When it comes to marriage, is cooking and food all people seem to know and talk about? Is it what makes or breaks the union of two people?
Because it seems to me, every time we find ourselves at a social gathering, people always have to bring up my cooking skills.
Here are a sample of the questions:
“Do you know how to cook?”
“Have you learned to cook?”
“Are you learning his favorite recipes?”
“Will you starve your husband?”
“Your husband is a big guy and clearly loves to eat. How are you going to deal with that?”
“Are you going to live on take-out and delivery?”
‘Will you manage to make food when you’re working all day?”
“Do you know that steaks and chicken are not really food?” (To which I always roll my eyes because I had no idea two of the major sources of protein are not food and our whole diet will be screwed up if I can’t or don’t want to make a stew.)
And the questions are even directed to Ahmad, constantly asking him to assess my culinary skills. They never, ever, ever ask him if he can manage around the kitchen- because you know, a man’s place is not in the kitchen and none of the greatest chefs in the world are men!
Look, I’m not claiming I will drop everything and go compete on Masterchef nor will I throw massive dinner parties where a giant spread of rice and chicken and waraa enab will take center stage. It’s really not my thing.
But I can do enough for two people to get by on and stay healthy and not hungry. And shouldn’t that be what really matters?
I can’t understand why a woman and a future wife must be assessed by her ability to chop up onions and make a nice meal. If you can cook, that’s great for you because cooking is such a great way to keep yourself busy and also discover how certain ingredients and products come together.
But if you can’t cook, that shouldn’t be the end of the world and it shouldn’t determine that you will ultimately fail at being a wife and a mother and affect the well-being of your family. Yet somehow, it’s the single most important question everyone young and old will bring up.
I truly stopped knowing if it was being meant as a joke because I’ve heard it so many times, from the very same people, that it’s now getting on my nerves.
Personally, I love cooking. It’s something I take huge pride in because I had to cook out of need when I was living abroad, alone. But that need slowly developed into a hobby and I never feel forced to be in the kitchen. In fact, I look forward to it and can spend hours scouring cookbooks and websites looking for something new to try.
Dear concerned people, take this post as a confirmation that Ahmad will not starve nor will we be living on fast food and junk. He isn’t the only one who has to eat after all!
Take it from me, I’d rather go hungry than ever set foot in a fast food joint. And while there will be times I’m going to be exhausted and unable to come up with something, we won’t allow ourselves to go to bed without dinner or compromise on the quality of things we eat.
It’s true that I will never cook like my grandmother and throw elaborate feasts, I do know how to impress. I did once cook Lebanese food for 20 people and it ended up being one of my most favorite achievements.
But to have my culinary skills represent my success as a married woman? No, I won’t stand for it.