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A lot of attention has recently been paid to my cooking skills, or lack thereof.
During my last visit to Pineville, one of Josh’s aunts playfully asked when I was going to cook her family dinner in all of the new cookware I received before the wedding. I told her she and her family were welcome to come to Lexington for a meal at our house any time, but not to expect me to be the one frying the chicken or baking the dessert.
Recently before a school board meeting was called to order, the superintendent joked that the meeting probably got me out of cooking dinner that night. I played along and agreed that his suggestion that my husband should take me out to eat was a good one. One of the others at the meeting turned around and asked, “You mean he won’t have dinner waiting on the table when you get home?”
I gave credit where credit is due and told them that sometimes he does. And although it’s not always waiting on the table when I walk in the door, Josh does do most of our cooking.
It’s not to say that I can’t cook (I can make one of the best chicken casseroles you’ve ever tasted), it’s just that most of the time I don’t. In all reality, Josh is simply at our house more than I am, so a lot of times when I get home at 6, 7, 8 p.m., he either has dinner ready or cooking when I get there.
When we tell some people that information, it’s not uncommon for them to shoot a disapproving look my way, which is something I just don’t understand. The last time I checked this was 2008, not 1958.
For the record, I’m well aware the two comments I listed above were made in jest and I wasn’t offended by either other them. Also, none of those listed above is in the group I’ve dubbed the “disapproving scowlers.”
However, their comments, and others directed my way recently, got me thinking about the standard to which women — those of us who are wives in particular — are held. It’s a scary reminder of the inequality that still exists in our society.
Granted, most of the disapproving scowlers are old-schoolers from back home, I’ve still gotten a scowl or two from people in this area.
It is my conjecture that these scowlers expect me to quit my job so that I can have lunch ready for my dear hubby when he returns home from class at noon. At the very least, they probably expect me to rush in from work to cook a piping hot dinner before resting from the long day I’ve just had.
Well, disapproving scowlers, scowl away because neither of those things is going to happen.
It is true that my husband and I recently made a compromise about cooking in our home. We’re probably going to adopt a dog soon, and if we do, Josh asked that I share in more of the cooking since he would also be helping to take care of a dog. That’s fair, and fair is all I’m looking for.
He doesn’t expect anything unreasonable from me, and frankly, he appreciates the fact that I work and can bring home some money with which to buy our groceries while he is still in school.
I’m sure a lot of our individual household chores will change as he gets further into his career, but until then, I’m completely content telling him how cute he is sautéing those mushrooms.
E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at email@example.com.