Thursday, January 11, 2007

Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow…I dish family

Last night my husband and I were watching a surgery show, and got on the subject of my parents. My mom really needs an operation to help her walk better, owing to an ever-worsening childhood condition. My dad, however, is very dependent on her for every household chore…especially cooking. If my mom were laid up for any length of time, my dad would face a serious meal crisis, and due to his very demanding personality, would no doubt guilt her into leaving her sick bed to cook him some dinner, woman. (He’s done it before, after she had heart surgery…the phone lines shook when I called to bitch him out about THAT one).

My dad can’t cook. His idea of a self-made meal consists of opening a can of Campbell’s Soup and eating it cold. He might stoop so low as to make himself a sandwich. But then he requires days of praise for it.

My mom tells me that in her day, in the 50s and 60s, the women took care of the men, and that’s just how it was. Girls in high school learned how to cook and clean and sew, and the men weren’t expected to do any of it. What were the men expected to do? Depend on the women, and walk around with huge important ego-erections, apparently.


Men need to learn how to cook. Not for any egalitarian reason, but because it’s life-sustaining. You can only open so many cans of soup before you go insane.

My husband cooks. It’s one of the many reasons I fell in love with him.
Most of the guys I work with cook. We have spectacular potlucks at work.
I know many of you male bloggers cook. That’s why I’m your Number One Fan.

But a man who can’t cook?
Might as well cancel his membership in the Human Race.

Rolling these thoughts over in my head have resulted in the Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow…which is KITCHEN. Feel free to whip this word up into a frothy topping, in whatever blender speed you like…poem, story, photo, YouTube offering, recipe for Beer and Sauerkraut Fudge Cake, tutorial on making a really good stirfry, your first experience working at McNasty FastFood.


Hasta manana.


At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. I used to do all the cooking at home, but now we seem to eat out almost every meal. I hate that, but it's just easier with our schedule.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger meno said...

I find the kind of "practiced incompetence" that you describe in your dad as totally annoying.

How hard is it to nuke a frozen dinner for god's sake!

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Mr. Don said...

First of all, I was insane befoerr I ever opened a can of soup, so let's not go there.

Secondly, even though I just had lunch I am now hungry again thinking about a nice bowl of cold soup.

Yes, I do cook, but that is out of desparation from having two wives who could not put a reasonable meal on the table. My mother and television taught me how to use the kitchen and all the fun utensils that are found in various and assundry drawers.

So, now that both sexes have become so independant of each other, is it any wonder why the family unit has dissolved into single parents with child support?

OK, this is a rant that I should put in my own blog.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

My 87 year-old dad is an enigma because he has always done at least half the cooking or more. We (3 girls) never really had to do anything except dishes because my parents cooked together. They both appreciate good food. Most guys cook now. Guess they were way ahead of their time.

At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous, too said...

Mona, would that operation involve giving your mother a backbone?

My mom grew up during the '40s and '50s. She cooked because she liked to do so. However, she made it very, very clear to my dad that he had damned well better be able to fend for himself when needed. If she wasn't cooking for any reason on a particular night, it was up to him to literally put a meal on the table. As she put it, "He paid for the stove; he'd better be able to use it!"

And yes, he could and did use it once in a while. Usually to our regret -- his side of the family were such bad cooks that they could manage to ruin a catered meal!

At 12:25 AM, Blogger Teri said...

My husband cooks.
My dad cooks.

I don't know any men who don't cook, come to think of it.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Marcheline said...

This is why a girl should always marry a military man, if possible - they can be stuck in the middle of the desert, in the middle of the night, with no clothes, under enemy fire, and they can come up with hot food, dry shelter, and knit warm socks out of dried leaves.

None of that namby-pamby mama's boy bullshit for them! No, sirree bob.

- M

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Orange said...

My dad liked to cook (and he handled the grocery shopping), and my husband knows how to cook. He doesn't cook much these days, but he is able to feed himself on a daily basis.

I have an uncle who shirks all that cooking work, which pisses me off because (a) his wife has advanced cancer and can't cook anymore, and (b) that leaves their daughter to do the cooking for them. She worked a strenuous keep-preemies-from-dying job for long hours yesterday, and was going to return home hungry and exhausted—and then would have to cook dinner for her dad. He's just refusing to learn, but what's he going to eat after his wife dies and his daughter moves back to her own house? If he's gonna have sandwiches then, why does he expect someone to make steak for him now? Grr.

My grandma (the one who died in December) turned out to be rather relieved when her husband died about 15 years ago. He could scarcely manage to boil water for instant coffee, and after he died, she really appreciated not having to do everything for another adult.

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same thing with my parents -- and my dad generally goes so far as to not even clear the dishes from his sad attempts at meals off the table. I can remember when I was a kid and my mom had to work on weekends, my dad would make lunches. Now he eats an ice cream bar at noon and calls it lunch. I worry that if my mom dies first, one of us kids will have to move in and make sure my dad eats whole meals at least once a day.


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