My husband is a most excellent cook, not just according to me, but verified by many of our friends and family that have had the pleasure of eating one of his fine dishes. I, on the other hand, cook for survival, not joy or pleasure. As a mom that runs around all day cleaning up after everyone else, cooking is not something I look forward to in any way. It’s sad, because I would like to enjoy it and have it be more like a hobby than how I perceive it, which is punishment. I have tried to figure out what the difference is between my husband’s love for the culinary arts and my distaste for anything that sends me searching for an ingredient I’m not sure how to pronounce or a sink full of dirty dishes and a kitchen mess.
I think I have figured it out for the most part and yes it does have something to do with sex, not the good kind, but the kind that separates us. As soon as I look at a recipe a bubble appears over my head with what the kitchen will look like when I am finished. My husband doesn’t think the same way, he has a means to an end and if the end results in 847 dirty dishes then so be it. My mind cannot work like that, even when I cook a normal mean like say, spaghetti, I am cleaning the entire time and once I have more than a couple of dirty measuring cups and more than one pot I start hyperventilating and need a brown paper bag (preferably with cheap wine inside) to calm me down.
I think that being a woman and more “sensitized” makes a difference as well. I watch that bastard, Chef Ramsey, and how he treats people and I want to stick my precious MBA in his face and teach him a thing or two about employee motivation and productivity. Here’s some advice, if you want people to produce and respect you, stop being an asshole and say thanks once in a while. Notice the difference in the cooking shows where women are the hosts, they are always smiling and making girl talk and thanking everyone under the sun for their contributions. You add in a southern accent and you got gold, just listen to Paula Dean, she makes me wish for an accent because I know it would make the 5,000+ swear words I use a day sound pleasant.
I even stress when my husband cooks and I watch. I sit there and watch him pull out everything he needs to make one dish and I think to myself that it is more items than I have had to use for cooking in the last month. He cannot be bothered with rinsing something out to reuse it, he just grabs for the next one in the cupboard. I watch the sink fill with dishes, most of which cannot be run through the dishwasher and need the gentle touch of ‘hand washing’ and I break out in a sweat. I then involve myself by beginning to clear and clean what I can, which I know irritates the shit out of him because now I am in his way, but it is the only way I can cope without having some type of breakdown.
Even watching the cooking channel gives me the chills. I watch the chef put a chopped pepper, grated cheese, pepper, salt (make sure it’s sea salt!), onions and garlic each in their own dish, just so they can show the audience what it looks like individually. Who needs to put 1 tsp of salt and 2 tsps of pepper into a separate bowl before adding it into another bowl? We know what salt and pepper look like you dumb ass! In what world does that seem efficient? As I stare at the television I feel my hands clenching into fists, and my husband noting the look of repulsion on my face will ask, “Doesn’t it look good to you?” I respond, “No, the food looks great, it’s just all those dirty dishes and the mess all over the counter and floor and NO ONE is behind him cleaning up!!!”
I think my husband gets me after all these years together and he deals with me pretty well. I get him as well, which is in no way an admission of my understanding of him but more of my acceptance. I clean, he cooks, I clean some more (and more and more) and bitch about it. But without my bitching there would be no bliss, and where would we be then?