Wednesday, October 13, 2010


When I was newly married and still worked for the U.S. federal government, I had to go to California on business and leave Mr. M at home. The women I worked with on that trip wanted to know if I'd left the man a refrigerator full of prepared meals. I responded politely--no--but I was a bit insulted on Mr. M's behalf. Did they think him so helpless that he couldn't open a can of soup or make a sandwich?

Actually, I do "get" the concept of gender-specific jobs. I'm as prejudiced that way as--or more than--the next person. Car care and garbage toting are male jobs in my mind.

Er, I guess I'm a little less clear on female jobs. Maybe I'm just a touch lazy?

But cooking is different. When I was growing up, my mom did all the kitchen work--except the outdoor grilling. That was always dad's domain. But when dad retired, he took over the cooking duties. The same thing happened in Mr. M's family. And our oldest son, the aerospace engineer, is at the moment a professional triathlete, house husband, and the family chef. (My daughter-in-law blogs about their adventures in the kitchen--and elsewhere--here.)

Now that I think about it, Mr. M and I met in a kitchen. We were both first year law students, both living in the law dorm, and both learning how to cook in the dorm kitchen. Since our class "sections" never overlapped, we might not have had much interaction if Mr. M had followed his first inclination and purchased a meal plan. So I guess it's probably fair to say my whole life was changed by a kitchen.

I have to confess that Mr. M didn't immediately show signs of great culinary promise. Not that any of us law students were amazing chefs. Food was simple and quick, things like scrambled eggs and omelets. One memorable time, Mr. M tried to make pancakes. He cut all the ingredients in half, except the egg. How does one halve a single egg? The result was what we fondly refer to as "scrambled pancakes."

But he's progressed over the years. Now he watches cooking shows and collects recipes. He's the one who prepares all the holiday meals as well as our weekend feasts.

And what do I do? The dishes, of course!


  1. Being best friends with an attorney I hear stories of all sorts of things he makes with cheese and a microwave...

  2. LOL, Jennifer--that sounds a little scary. We didn't have a microwave in the law dorm kitchen--in fact, I'm not sure they'd been invented. They certainly weren't as ubiquitous as they are today. (Erm...I think I'm feeling old.)

  3. I'm like you, always have trouble remembering what those "women's work" things are, of course I don't try too hard to recall those ;)

    I think it's important for guys to know how to cook some. Growing up dad got off from the factory @ 3, mom often didn't get off from the store till 5. She planned the menu for the week, but dad often was the one to get it started. Dinner was ready when mom got home from work, not dad in our house.

  4. Good for your dad, gamistress66. Family is really all about teamwork, isn't it?

    Lots of guys will have to learn to cook--or at least prepare some kind of food--if they don't want to starve. Many if not most guys won't go straight from home to marriage or living with someone who can cook. Both my law student and my college senior do some of their own cooking.