I’m having drinks the other night with a group of friends, male and female, at a trendy little midtown spot in the city. I relish in moments like these because one, I don’t socialize often, and two, I really love my “friend time.” Anyway, we’re drinking, laughing and venting about our lives when the waitress comes over and places the appetizers we ordered on the table. We’re pigs so we ordered a variety of different foods, and as we all dove in and pulled samples from each of the trays, one of my female friends literally (okay not literally) stops time with this:

“I love BBQ wings! I can’t wait until I learn how to make them.”

Each and every one of us stopped dead in our tracks and looked at her. One of my male friends even dropped one of his precious wings in disbelief and said “You don’t know how to make BBQ chicken? Please tell me you’re kidding?” My friend looked at us like we were the ones with the problem and proceeded to tell us how she always means to learn how to cook, but she has better things to do and is just so busy. She claims she can make basics like eggs and spaghetti and meat sauce, but that pretty much concludes her culinary expertise. As we all sit there looking at her with the side eye, another female friend asks the question we all wanted to ask and the convo went something like this:

“Your mother didn’t teach you?”

“No”

“Granny?”

“No”

“Auntie?”

“No”

“Not even your grandpa?”

“No. No one and damn sure not my grandpa.”

We all laugh it off and were ready to change the subject when my boy says “You know that’s why you’re still single right? No man wants a woman that will starve him to death.” She vehemently denies this is the reason and looks to the rest of the females in the group for support, but some of the “he speaks the gospel truth” facial expressions didn’t offer much comfort. Sensing the tension the topic was quickly changed and we went on to enjoy the rest of our evening. As I headed home I couldn’t help but think about the validity of my male friend’s statement. Could one of the reasons so many women are still single be because, outside of more realistic issues, they can’t cook? Why aren’t mothers and grandmothers today as adamant about teaching the young women they raise how to cook as they were in previous generations?

Now my mother was never big on cooking, but my aunt and grandfather were. Between the two of them I spent most of my life in the kitchen learning how to cook. I might not be able to throw down a professional like gourmet meal, but I damn sure can burn a pot or two. There was no such thing as not knowing how to cook, if you wanted to eat it, you learned how to cook it. Period. Nowadays it seems like that basic staple of life has been lost in the shuffle, amongst both men and women. I remember when women were taught how to cook solely because that was supposedly the way to snag a man, today, that’s not even enough incentive to get into the kitchen. I actually know more men that can cook than I do women and when I say cook, I mean COOK. Stepping away from its usefulness in relationship hunting, the money you can save alone by cooking should be enough to make you want to learn. Hell you can save Chanel bag money just from bringing lunch everyday and I’m all for stocking up on a nice collection of expensive bags.

In my opinion there are just some things in life that you should know because it’s essential to your survival and cooking is one of those things. At this stage in life a woman or man who can’t cook is just wrong and if I were a man I wouldn’t look to wife a non cooking woman either, not because that’s all that truly matters in a relationship because it’s clearly not. But would you want to marry someone who could make it a priority to remember to wax their eyebrows or catch a designer sample sale, but couldn’t or wouldn’t make the time to learn how to simply feed themselves? That’s like a woman finding a Prince Jamal with the $80K plus salary, but finding out he’s got bad credit. How do you take the time to educate yourself on how to make the money, but not the time to properly manage it.? They are both small yet significant signs that some of your priorities are not in order regardless of whether you want a relationship or not, but that’s just this woman’s opinion.

What do you think, is it important to for men and women to learn how to cook? How much weight, if any, does it hold in a relationship? Could it be a small sign of priorities gone wild?

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  • Eva

    I just think that everybody should at least know the basics of cooking. I don’t think it has anything to do with “woman’s work.” It’s just about practicality. You save money when you cook for yourself. You also save yourself trips to the emergency room. Before I started cooking for myself, I went to the hospital for food poisoning no less than 5 times.

  • Darryl

    Women who uphold patriarchal traditions sadden me.

    • Frenchy83

      Agreed…

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  • It is not a matter of upholding patriarchal traditions, it is about bringing something to the table. Things are never equal and working mothers still have to do most of the housework and tending to the kids. A man should be able to cook she he is not dependent on a woman and a woman should cook for the same reasons. Society is a lot more lenient on men’s shortcoming when it comes to taking care of a family than they are a woman.

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