On a whim, my husband bought a clearance smoker a few weeks ago and immediately began researching all the various marinades and methodologies for producing succulent chicken and ribs. He excitedly discussed menu options and flavored bisquettes while I tried my best not to look bored.
You see, cooking is an area where Joe and I have absolutely no common ground.
I do not cook, mostly because I do not have any patience. The process of chopping, seasoning, pre-heating, and basting looks like a whole lot of work for minimal reward. Pouring a bowl of Cheerios seems far more pragmatic. After all, Cheerios is fortified with dozens of essential vitamins and minerals. Cheerios make you live forever.
Still, I respect Joe's passion. There is no complaining when I handle clean-up duty and realize my husband has employed every bowl, spoon, and pot we own. I do not gripe when I have to run the dishwasher three times and soak two cutting boards in soapy water before bed.
Excuse me while I adjust my halo.
As a stay-at-home mom, I sometimes feel guilty for not being the kind of wife who has a four-course meal sitting on the table each night. My talents lie elsewhere - mostly in the areas of scheduling, carpooling, and stain-removal. On the few occasions I attempted to whip up anything more complicated than tacos or spaghetti, my offerings were inedible. My chicken tasted like rubber and my stir-fry poisoned the entire family.
I am very lucky to have married a man absent expectations relative to gender roles. Throughout our years together, we have learned each other's strengths and weaknesses and have built our family life around what works best for us.
Yet with three little boys watching our every move, I sometimes worry about not being employed outside the home. My children were too young to remember mommy marching off to work in heels and a suit. Nowadays, if I wear anything other than yoga pants, my boys want to know why I'm "all dressed up."
My husband, as always, defused my anxiety with a simple reminder that the boys are growing up with me as their mom and they will have a healthy respect and/or slight fear of women as all men should.
"I mean, have you even MET yourself? You think these boys won't have a strong regard for women? They worship you. They don't even ask me for help with questions, instead they go right to you. And do you know how hard it is for me to shut up and not tell them that you just make sh*t up when you don't know the answers?"
I have no idea what Joe's talking about.
But he cooks. And he's super cute.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.