In keeping my anniversary resolution to focus on the positive reasons why I got married, I have a confession to make. Don’t tell my husband, but one of the reasons (perhaps even the main reason) I married him is because the man can cook – major exclamation point! When we started our relationship almost 19 years ago, I was at beginner level in my cooking skills. I specialized in dishes that could be cooked and eaten in 20 minutes or less.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from my Chef. I’m nowhere near his level of expertise. I still need some semblance of a recipe (steps to reproduce, as it were), on paper or in my head, whereas he can cook up delicious masterpieces on the fly. And that’s o.k.
That’s why I married him.
About a month after we met he asked me to marry him. Naturally, I was hesitant, to say the least. But he won me over, the first time he cooked for me. After that, I knew he was the one. They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If so, I must be part man. (I joke, but that would also explain my style of shopping: in-and-out, no dilly-dallying, just get what I need and get out of the store).
I’ve only known two other men who can cook as well (/better). My uncle Fernando and my eldest brother Irwin. Little does my brother know, he is in an ongoing cook-off with hubby.
Here’s what’s up. Every once in a while, my brother, bless his soul, brings me a dish of whatever mouth-watering concoction he’s produced. It’s like he has a sixth sense for knowing just when I’m in need of some delicious comfort food. My husband, for reasons unbeknownst to me, sees this as a challenge, and he goes above and beyond to make the next meal he prepares (more often than not a variation of my brother’s dish) extra scrumptious.
How do I know, you ask? Could it all be in my head, pray tell? I know this for a fact, because for the duration of the meal, and sometimes the day after (if there are any leftovers) he repeatedly asks whether I’m enjoying the meal and how it compares to my brother’s. Not once, not twice, but sometimes as much as five times.
First time he asks
What I think: Can’t talk. Too busy eating. Lalalalala. Nomnomnom
What I say: “Mmmm, *chomp, chomp* hmmm mmm!”
Second time he asks
What I think: Dude, you’re harshing my food buzz. 😕
What I say: “Yeah, its really delicious!!”
Third time he asks
What I think: I know you heard me just now.
What I say: “Yeah!”
Fourth time he asks (as I’m fixing myself another plate!)
What I think: *Sigh*
What I say, every word dipped in monotonous sarcasm: “It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten. I don’t think I can swallow another bite.”
Fifth time he asks
What I think: O.k. I’m done with this game.
What I say: “….. I’m sorry, did you say something?”
As I said, I don’t know the reason he feels the need to outcook my brother. Is he that competitive? Is he just jealous I like someone else’s cooking as much (/more)? And why ask for my opinion so many times! Is he just deaf? Or does he get off on the validation?
If I’m in a particularly good mood, I’ll consent to a little bootlicking, especially for his specialty dishes, like his end-of-year turkey and ham. I make it a point to compliment him so profusely, the only thing missing from that scenario would be me doing splits while waving pom poms around. Most days the cheerleader in me is just too pooped to care. She just wants to binge eat, roll over and go to sleep.
Competitive, jealous, deaf, or validation junkie. Je ne sais pas. It could be any or all of the above, really. I’m not gonna overanalyse the cause, I just want the effect, i.e. a tummy filled with lots of yummy stuff. As long as I have that, my marriage is rock solid.