Monday, July 20, 2009

My Girlfriend Won't Cook!

Dear Mom:

How do I get my girlfriend to start cooking? She has an aversion to the kitchen. She won't help me. If it entails too much prep she won't do it. What should I do?



Dear Hungry,

The sickness your girlfriend has is one I can relate to. You may believe your girlfriend is merely being lazy, uncooperative and uncaring of you, but this is probably not true.

Though eating is an obvious fact of life, there are, yes, some females on this planet who really don't enjoy cooking. We like to eat it, of course, but the idea of standing in a hot kitchen for hours on end cooking up what should be a spectacular dish is about as pleasant and desirable as cleaning out the bathroom toilet.

What I find interesting in your question is that for centuries it was the woman who was portrayed as "belonging" in the kitchen like some sort of household appliance. She was "expected" to cook even if she didn't enjoy it, to have a hearty meal prepared for her man the minute he walked through the door.

In this "so called" modern era of equal rights and opportunity, there are some men who yet insist that the woman still belongs in the kitchen. What is so fascinating about this concept is that more and more women are working outside the home bringing in pretty hefty paychecks themselves, and yet at home, they are still expected to cook full-time for their man.

Though the roles are reversed in your case, and you find yourself cooking your heart out while she may be sitting leisurely on the couch, consider this:

She obviously does not enjoy cooking like you do and the only way she may help you with this undesirable task is if you give her some room.

Ask her for help, and with that help don't expect a fancy meal. If she is comfortable with macaroni and cheese (boxed), be thankful you have a night off. The next night-your turn-cook something gourmet if you want, but don't make it a contest; rather an opportunity to share your love. Be satisfied with her efforts and don't brag about your own.

She may not want to cook with you in the kitchen because she feels a bit intimidated-her lack of culinary skills and your great abundance. You might even be the biggest bear in the kitchen that she has ever seen. I can relate. My husband, calm and soothing in most cases, turns into something else when I try helping him in the kitchen. I usually settle for setting the table.

For some years now, my husband has been cooking the majority of our meals. He loves to cook and I let him. He hates to clean. I can manage it. So after the wonderful gourmet chef meal, we pat our full tummies, and he goes and watches television while I clean up the wonderful mess called dishes.


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