
Most of the men I’ve dated are excellent cooks – some have a more limited repertoire, but I’m not one to get sniffy about that considering I generally eat rice, rice, and rice.
I find it astonishing that The Mom is surprised to find men can cook. Especially since Crazy D, a man, and one she raised, is a fantastic cook. I know this because he, too, takes care to make sure I am fed correctly. He also taught me how to BBQ properly – as in, there are options besides burnt to shit. Who knew?
If I were ever to live with a he, he would have to be able to cook. It’s not so much that I find this sort of thing particularly attractive, but rather that it’s like being able to tie one’s own shoes. We can all do it because we’re adults.
What I think really used to happen, back in the days when Men were Men and Women were in the kitchen was this: The men all figured out that if they pleaded incompetence then their womenfolk would do things for them. This is a tactic I use as often as possible myself. And it works a charm, in pretty much any given situation.
Oh, I don’t know how to drive stick. Thus I can proceed to get drunk.
Oh, I don’t know how to iron properly. Thus I can read a book whilst some kind soul does my ironing.
Oh, I don’t know how to cook. Thus some kindly person, afraid that I will starve to death or drink beer for dinner if left to my own devices, will make my dinner.
I think all these men The Mom has encountered previously, the ones who can’t cook, just rather liked her cooking. So do I. Which is why, when I arrive home for my summer visit, I shall set about feigning utter ignorance as to how anything works in the kitchen.