Things I’ve Learned About Being Married, Month Three: Husbands and Cooking

It’s now been three months and two days since The Husband (!) and I got married, and for most of that, I thought nothing would weird people out more than the idea that I kept my own last name. That, apparently, is very weird! But there is something that is weirder!

The Apparently Weirder Thing is this: my husband does the cooking.

…Yet even Europe’s first “celebrity chef” was a dude. (Antonin Carême)

Very few people I’ve talked to seem to be able to wrap their heads around that idea. I’m serious. I’m not just talking about Internet sexism, here, like the universally-offensive Men Make Dinner Day. I’m talking about real live people commenting on my particular marriage.

Consider, for example, these examples.

Other Person: “So what are you making for Thanksgiving?”
Me:  “Actually, my husband does the cooking.”
OP:  “You don’t cook?  At all?”
Me:  “Nope. He cleans, too.”
OP:  “…So what do you do?  You have to contribute to this relationship somehow!”
Me:  “I make the money.”
OP: *boggledface*

Other Other Person:  “So you’re the turkey lady?”
Me:  “Actually, my husband is doing that.”
OOP:  “You’re not cooking the turkey?”
Me:  “I’m not cooking at all.  My husband does all the cooking.”
OOP:  “…So he didn’t marry you for your cooking, huh?”
Me:  “No, I married him for his*.”

Until these conversations, it really seemed like my not changing my last name was The Weirdest Marriage Thing That Ever Weirded.  But no. Turns out that “dividing up the chores according to who is better at what, tolerates what more, and/or has the time to do what” instead of “dividing up the chores according to who has which sexual characteristics” is The Weirdest Marriage Thing That Ever Weirded!

It occurs to me that maybe this is one of the hurdles many people face when considering same-sex marriage. If you don’t have a ladyperson and a manperson in the pair, how do you know who makes dinner and who mows the lawn!?!?  IT IS ANARCHY!

…Or it’s a pair of adults sorting out their daily lives in ways that work for the people in the household.  You know, like people do.

Do…do they FEED THE CAT?? I CAN’T LOOK! (Via unicornbooty; click image to visit.)

*I didn’t actually marry my husband “for his cooking,” by the by, even though his cooking is awesome. I married him because his strengths complement my weaknesses, and vice versa. Not that he “makes up” for my deficiencies, but because his strengths encourage me to make those qualities in myself stronger.

By which I mean things like his extraordinary patience, curiosity, and capacity for empathy, not things like my ability to burn Jello. Though I totally learned the right way to smoke an entire turkey this weekend!


About Verity Reynolds

Verity Reynolds is the author of NANTAIS, an autistic space opera that never uses the word "autism." Buy her a coffee:
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