You probably remember that I eat lunch every day in a very sunny break room at work with seven men who renamed me. The women don’t usually start eating until an hour later, so we have the whole place to ourselves.
Sometimes it’s quiet and that is often what I need…peace.
Eating lunch with men has taught me many things that I did not previously know about their gender. I enjoy their candor and find it refreshing. It really has been a very eye opening experience that every woman should have the privilege of enjoying first hand. I think it would improve us as women and help us to become better people.
I sure hope that statement doesn’t puff up their ego even more than it is already. (wink)
I have discovered that dining with men is often much better than reading a self-help book on relationships. I mean, face it, I have the perfect opportunity to get the information directly from seven totally different men. Could it get much better? I don’t think so.
The other day I learned a very interesting thing at lunch with the men. There is almost an art in being able to get out of helping in the kitchen during mealtimes. First of all, most men do not want to help in the kitchen. So to get out of it, they:
- Break or spill something. This causes quite a hullabaloo during which time they are banished from the kitchen. The woman immediately makes haste to clean up all the mess that the man created.
- Don’t clean something good enough. Whether it is a food prep item or some other item in the kitchen, if the man does a sloppy job of the cleaning, he is immediately kicked out of the kitchen.
Each occurrence is accompanied by the men whining. I’m sure that isn’t hard to imagine.
I had no idea that men actually implemented a plan to ensure they did not have to help in the kitchen. It was really news to me. Of course, I immediately reflected on my own life. My father, grandfather and uncles did not ever do things in the kitchen nor were they expected to do so.
Upon further contemplation of the events, I concluded that women are a huge portion of the reason that men do not help in the kitchen. Some of the reasons include:
- Women want it “their way” even when it doesn’t make a difference to the outcome.
- Women are not satisfied with the job that men do in the kitchen even when they are sincerely helping.
- Women nag.
- Women let the men off the hook too easily because it takes more time to show him what they need done than to just keep on doing it themselves.
Since none of the wives of the men at lunch read my blog, I am safe exposing their secrets about helping in the kitchen. My intention is not to have their perfect plan spoiled. (rolling eyes)
The big “but” in all this is that women can not complain in the kitchen if they are unwilling to give up the attitude that everything has to be done their way perfectly. They also need to create an atmosphere of two loving partners working toward a goal instead of a queen and her servant.
Think about it like this…would you complain about how flawed something was that your two year old helped you do? No! Of course you wouldn’t!
Well, the bottom line is that you would not want to hurt your child’s feelings. True?
The same should hold true with your partner. If you want help and you want to enjoy his company while you work together, then think about what and how you speak to him. Your intention is to get things accomplished, but I know you don’t want to hurt his feelings while doing it.
So I propose a few things to do to help make “helping in the kitchen” a fun experience for the couple. We are going to assume that the husband and wife love each other and that the husband doesn’t want the wife to do all the work because he enjoys spending free time with her. I had to add that in because more and more I have found people who remain married “just because” instead of because they love and enjoy each other. So ladies:
- Don’t boss him around. Remember to say “please” and “thank you” so that you do not come across like an Army drill sergeant.
- Understand that he doesn’t know your routine, but will eventually learn it with time and patience.
- Know that in the beginning, you will spend more time in the kitchen if he helps you simply because you still haven’t learned how to work together.
- Teach him interesting tidbits as you work together, but don’t make it a college lecture every time you’re in the kitchen. By having him learn little things here and there, the kitchen experience together will remain interesting.
- Don’t become a motormouth. The kitchen time is not your time to fill the air with every conceivable thought about shoes, purses, clothes, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!
- Put into practice my epiphany. It will produce great effects for both people.
- Flirt. Yes, you read that correctly. Flirt. If he married you then chances are he enjoys flirting with you. The kitchen time together is the perfect time to flirt.
- If you are in the house together and expect no one else to show up, dress provocatively sometimes. You know what I mean – less is better. As an example, you could pull out the apron and wear it with nothing underneath. I’m sure you get the picture.
- Never nag. Seriously, do not nag him.
I’m sure that tomorrow I will be harassed when I have lunch with the men. That’s okay because even though it won’t change the way they help or don’t help in the kitchen, it still enlightened everyone else.
Women now know that men do all those things to get out of helping in the kitchen.
Men know that helping in the kitchen could be a wonderful bonding experience with his wife.
Y’all can do whatever you want with this information, but the next time I get a man in the kitchen, I’m going to make sure I spice it up to keep his interest in order to have that extra set of hands helping me cook and bake all those delicious recipes I share with you each week.